There’s this kinda weird feeling in the pit of my stomach about what’s coming. Today is Thursday, it’s Day 363. Tomorrow is Friday, which will be day 364. Saturday will be day 365. And Sunday will be day 366. It’s hard to think about very much of anything else, now. I’m not sure that it’s obsessive behavior, but it’s … hmm. intentional. Deliberate. I’ve had a much easier time getting out of bed at 5am, and not lolly-gagging (stripping reading material and and internet devices from my bedside helped a lot).

The morning practices have been more intense than usual, too.  It’s like my body knows that I’m coming up on a milestone marker of some kind, and is paying attention. Today I had the same warmth and energetic sensations that I did yesterday.  My windmill kick wasn’t great; but it was a successful morning practice.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a successful morning practice to be a successful practice.  The inner critic is a harsh voice — harsher by far than Anton Ego from the movie, Ratatouille.  The only way to move forward is to recognize when it’s providing useful advice, and when it’s just being silly or self-destructive.   And the answer is, it’s being self-destructive most of the time. It’s stopping you from achieving what you want to do.  It’s fear.

Now, just a few days shy of this year and a day, it’s kinda weird. The critic is cheering.  He (she?) is actually on my side for once.  And instead of saying things like, “you’ll never make it,” he says “Elbow up” on Ward Off Left, and he says “Bend the legs more; be closer to true horse stance.”  And he falls silent at the end of the day’s forms.  The criticism is genuine, and correct, and appropriate, instead of being rooted in a deep, abiding fear of failure.

That’s really one of the major goals of a year-and-a-day oath, I think. To help get you over your fear of failure.  The most important thing is to keep trying, and never let a day go by without plugging away at something you care about.  Failure, success? Those things don’t matter as much as to keep working at it.