Sometimes friends say they want to write or meditate but aren’t sure how to begin. I’ve sure felt this way plenty of times! It seems to me the stumbling block is the desire to produce a product instead of simply play. We already picture ourselves published or meditating comfortably on a mountain top!

Lately I’ve been reading books by Lynda Barry (cartoonist, author, teacher) and rethinking about this idea of play. I’ve started to let myself doodle again. Not only that, I’m drawing goofy things for absolutely no reason. I’m avoiding my usual self talk about how I suck at drawing. Instead I’m just having fun. I think lots of “how to” lists miss the importance of play. So, today’s instruction is: make a doodle, or write a sentence without meaning, or watch how one breath travels through your body and out again. Don’t try too hard. Let the focus, if you must have one, be on letting go of any plan.

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