Some thoughts on Spring creativity

cool_hd_spring_wallpapers

We are in mid to late Spring now, but I thought I’d share a couple thoughts I had about what this season is about.

This time of year brings new flowers and with it new ideas and modalities to life. While some see New Years as a starting point, Spring is also an excellent period to begin fresh or check on how the year has progressed. The days are longer and the weather nicer; this makes for ideal productivity and outdoor activities.

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”

– a quote by Lewis Grizzard
That said, I’ve developed a few pointers that have helped with my reading/writing life, even while outdoors enjoying the sun:

  1. Take a small notepad and pencil with you, not a smartphone as that will distract you. When ideas arise (which they will) jot them down on paper for later consideration.
  2. If your book/script is your own, don’t feel afraid to make notations or underlines where you deem appropriate. This too can be a medium to incorporate ideas. Reading while outside is an ideal way to enjoy a book, especially when it engrosses you in a quiet and relaxing environment.
  3. Engross yourself in nature’s splendor. Allow the river to whisper its secrets in your ear.  Ground your fears in the bare rock of the Earth. Hear the beautiful inspiration on the wind. Absorb the sun’s intelligent rays. Be mindful of the present beauty around you and the future will magnify your productivity. A scientific study suggested that four days out in nature without electronics improved overall creativity by 50%.
  4. Practice light to moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) through a park or trail. This practice boosts creativity. Other types of exercise such as yoga also show promising results.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy remainder of Spring. Much love and gratitude to my readers. ❤

 

 

 

How does meditation affect us?

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Meditation: this new age trend grows by the year. Know formerly as a form of Eastern medicine for the mind and soul, scientific studies show meditation has a positive impact on the cells of the practitioner. Western medicine now considers this practice as a form of therapy.

American scientists held a study that examined what’s coined the meditation effect. Similar to going on a relaxing vacation, the research showed changed gene expression in those who participated. Long-term effects suggested a reduction in stress or age-related genes.

Another study by Harvard held an eight-week practice of mindfulness meditation. Participants showed an increased tendency towards memory, empathy, and patience. Scans showed the ritual changed the gray matter in the brain.

A second study at Harvard suggested meditation could improve ailments, particularly digestive disorders like IBS and IBD. This practice slows breathing, thereby regulating oxygen intake, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Could meditation be the next life hack? Hard research suggests this may be the case.

Three simple ways to activate your inner joy:

  1. Surrender your ego’s limitations, and listen to the inner calm. Pranayama is a great way to start.
  2. Practice compassion and gratitude towards yourself and others.
  3. Do things that invoke your bliss. Whether this is writing, reading, hiking, yoga, cooking, or chatting with people. 

As a part of Ethereal Seals and Pepper Slyhart’s journey, I wished to introduce this useful ritual to readers so that they might research and practice it on their own. Destruction begets destruction, and mindfulness could be the key to our war-like and fast-paced society. The next time you have a little free time, consider slowing down and trying meditation. You might be surprised at the results and the hidden potential within you, just as Pepper was.

Thank you for reading. 🙂

 

Meditation and the Writer

Writing is a complicated affair that takes many hours of study and execution to develop. Some describe writing as a tedious affair, a sweet-torture if you will, while others engross themselves in it. At times, the process stagnates, and authors turn to tips online or in books for solutions. Some novelists go for walks or trips to the store, still thinking about their next best story or article. While this does work to a point, it doesn’t complete the equation. These are external references that assist in the writing process, but there is also the internal. This step into the interior side of the coin is often less-traveled by writers, but it’s ever as important.

The external side of writing focuses on drawing from the right or artistic brain. Reading is a great way to feed information into your psyche. Still, these are both external or conscious activities. Even creative ideas are logically procured from the brain onto paper or a screen; these activities take energy, and they draw from the subconscious mind.

The subconscious or subliminal mind is where all memories and the information from the external gathers. To correctly balance out the interior and exterior minds, rest is needed; not necessarily sleep, but an interval of peaceful non-thinking. Most refer to this practice as meditation.

When a writer enters this realm, the clouds clear and the creative subconscious regenerates. It purifies old stagnant thoughts and transmutes them into lucid variants, sometimes genius in scale. The more one meditates, the stronger their Will, and the less they are distracted by social media alerts and so forth. Meditation increases the gray matter of your brain.

Tips:

Here are some tips and methods to begin this practice, if you feel so inclined:

  1. Relax – Let go of whatever your ego wants you to think. Drink deep the chalice of stillness and mindfulness. Fight against the urge to think about anything, even your story. Regulate your breathing or chant mantras to redirect your concentration. There are dozens of ways to implement meditation.
  2. Time – Between writing, reading, family obligations, and a day job, it’s especially challenging to find the time to meditate. Our busy society discourages this–yet, without time to rejuvenate the subconscious, burnout is inevitable. Block out part of your day dedicated to meditating, even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. Your subliminal brain will thank you. Some people meditate better at night when the rest of the world sleeps, others in the morning. Find an ideal time that works for you.
  3. Space – Establish a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. Be sure it’s comfortable and dark. If you need to, ask your living mates to not enter for a designated interval. Defend this personal space from any miscellaneous disruptions, if possible.
  4. Dedication – Meditation, like writing, doesn’t come quickly. With your routine established, stick to it. Some days may feel unproductive, while others will. Work your way up to 20 or even 60 minutes a day if possible.
  5. Tools – Implements like music, essential oil fragrance, or colors can enhance meditation. Everyone is different; experiment, and find what works best.
  6. Write After Meditation – The brain enters a different state after prolonged relaxation. During this period, creativity and productivity may be at its highest. Take advantage of this episode to work on your piece or jot down notes. Many legendary writers such as Shakespeare utilized this to produce their masterpieces.

