Last week I made plans that conflicted with my regular yoga class. I really didn’t want to bail on my twice weekly commitment to myself, so I clicked on the earlier restorative option and headed for the studio. Normally I see the restorative time slot and keep scrolling for something with more oomph. If I’m only going to make it to two classes a week, restorative sounds a bit like cheating.
Guys. Do you know about restorative yoga? Have you all been keeping this to yourself?
I went in there and slowly, very slowly we sank into poses that felt like luxurious stretching after a long nights sleep (well, what I imagine that to feel like). Then after all that “work”, we propped pillows around ourselves, covered up with blankets, sand bags and eye pillows and melted into how great that felt. Then the teacher came around and massaged us. Seriously. I left feeling slightly drugged.
O.k, O.k, so I had a lovely relaxing hour…what does this have anything to do with writing? Stay with me…
As parents or people who have other time and energy consuming responsibilities — or both, it can be a challenge to slip into a creative mind state. Our minds are going a mile a minute with tasks and concerns and when we do have some down time we feel like we need to jump on the opportunity and continue to accomplish with say a vigorous exercise routine, a family blessing project or maybe those creative pursuits we are always insisting we don’t have enough time for (no? Just me?).
I don’t know about you, but when I sit down with that frenetic quick! I’ve got an hour! energy, I feel like I’m racing to finish a school project at the last minute. That’s not the kind of energy I want to bring to my creativity, and I think the muse wants a little more for her time.
It is understandable to feel pulled into these little free moments with a desperate It’s now or never panic, but I think before we can create we need to restore and clear an open channel for the muse to sail through.
I’ve been polling friends, asking how we can slip into that open state of creative flow when we only have snippets of time to work with around families, jobs and relationships. I’ll write more about that soon… but before we can tap into these shortcuts, we need a deep and full well, a baseline with a consistent beat so we aren’t meeting the muse with frazzled hair and a twitching eye. This is where the restoration comes in.
Maybe for some of you, restoring will mean a sleep habit that puts lights out by ten with at least an hour before that of no blazing screen in front of your eyes. Maybe it is a standing appointment with a wellness practitioner, maybe it’s sacrificing an hour of sleep in the early morning for meditation and witnessing the miracle of the sun rising day after day. Or maybe it’s trading in a vinyasa flow class for the tucked in experience of restorative yoga.
Whatever you choose, make a pact with your muse to do it. Show up for your essential recharging the way you would show up for any other loved one. Don’t trick yourself into thinking this is cheating or slacking off — this is part of the work, part of the creation. Experiment for a while, then watch and listen for the gifts that start showing up.
Commit! Tell me one thing you’re going to do to recharge and restore this week. And if you already rock this habit, share your wisdom — what is your recharge of choice?