One of the best things that happened to me in Taos was meeting Joseph.
Joseph was oh, probably eight years old. And a wild towheaded cutie. We sat near each other in a restaurant one early evening and became … co-conspirators of sorts.
He had superpowers and I am interested in superpowers. Oh, how I am interested in superpowers.
And he had them.
Get this. When he transmogrifies into Green Chile Man, he can shoot chile juice right out of the palms of his hands. And he can climb buildings. And be invisible. Ohmygod.
It was grand.
I’d love to tell you more. In fact, I really just want to write ten thousand blog posts that are just transcripts of our long and convoluted conversation, but he kind of swore me to secrecy.
Actually, he said it was cool if I shared our conversation with you guys, but then he added that it was opposite day.
And it might really have been opposite day, so I will respect his wishes and only tell you the teeniest bits and pieces.
But he did say quite definitely that I could tell you about Green Chile Man and his awe-inspiring chile and non-chile related powers.
You cannot imagine how enthralled I was. How refreshing his way of being in himself and being in the world was.
Especially as I was teaching at a writers retreat, spending a week with thirty women who were agonizing over their process and how to find their voice.
Process process process. Voice voice voice.
And I was teaching them how to access their superpowers and conjure their force fields and fill their space with their them-ness and their suchness.
Teaching the lost art of superpower-finding to people who aren’t sure if they have any (or if they even want them).
And then meeting this delightful boy who was completely matter of fact about his and about how awesome they were. Who already instinctively knew the stuff I was there to teach.
We talked force fields. We talked spells and wands. We talked about ways to invoke protection and how to take care of our powers and ourselves. It was great.
Sitting with Joseph (or rather, sitting with my drink while Joseph climbed the wall next to me, talked my ear off and occasionally ran off to the bushes to deter his invisible archnemesis), I felt so alive.
And so bored with my blah blah process and this blah blah work.
Kids don’t need help with “process”.
They don’t need help finding their voice. They just have it. It’s their voice.
That’s what’s needed. The thing we need to remember and re-find.
The place where play and freedom and curiosity and wonder aren’t things you need to learn, uncover or access.
These are just the qualities of being alive. These are the secret allies who hold our billowing superhero cloaks out behind us and stomp with us through puddles.
The next afternoon the focus of the yoga class I taught was to see if we could do yoga like that.
Like children. And like dogs.
Dogs, like children, don’t need anyone to tell them to come out of an uncomfortable pose.
Dogs don’t need anyone to tell them when to exhale.
They’ll never wait, puffing up until some external authority in tight pants gives them permission to let go.
Dogs don’t move a certain way or another way because they care about alignment, or how something looks.
They move because it feels vital and alive and good. To go from comfortable to more comfortable. From engaged to more engaged. From resting to more resting.
To get inside of the spine and be that movement.
Paul, of non-sucky yoga fame, once said: “I worship at the altar of my spine.”
I hate to put words in dogs’ mouths, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re doing.
Curiosity without dogma. Receptivity without needing to receive one right way.
This is what I want to say about my time in Taos:
Like dogs and like children.
That’s how we wrote.
That’s how we danced.
That’s how we stretched.
That’s how we rested.
That’s how we played.
1. This post brought to you by Joseph, his alter-ego Green Chile Man, his sweet, sweet dad, and all the wonderful dog-friends I met in Taos, but especially Remy and Monday. I adore you all.
2. If you do get bogged down in the process process process, maybe you can come Rally it up with us. We will process the process in ways that are safe and fun and delightful, like dogs and like children.
3. If you are moved to do something doglike or childlike in the comments, that is welcome too.