Sans regret, sans mélo

Right now at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs there is a fabulous show called Goudemalion about Jean-Paul Goude, the mastermind behind so many indelible French images. From Grace Jones’ razor-sharp angles, to balletic and operatic advertising campaigns for Prada and Chanel, to costumes for the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, there is really nothing this singular designer hasn’t touched that hasn’t had striking visual and visceral impact.

He spoke once at a lecture series that I attended as a fledgling designer, and I remember being so inspired by his combination of whimsy and spirit. He was as dynamic and funny as you’d expect -- impish, even -- discussing finding pleasure in the work, and enjoying the creative impulse the way a child might. He made it clear that he took the work -- but not himself -- seriously. That’s a lesson that has never left me, and I find myself constantly going back to it whether I’m writing, designing, drawing or doing yoga.

It’s always important to remember that the work we do, regardless of the realm in which we believe it exists, does not live outside of ourselves. You can’t separate what Jean-Paul Goude does from who Jean-Paul Goude is. They are the same. As yogis, what we do on the mat is a reflection of the entirety of ourselves, and wherever we choose to direct our energy is where we’ll end up. I love this quote from Rod Stryker which was posted to a friend’s Facebook wall recently. It encapsulates this idea so beautifully: “Once you find your purpose, it shines through all aspects of your life, not just your profession. It shines through your relationships, it shines through your love of creativity and how you show up for the world in every aspect of your life.”

Show up -- sans regret, sans mélo -- and be you.