Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Michael Gelb - How To Link Meditation, Routine, and Creativity

“Surrounded by noises from televisions, airplanes, subways and automobiles, most of us ‘tune out’ for self-protection.”
creativity; psychology today; michael gelb;
Creativity - Michael Gelb

Living in a faraway country, one that is overpopulated and overorderly (Japan), I feel the need to occasionally go into protective mode myself. Knowing the language somewhat proficiently has allowed me to come out of that protective shell. You should have seen me fresh off the boat, so to speak. I was a cultural klutz, a walking ignoramus. But there was something fresh about that time, something innocent. And if I hadn't spent so much of my waking life chasing booze and girls, I probably would have 

Discipline is the cure-all for that. We know that to be creative, to exercise the mind, body, and spirit, is what we are put here to do. Something beyond language and logic calls to us and shouts that message into our souls from the universal megaphone of life.

Spiritual practice has helped me stay more creative, as well. 

Gelb writes, "For those of us who live so much in our heads, that kind of connection with body sensations can be particularly challenging. Maybe personal growth practices like meditation can help."

On a related note, I once heard someone say that if you are having trouble with discipline, then create your own personal experiment. Pick something completely mundane or ridiculous, but make sure that you do it every single day. He gave the example of pouring a glass of water into the toilet at the exact same time each day. 

Magical things will start happening in your life if you add a bit of discipline, a pinch of consistency to your existence, and this added ingredient can be the practice of meditation itself. Routine aids focus and ushers in purposefulness. Treat your routines like pets, plants, or children (all great tools to practice the skill of implementing routine, by the way) and nurture them tenderly, but rein them in when they get out of your hands. Your brain, plastistic by nature, will morph into something slightly different, something more utilitarian and well-rounded. It will work with your emotions better, and your emotions better with it. They will negotiate their terms like lifelong politicians instead of infants in the sandbox.

Getting back to Gelb, there are two important reminders here: silence and routine. Good luck finding both, each and every day. Start with meditation because we can train our brains to be quiet, even in the din of the shopping mall or the ruckus of the morning rush.



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