TS Eliot called it “the mystical quality of creativity” and Julia Cameron called it the spiritual electricity of creative flow . In Sanskrit the word for this is Santosha (also one of the moral dicta).
This is the art of feeling at ease and at peace with yourself. It is an ethical precept in yoga-land, but for me it has become a signifier for being with an energy and a sense of being that is fully engaged yet open to the flow of ideas.
The place where I feel most exhilarated and most excited and, yes, most alive, is when in the act of creating. For some people, the zone and the flow are on a tennis court, computing numbers, holding a baby. Everyone has their own access points. The trick is to find and live in those points.
The Art of Creativity revealed.
Julia Cameron wrote all about this creativity for artists and there is a great article on Brain Pickings.org CLick Here to READ all about the connectivity and spiritual electricity of creativity.
In a practical sense, I reach for Santosha two principal ways: Yoga asana and meditation.
Physical practice with the body literally gets the energy flowing.in the body, oxygen and blood flow are maximized. the result after even just a short 10 minute practice can be that I am better able to sit to meditate and even without meditation feel more open, more clarity and a sense of possibility, less fear, doubt confusion.
Here is a sequence to try. Coral is a yoga genius. Click HERE
Mantra & Meditation
My short go-to to stimulate creativity is to cycle through the chakras (energy center of the body), breathing into then focusing my mental eye on each one in turn while chanting the bija mantra (sound) that represents each center. If I am thinking about anything it is to open up and release any blocked or stagnant or fearful feelings my minds eye encounters in each center.
Finish up with three deep breaths: inhale from the base of the spine to the crown and exhale back down again, flushing, in effect, the whole spinal column channel (shushumna) as you go. Then sit for a few more minutes simply watching the breath flow between heart center and third eye point.
Click Here for the WELL SNAP, Chakra Mantra Chant
If you could only do one thing to create better wellness what would it be?
My answer is: Find ways to connect to personal source for creative, spiritual, personal power.
Whew. That is some mouthful and a really big subject. But, I am telling you from experience, absolutely essential and essentially do-able!!
It is a new year and we all have resolutions but I will share a secret. Before I make any resolutions I take time to make sure I am doing things that serve me and I try to avoid or eliminate the ones that don’t.
So when a reader asked me what is the single thing I would do if I could only do one thing to achieve better health, what would that be I began to ponder. At first I thought, EASY!
But daily practices are not going to get tot he deeper root of things on their own. The real answer to this profound question is find a way to figure out what your personal source is and connect to it and the only way i really know how to do this profound work is through meditation and here is a reasonably easy place to start.
So, What does it mean to Connect to Personal Source?
It means connecting to a power that you have within you to feel better, solve problems, be more productive, loving kind, joyful. Yes. All of that and less of the negative talk, self-defeating things we all sabotage ourselves with.
Of course it will take some work to discover what practices, thoughts, ideas will work for you in your life. ask yourself what practice or practices will help you connect, on a daily or at least regular basis, We are talking about a most fundamental thing: what personal source of spiritual guidance do you need to tap into so you can receive and use the comfort and wisdom that is always available to you?
This will take some work but the seeds will grow into answers that will be be a gift that keeps on giving for life. true true true.
7 Day Sadhana to get answers:
Set aside a time each day for a simple, breath based meditation that may be just 10 minutes.
As you sit quietly, begin breathing deeply and rhythmically in and out through the nose.
Just watch that breath come in and out, watch as it settles and deepens.
Ask yourself: What is the one thing I can do for myself to create better health and wellness in my life. Repeat the question three times.
Now just go back to watching the breath for the remainder of the 10 minutes (or whatever time you have chosen.) Do not worry about the question. Just know that you have dropped it into your consciousness like a seed. The meditation itself will water the seed, feed it. Answers will grow.
At the end of the alloted time and before you open your eyes repeat the affirmation: I will find ways to create better health and wellness for myself.
Keep a journal of anything that came up be they ideas, emotions. These may become the new seeds for another 7 day sadhana where you start with an affirmative statement like, “I will find ways to feel (fill in the blank.)
Meditation is ….. Why Meditate? … So we can Let It Be!
Feel more, judge less.
I am judgmental by nature. Some would say critical. I have been working in meditation to decrease judgement and increase the “Let it be”, “So it goes”, “This too shall pass” response. I think it is working.
The theory: Mind silent – – Judgement level at zero.
When you are in state of meditation you are watching things and letting them go by. This is not a matter of effort. This is a matter of interested but dispassionate observation.
The Practice: Breathe, Settle, Observe.
Once you are settled, breathing deeply and calmly, start watching the breath. Watch thoughts, watch worries and opinions. Let them be like clouds crossing the sky or balloons floating up and away. Neither good nor bad. Permissable thoughts include: “Hmmmm that is interesting.” I keep thinking this and it keeps making me feel this or that and now I will let that go.”
The work is to keep letting it go. It will surely be waiting for you later anyway!It is pretty fantastic once we learn to be neutral as opposed to: “Oh No! what am I going to do!? I should be this or that.”
Feeling like you cannot disentangle from all of those seductive thoughts and ideas?? Use the breath to bring you back. Start noticing how the air feels coming into the body, down to the lungs and back out. this should distract your mind and help settle it.
A note on Judgment:
Judgment means to evaluate in order to make a decision about something. Sometimes this is a really good thing otherwise we would make mistakes of a practical and moral nature all the time.
The benefit of learning how to be judgment free is that we are less harsh on ourselves and others. Let it BE! is the motto. WAtch it. Observe it just as it is… No impulse to change it or shift it. Just watch. This is a peaceful place. It creates a sense of calm from which fruitful and beneficial judgments can be made. Real dsicernment as opposed to reflexive . Felt response vs. automatic reaction.
So really we are saying evaluate less. Likes and dislikes, evaluations based on looks, actions, decisions. Try to observe rather than evaluate.
Enough is enough.
Here is a lovely, lovely practice for remembering and actually feeling you have what you need and you are where you need to be.
A dear friend sent me this vimeo clip. I rarely post these sorts of things but this one I just love. Midfulness for high acheivers. yay.
In this moment I am Enough
In this moment I Do Enough
I am enuf.