The first thing I noticed about this chapter was the sidebar on the chapter’s image. It says “Phoenix, Arizona yoga teacher Anton Mackey encourages students to turn off their minds and look within by closing their eyes as they practice their yoga: ‘You don’t need to see the pose, you just need to feel it.’ Trust your body to take you where you need to go.” (pg.56).
What I thought it said was that the teacher could teach students to turn off their mind. I got a much more adamant message from the sidebar than what is actually there. I need someone to tell the way to turn off my mind, because when I am not listening to something (usually an audiobook), my mind is reeling. This chapter’s main message is that “…sometimes you just need to get out of your head.” (pg.57). I do need to get out of my head, but I also find that if I let my head roam free for awhile, it goes crazy at first and then settles down to some interesting and, possibly, enlightening commentary.
Some of this chapter is about moving your body. I don’t want to use the word exercise, which has a billion nasty connotations, but moving my body helps my mind. “Regular exercise increases the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain and body.”(pg.57). More blood to the brain means more creativity, right?
The whole package, blood, brain and quietening the mind, is about providing “…space between yourself and your thoughts.”… “For creativity, it is important to turn off the incessant chatter of your mind and to bypass the intellect…” (pg.57) I really believe this. I listen to audiobooks when I am sewing, but more and more I am turning off the story to just be with my fabric. Sometimes I get the monkey mind and incessant intercranial chatter. More and more, I get peace. It is practice.
Is it connected that I exercise regularly (and I am not trying to make anyone who doesn’t move as much as I do feel bad-I am not judging!)? “The mind often seeks the comfort of the rational solution, the safety of habits and the status quo. It’s filled with those dudes that limit us: critic, judge, axman of dreams.”(pg.58). These guys are quieter when I exercise. I don’t always push myself, but I do always get my heart rate up and sweat. The more I do those things, the quieter the monkeys tend to be.
“Creativity comes from innocence, openness, curiosity, and playfulness.” (pg.58) and there are other ways to achieve these things than exercise. Exercise, IMO, is kind of a shortcut. “Your rational mind doesn’t always serve you. It can impede your intuition and the strong messages you are receiving. Learn to turn it off so you can get to the business of tending to your soul,” (pg.58) improving your creative self and being creative more frequently and without fear.
Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. There is a lot more to each spark than what I am writing and the original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.
You can find the last spark on the blog a few weeks ago.