comfort and creativity
The other week at the end of a yoga class, I was laying in savasana and the teacher found me in the back corner. “You’re not relaxing!,” he whispered, and immediately started shaking my legs and trying to peel my shoulders back into the ground.
And here I was thinking the mental part of savasana was difficult enough — my body wasn’t doing it right, either.
Maybe it’s because I find comfort in speed. In motion. In doing one thing on top of another thing on top of hey let’s go and do this and let me just run eight miles and then we’ll grab a beer and I’ll cook some dinner and hop on the subway and move move move and write and tequila shot and go.
But I’ve also realized the more I try to think, the less creative I become. I sort of sacrificed sleep this week for late nights reading chapters of my favorite books, scouring the Internet, and even mulling around the streets of New York. And by the time Saturday afternoon hit, I realized I was more than exhausted, had been devoid of creativity all week, and lacked the motivation to do anything more than collapse under the covers. Which I did, from promptly 1-4pm.
But then I read this article by Martin Lindstrom, titled “Want to Be More Creative? Get Bored” and realized this is my ticket to slowing down. Here are his final thoughts:
“These days, I schedule a regular dose of boredom into my day. Furthermore, I don’t check messages if I’m waiting for a friend. I choose, instead, to watch people in bars, cafes, and restaurants. I don’t play games on my phone or my computer. I carry an old Nokia that no one would dream of stealing. More often than not, I hit the pool at the end of the day. As I power up and down the lanes, I rethink what I’ve learned. I now have the time and space to solve whatever problems have arisen. It’s an important meeting with myself, and I keep it religiously. Because the day I lose it, I’ve lost myself.”
So I’m trying to take Martin’s advice. For one, I want to get out of the habit of checking my phone when waiting for the subway, or cup of coffee, or a friend on the corner of Manhattan and Driggs. I want to do more watching and thinking — stealing moments back that are stolen from technology, when they’re really for myself to begin with. I want to go back to my old ways of running without music, letting my own thoughts (rather than Beyonce’s) flood my brain as I glide across the pavement. Running, like Martin’s swimming, is my time to think and reflect, and I want to worry less about pace and strength and more about the real reasons I choose to run. I also want to physically pencil in time during the day to shut down the computer and pull out a pen, and just write thoughts, or write nothing, and see what comes to mind when I’m not distracted by really adorable buzzfeed articles or delicious looking instagram photos/things my friends eat.
And I want to find comfort in slow. Once I truly realize that things happen when, well, things aren’t happening, then I’ll be able to sit still. I want to understand how great things can come to mind once I allow myself to stop, and that creativity can be found in comfort which can be found in rest. If that…makes sense.
In other (way more exciting) news, I played beer pong twice this week, which probably doubles the amount of times I’ve played beer pong throughout my life. First was at work where team “The Best” did not quite dominate, but the neeeext night at my best friends apartment with a cat, 6-pack, and pajamas, I must say I played pretty well.
I also had a lovely late afternoon tennis match with a new co-worker/friend, where I only whacked the ball into a neighboring gentlemen once. I celebrated Cinco De Mayo with margaritas and guac (of course), which was followed by watching the NBA playoffs on mute and listening to Aaron Copland, seeing if his symphonies could actually match the motions and emotions of the game. (It’s quite entertaining.) I also “meditated” for the first time in a yoga class (I’ve been told trying to meditate is meditating, so I’ll take it), and brunched afterwards with lovely ladies. And I’m also reading this book, finally, before I befriend Chaz like it’s my main mission in life.
And now I’m going to a coffee shop with Ali, where I will write about why we crave salt, and sip caffeine slowly and catch up on the news and just enjoy the day. Slowly. We’ll see what comes to mind.