In ancient India texts, the act of writing corresponds to the fifth chakra Visudda, also known as the throat chakra. Your throat has a compact bundle of nerves at the neck. These contribute to the acceptance and expression of originality of voice. The main obstacle of the fifth chakra–which most writers struggle which–is doubt and negativity. Through meditation, confidence is restored, and the nerves purify.

The fifth chakra works with the second one at the navel, called Svadhisthana, or the sacral chakra.  This energy center controls pleasure and creativity. When the body isn’t producing sexual energy for biological reproduction, the life force goes towards the abstract, or creative ideas. Blockages in this chakra result in creative stagnation or exhaustion. Through appreciation of one’s body, mainly through healthy eating and meditation, the nerve endings restore back to their creative-inspiring state.

This is but a fragment of the information out there. Feel free to investigate the source links below. Writing bears an imprint of our soul, one that we transmute from the abstract (spirit) to the concrete (words). The physical and astral unavoidably connect, and neglecting one over the other cannot work for success. Take Shakespeare’s word for it:

“He doth entreat your grace, my noble lord,
To visit him to-morrow or next day:
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation,
And in no worldly suits would he be moved
To draw him from his holy exercise.”

William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

Lastly, I recommend this book: Autobiography of a Yogi, the story of an Indian master and a writer full of unconditional love for the world.


Sources:

https://www.2knowmyself.com/subconscious_mind/conscious_mind_vs_subconscious_mind

 

https://www.copyblogger.com/writing-meditation/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184843/

 

https://thewritelife.com/writers-meditation/

 

http://www.chakra-anatomy.com/sacral-chakra.html

 

http://www.chakra-anatomy.com/throat-chakra.html

 

https://chopra.com/articles/5-ways-to-improve-creativity-through-meditation

 

http://www.swamij.com/quotes/william-shakespeare.htm

 

http://yogamasti.com/us/the-science-of-the-chakras/

 

6 food nutrients essential to writers

A reader gave me the idea to write this article, as it is often missed by other writers and bloggers. I’ve mentioned tidbits in my past posts, but I’ll now attempt to clarify. Writing takes a fair measure of creativity and ingenuity to execute well. With experience and knowledge, great works can flow from a writer’s fingertips. However, there’s another facet to the equation: one’s health.

When we think of creativity and the ability to write, the brain first comes to mind–pun intended. The brain is a hungry organ, consuming a significant portion of nutrients hosted by the body. If inadequate supplies reach the cranium, our thinking slows, and we may lose motivation or confidence (just to name a few symptoms).

Here’s a list of nutrients that ensure our mind works at its best:

  1. Protein – The body breaks down this macronutrient into amino acids, which serve in hundreds of chemical reactions related to the brain, specifically neurotransmitters. These transmitters help parts of the brain communicate. They control your ability to focus, remember, and stay motivated. Animals products that are raised humanely and organically are good sources of protein. If you’re a vegan, leafy greens like kale and spinach combine well with almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.
  2. Fat – Oh no! I said the f-bomb–well not the swear word, but the three letter one. Please humor me for a moment. Over half the brain builds from fat globules. People who consume low-fat diets are at risk for depression, suicide, and poor creative function. We’ve been taught to view fats–particularly saturated fats–with anathema. While not all fats are created equal, the best come from organic family farms. Plant oils such as sunflower or peanut spoil easily and should be stored in dark glass containers. Good sources of fats are avocados, olive oil, hemp oil, whole raw milk (if you can stomach it), ghee, coconut oil, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  3. B vitamins – Coined the ‘happy vitamins’ since they improve your mood. You’re body/brain needs a broad spectrum of these micronutrients to function. The biggest one is B12. A dearth of B12 induces brain fog, memory issues, and depression, among other things. Source proper B12 supplements in the form of methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin, as the first absorbs better (since your body converts cyano into methyl anyway).
  4. Vitamin D – It’s difficult to absorb enough of this vitamin from the sun. Without D, the brain cannot develop itself properly. Choose D3 over D2, as again, with B12, D3 is closer to the organic substance our bodies utilize from the sun. Vitamin D absorbs best when taken with fat (avocados are an excellent choice).
  5. Magnesium – Even with vitamin D, sufficient fats, proteins, and B vitamins, your body requires magnesium to finish the chemical cycle. Magnesium plays a part in over 300 reactions in the body. Sufficient supply leads to increased focus, relaxation, and higher energy. Good sources of this nutrient are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, raw cacao, and meat. I personally use a magnesium chloride spray and absorb it through my skin, as the intestines poorly incorporate magnesium.
  6. Water – The brain holds a lot of water, and it takes only a slight decrease to cause memory and attention issues. Over three-fourths of the US is chronically dehydrated. Aim for half your body weight in ounces to drink daily. Like fats, not all water is equal–be sure to get a filter for your faucet and shower. Tap water clumps together, reducing its bioavailability to the body. Using magnets can help detangle the hydrogen-oxygen molecules. See the links below for more information.

This article isn’t exhaustive, as I expect there are many more to add to the list. I hope this article gave some insight into how vital self-care is for a writer (or anyone really). Feel free to research the topic further using the links below. I’d love to hear any additions you can make. Thank you for reading and good luck. 🙂


Sources:

https://bebrainfit.com/brain-nutrients/

https://healthyfocus.org/methylcobalamin-vs-cyanocobalamin/

http://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/Default.aspx?id=39412

https://jonbarron.org/article/magnetizing-water