In this exercise, I'm asked to picture myself in a safe place that has some meaning for me, and imagine that out of the mists walks a benevolent person who has something important to tell me. This person is, more or less, my mentor. I listen to this person, and write down everything she says to me.
I'm at the Sleeping Lady Retreat Center in Leavenworth, WA. I'm sitting alone in a cabin, resting on a bed made with down blankets and pillows. My yoga teacher Denise appears. She says to me:
"Work with your vanity, your pride, your egoism. They are a part of you. They are a part of your practice as a yogini and an artist. Don't fight with them."
"Apply principles of yoga to making your art. Use yoga to drop down deep, to listen to your natural self."
"Cultivate neutrality instead of judgment."
"In the end, it all comes down to compassion."
I could meditate on each one of these statements for a lifetime. In them, I see all the things that have held me back, and all the things that will release me.