We hear so many things about how to live a healthy life. Invariably, the same key words come up; yoga, meditation, pilates, healthy diet. And it’s all true. It can all be highly beneficial in sustaining a structured, calm, mindful, mentally and physically healthy life. It can all help to banish that pesky voice in the back of your mind that says ‘yes but I’m still so nervous about this’, or’ I can’t seem not to feel angry about that’.
Something I’ve begun to learn through mindful meditation is that I will still feel many of the not so fun feelings that I’ve always felt, from time to time – and that’s OK. The trick is to accept that this will happen and learn to stay with those bad feelings, and to move through them. Once you’ve mastered the routines of all these ways to live your life more healthily, you can truly start to grow, I think.
For me, my writing is an important part of that growth too. I hit blocks where I just can’t write, though. Being in a good place physically and mentally is imperative to getting through those blocked times, but to really get back into my creative flow, it takes just a little bit more. No matter that my ideas aren’t flowing yet, I have to write – and I have to write anything.
As Jane Yolen says: ‘Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.’ (See http://janeyolen.com/ for further inspiration)
So; I journal, I carry my notepad and pen in my bag and note down the beauty of the day around me as I go about my business, and, often, I write a gratitude list. I find the gratitude list to be incredibly good for the soul and it helps with being mindful. Just think of all you have to be grateful for every day when you wake – the fact that you are awake is a big one! All those things you take for granted, even the most simple of your daily pleasures – write them down – they count!
One of the best ways to really get the creative juices flowing again for me, however, is to practice Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. Friends of mine who studied creative writing mentioned this to me, and now I find myself really gaining something by doing them (see http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/). When I write morning pages, I find that I’m ready for the day. I’m up bright and early (for me) in the morning and moving toward my chosen comfortable meditation spot and then – off I go; meditation, a little yoga or pilates, some fuel to start the day right, morning pages or journaling, gratitude list…by which time I’m usually restless to get creative.
Suddenly, I’m praying for my lunch break, opening up word in the corner of my screen, scribbling across post its…my imagination’s going wild. Evenings and weekends, any chance I get, I’m writing. The beginnings of a novel with all the fun of characterisation and plot build-up.. The notepad in my bag gets bent up and used and stained from the countless coffee cups I’ve rested on it in everywhere from Starbucks to the bus shelter. My pen runs out of ink and I’m having to remember to pack a few for such eventualities when out. And I feel good. I feel so good. Inspired and bursting with ideas!
Yes – I still have bad days. I still get down and I still get angry. But I don’t stay down there too long. All of us will have our troubles and our struggles in life. We just need to find our way through them.
Samantha is a writer and blogger with eclectic tastes, not only in her own writing, but in the form and genre of the writing of others. She has a strong interest in human relationships and mental health, a love for the innocence of young children and the life and hope they instill in tired-out grown-ups, and likes to get lost in the fantastical in fiction. She is currently writing her second novel and working on a series of children’s books for illustrator Ella Parry. She regularly writes fiction pieces both for her own website, and to be entered into various competitions. If you would like to contact Samantha please check out her website: http://inkfeatherpen.wix.com/inkspiredwrite