Creativity, meditation and exercise positively affect one another creating what I like to call the golden triangle. It’s hard to have one going well without paying attention to the other two. But let’s talk about how important it is if you’re a creative. When people think of writers or painters or any other crafts, hobby, pastime, they often imagine people occupying all their free time with their pursuit. Writing until all hours, painting into the night. But if you don’t have moments of reflection and stillness, if you don’t care for your body, sooner or later you’ll hit the wall.
Taking your Mind off your Mind
In fact, you have to let your mind refuel or refill. You have to let your subconscious do its thing and send some info up top. I always recommend meditating but it can be contemplation, prayer, relaxing alone time, listening to calm music, staring at a lighted candle (this actually works). Something to let your mind relax, to leave the Beta state (the focused, ‘at work’ state of mind) and be in Alpha for a while. I’m not pushing meditation but this is the only way I know to achieve this and even go beyond to Delta and Theta.
People worry about writers block or lack of inspiration. I don’t believe in that. The mind will give you what you ask of it. It’s there for you. You’re in charge. Just let it do its cogitating, its creative thing. It’s not a wiener machine, it doesn’t crank out product in a linear fashion. Trust the process.
But how does meditation help me physically? How about because it changes your mindset and you find yourself less triggered, less stressed, less affected by outside issues an other people’s drama? You’re not always gong into the fight or flight state brought on by stress, increasing the hormones of fear. My first blog was on meditation. I still meditate. It just makes life better. Maybe I’ll blog about it again.
Exercise alleviates stress, increases dopamine and endorphins which makes you feel happier. Plus it decreases the hormones of stress. What better way to help the mind create and meditate than in a relaxed, happy, balanced body. Meditation and creating are of the mind, you might say, but ultimately we live in a physical body. We create physically, the act of creation is making manifest an idea.
Meditation is also facilitated by a calm, rested body, exercised body. It’s much easier to meditate when in a good mood than a bad one. Ultimately the mind will dominate and you’ll achieve the desired state, but why start that far back when you can create a favorable mind set? It’s hard to do either when you’re fatigued, stressed, preoccupied, in pain. Refresh and replenish yourself physically. This doesn’t mean ultra-marathons or benching a Volkswagen Beetle. Take a walk, for example. Dance if that’s your thing. I like to run.
Well that’s all great, but what does creativity do for me? Self-expression feeds the mind. It’s a form of exploration and ultimately evolution. It’s a mystery because we don’t know how we create exactly and why each of us is different. Creating happens in the same place you go when you meditate. As meditation feeds your creativity, that output will better your meditation. You mind will get better at establishing a circuit. And physically? Well if you’ve ever had a creative high, where you’re amazing even yourself, you eventually need to move, to hav a physical outlet to that energy. Creative energy can be felt. Personally, when I write, after two or three hours, even when I’m in the flow, I have to move. I have to burn off the excess energy and refocus. Otherwise I start to go all over the place. Creativity creates energy that can be output through physical activity. When we feel the benefits, we, in tune, exercise to feed our creativity.
Each of us has their own style of going about this, but it’s basically the same. What’s yours? Have you ever been off balance? Do you have a tried and true process?
Side note: Like most meditators I’ve read Autobiography of a Yogi. Recently I read Joe Dispenza’s Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. The amazing contribution of modern science to meditation is that we can now observe how the brain functions in different states of meditation. So what Paramahansa Yogananda was explaining and witnessing can now be shown using an EEG to map the brain’s functions and states.
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