For years I’ve been addicted to movement. Dancing, running, weight lifting: I’ve tried it all. I even taught aerobics back in the day, and led many sweaty men and women through kickbox and bootcamp classes, with an occasional legs and glutes class thrown in for good measure. Today I prefer yoga; it’s quiet and flexible and connects me to my breath in a way that I find myself really needing at this point in my life.
What I really love about movement, though, is its effect on my writing.
When I’m holding a yoga pose, everything opens up: my breath, my heart, my mind. I feel as if I have a direct line to my creativity. I can’t begin to tell you how many words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs have come to me in down dog. It’s possible that if I didn’t find myself more prolific as a result of my yoga practice I might abandon it entirely.
Well, maybe not. Yoga also makes me sane.
Maybe you’re not a yogi. Maybe the thought of twisting yourself into any number of different poses completely turns you off. But chances are there’s something out there, some kind of movement, that turns you on. Think back to when you were a kid. Did you love flying through your neighborhood on your bike? Was it football that left you exhilarated? Or maybe you just liked dancing in your bedroom with the lights off, the door locked against your brothers and sisters. Figure out how you can bring that feeling back into your life right now. There’s always a way if you look hard enough.
Daunted? Try walking. I’m a fan of night walks, taken in the dark and cold. I like knowing that I’m not going to run into anyone else, that I don’t have to worry about traffic. Just me and the silence and the starlight. And here’s the thing. Something always comes to me. Some word, some phrase, some sentence… something always comes.
If nothing does, don’t give up. Maybe you just have a lot of clutter in your head right now. Maybe creativity can’t find a channel. But if you keep walking, a path will open up. You’ll be driving your kid to the dentist or halfway through typing an email at the office and you’ll feel a jolt of inspiration.
I always do.
In the comments below, tell us how movement connects you to your writing. Or tell us what you’re going to try. We’d love to hear from you.