So my yoga instructor let me borrow a book titled “An Invitation to Practice Zen” by Albert Low mainly so that I could read about meditation (well, and I could read about Zen too). But, given that I am always such a geek about books, I am starting straight at the top with the foreword. I typically do that: read from the foreword and then onwards. I feel like going straight to what you are supposed to read in a book is missing whatever else message the author was trying to tell you. Maybe that’s the writer in me who is talking here. lol
Anyway, back to the foreword. Instead of the typical foreword that explains what the book is about, the author is asking you two main questions via a series of questions. The main questions are “Why are you reading this book? And what is your interest in Zen?” The series of questions is something like, “Are you reading this book because you want Zen to bring you XXX result?”
One of the questions was something like (not verbatim) “Are you interested in this book and in Zen to be more creative?” Huh, no, I’m really reading this book to look into meditation and get a beginner’s idea of what Zen is about… but given that I find creativity challenging, tell me your thoughts, author.
The little paragraph was profound and resonated for me. It said that creativity, really, is life in action. Niiiiiiiiiiiiice. Next, it was saying that, basically, you need to let yourself live and feel the action of life and become uninhibited for creativity to flow. Again, niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!
I’ve got some evidence of how true that is for me. For instance, there were some choreographies that I created with intent and with thought to be entertaining, showcasing nice series of moves, etc. Those were not my best creations. Ah! I think that it’s the first time that I’ve used that word: "creations"... Anyway, back to the choreographies. There were some others that I created for my students and I didn’t have any other thoughts besides just making them practice what they had learnt during that session and just having fun doing it. Well, I think that these are my best creations, especially the one with the veil. When I was showing it to my students, they were smiling broadly while doing it. There was a split second of doubt where I thought that maybe I looked foolish (and made them look foolish) but I asked them why they were smiling. Their reply was that they just loved that choreography so much that they couldn’t help but smile. Whoa! How cool?
So, yeah, thoughts should not get in the way of creativity but it is so hard for them not to! When I took the workshop with Rachel Brice this past March where she taught about choreographing, there were lots of good pieces of advice that I am remembering and applying to my dance. One of them is to not critique yourself while you are creating as it disrupts the creativity flow. How true!
Those moments of being totally uninhibited are few and far between for me. But, there was a moment, a fleeting one, a few months ago, where I felt that life in action moving through me. Okay, it sounds corny but that’s how I felt. I was getting ready to practice but I didn’t quite feel like practicing. I put on some Bhangra music, lit some incense, and went in the bedroom to change. When I emerged, the music just swept me off my feet and I started dancing without thinking of what I was doing exactly and I was just having a blast. I felt a connection with life, felt more alive than I had in a long time. I was overcome with joy. My heart felt warm and soaring with happiness and I felt blessed for all the things in my life, my loving husband, all my muses, my tribe sisters (who are also my muses), my body for being able to dance and dance beautifully, my friends, everything. I actually was dancing and had tears of joy rolling down my eyes. Writing about this, I get misty-eyed. I probably looked somewhat like the picture for this blog.
Of course, it can’t always be that way. But I’m glad that it happened at least once. I had had that feeling once more before, back in Quebec, again, while dancing.
When I manage to have a deep meditation session, I can separate myself from the normal, everyday life, and I reach a pleasant state of connectedness. I am working on meditation and yoga and it is such a pleasure to be able to calm down my restless mind, to give it a break from holding onto to thoughts, ideas, lists, etc. It feels rejuvenating. And it might help me become more uninhibited, or, as I like to call it, fearless, and might help my creativity. It’s definitely here. It’s in all of us, really… we just need to quiet ourselves and listen.
Comments I had received
niiice! goes right along with what I have been feeling lately..
Well, that is awesome! I think I need to get that book!