Writing and mindfulness.
Writing is a practice that must be cultivated through dedicated practice.
Much like yoga, in which the more time you spend on your mat, the more everything becomes your mat. In this sense, you find yourself living your life both on and off a yoga mat as one in the same space.
The analog to writing, then, is to be “writing” a story, whether your hands are typing or not. The trick, is to not get caught up in story to the point of blocking creative energy, and being consumed by a “movie” of an alternate reality that stymies your ability to be present for your experience.
I wonder, What is the balance between the practices of mindfulness and writing?
The balance between mindfulness – non-judgmental present moment awareness – and crafting story (aka writing) is a tricky one.
For me, there is a subtle separation between writing and mindfulness.
In a writing state, there is a sense of the thinking mind, the sensations, and perhaps the breath. But for me, even in free writing, there is in some ways an allowance of the thinking mind to dominate the stage.
This is the thread that I see, the main point to be made. Link these sentences together. Build this sentence upon the other one. Get it on the page, then rework it to have a clearer flow.
On the other hand, in a state of mindfulness, there is a sense of subtle energies, and the focus is on the breath. If you find your consciousness wandering to the thinking mind, there is detachment from that state of being.
I am thinking. That’s Ok. It doesn’t matter that I’m thinking. It doesn’t matter what I’m thinking about. I’m breathing. I’m sitting. My neck is sore. Breathing in. Breathing out. My sinuses are congested. Gentle breath in. Gentle breath out. Stretch, move. Breath.
Lately, given my personal circumstances of living in our new home without furniture or many belongings (perfection amidst imperfection), it makes it quite interesting to engage in writing, and in mindfulness.
For one, finding a good place to write has taken me a week. I now have a bed to sit on and am able to lean against the wall with my computer on my lap. I hear my children play outside in the yard, and while distracted by the screams, yells, and instructions on how to “play the game,” I smile at the possibility to have a dedicated place to write (and a separate dedicated space to play).
Second, I’ve been uprooted from my regular practice of yoga and meditation at my former home studio in our former state. This of course is a source of instability. For what was a regular dedicated practice of daily flow, Om, chanting, and mindfulness training, is now a scattered, irregular, sporadic minute or two here and there, between events and projects.
Do you ever have someone tell you something about yourself that when you hear it you stop and realize, “Huh, you’re right, I didn’t realize that.”
I’m telling myself,
Self: “Nicky, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, are essential crafts that not only keep you grounded, but also guide your practices of writing.”
Self: “Huh, you’re right! When my body is not aching, and my mind is clear, it creates an essential space for coming into a practice of writing.”
With that said, I’m learning to live amidst the imperfection of not yet having a home yoga studio. And instead, doing that I can to cultivate a home practice. I have several floors that are perfect for practicing yoga. Then the trick is carving out space, and giving myself permission to come into a flow of consciousness that allows for creative, inspired work. Of writing, and of mindfulness. This is the practice.
Written August 9, 2017