Monday, January 14, 2013

Day One, Creative Reset.

Here we are, my friends!!

The first day of twenty one intended to refill our cups to overflowing.
I thought I'd embark on this journey alone, shutting down the shops and the blog in order to get internal and quiet and then it hit me: if I can benefit from these choices, these writings and this extra diligence
shouldn't I make it available to my friends, too?

If my relationship with my Muse has become so jagged and rocky wouldn't it stand to reason that a kindred or two out there is struggling with the same things?

For me it's been a case of too much: too much inspiration, too many ideas, crazy-feeling-four-a.m.- wakeups thinking, "I've got to get in there now, this idea cannot wait!" followed by the resultant uber-exhaustion... and finally the cold or flu that gets me to pause from the roller-coaster.

Rinse and repeat, over and over for the better part of the past two years.

Then there is the fear that one can begin to ingest daily making a living from art or not...the input and output, the praise or silence or unkind cuts, the daily necessities for families and animals, the day-job, the lover-or-lack-thereof, the ego, the failures and triumphs and oh GOD where is our BREATH??? 
Where are we breathing in all of this madness?


Here it is, underneath all of the shit-pile and victory trophies:

your breath.
Your bedrock.

This is the most important part of the next three weeks, and I want you to become super-aware of it. Your respiration is an excellent indicator of where you stand with your creative process.
In becoming nurturing and solicitous of it you'll discover a lot of truth - our bodies so rarely lie, even if we are so full of it our eyes are brown (thanks, Mom.)

I recommend that while you're doing The Reset you also look into meditation, taking a yoga class or two, getting a massage or other breath-oriented self-care. 

If money or time are issues meditation is an excellent place to start: 15 minutes once or twice per day will quite literally change your life, but I'll delve more into that at some point later in the posts.

For this first day, let's just breathe.

Take one breath in slowly, filling your belly, then your lungs to the tippy top.

Hold it for the count of four
and then let it out with a sigh.



Obviously you'll continue to breathe anyway, but my hope is that you bring this ease and lengthened rhythm to the process as much as possible in all hours of your daily awareness.

As you do this writing work, I want you to pay attention to your breath especially as it relates to your subject matter: make notes in your daily journal when you're jotting something that causes your breath to get shallow.
What was it? Can you delve into that space a little more?
If simply writing at all constricts you just be very very conscious and slow in your movements, keeping as much attention as you can on lengthening and deepening each inhalation and exhalation.

I want you to remember that you deserve this time to go deeper.

Write down the emotions that come with the shallow breath - are you afraid? Angry? Confused or feeling pressed for time?

Where do you feel the emotion?

Quite frequently my emotions register in very physical ways: if I am feeling threatened I feel it in my solar plexus. If I am sad I feel it very much at my heart. Fear is like a terrible ice that freezes my whole trunk and trickles into my limbs.

Where do you feel your sadness or anger or fear?

Journal for the day:

After taking a few deep cleansing breaths, think of your art. 
Contemplate the history (or desire for one) of your work, the story of your creative life thus far.
What emotions come up? 
Are you celebrating or sinking?
What is the quality of your breath as you reminisce?
Pinpoint (as much as you can) the physical sensation(s) that comes 
from this small journey
and the overall relationship you have with creating.

Write until you are finished.