Saturday, March 29
To say that I have been stressed is an understatement. I am concerned about the economy, about my finances, about the cost of gas, about the cost of my utilities (esp. my energy bills, which are atrocious), about feeling like I owe more than I make! At times I’m tired of doing it alone – I mean, most people my age have a partner to split everything 50-50. Which, if you live sensibly, means you end up regaining that half you had been losing. I’m tired. I wanted, for so long, to earn my keep, to be independent, to do it all on my own. At some point you have to make choices. Do I change careers? Do I get a roommate? Do I take on a part-time job for extra cash? And then I just breathe…
Breathing is such a natural, innate process that you don’t even think about it, you inhale and exhale in the same fashion as blinking or digesting. Most people don’t even realize that they’re not even breathing properly. Most people breathe with just the top from their breastbone on up, not using their diaphragm. Breathing isn’t even considered, that is, unless you can’t breathe – if you are badly congested or choking on something, or if you are giving birth or concentrating on it for a yoga class or meditation session. The point is, breathing is probably the most important thing we do.
I’ve come to learn the importance in breathing. While at rest, in exercising, in meditating and even when sleeping. And, now I’m learning it’s even important in the writing process. I began reading Laraine Herring’s book Writing Begins with the Breath. In her introduction she writes (and I quote without permission):
“Deep writing comes from our bodies, from our breath, and from our ability to remain solid in the places that scare us. It comes from merging with what we are writing – from dissolving our egos so that the real work can emerge through us, without our conditions for success attached to it.”
That has been my problem. I have been so strangled by my need to find an agent, to get my novel published, to get my short stories and essays published…and worse, my need to make extra money to pay off my debt. I have put an incredible amount of pressure on myself that I have literally created my own writer’s block.
This book may help me to put a fresh breath back into my writing process. This is essential, else I might suffocate from my own clouded mind and body.
So, the question of how will this book incorporate breath in the writing process?
“Returning to the rise and fall of breath, bringing a level of conscious awareness to a predominantly involuntary action, reins in the scattered nature of our thoughts and grounds us in our bodies, squarely in the present moment where we must remain if we are to write deeply.”
I haven’t been disciplined with my meditation. At least I have been consistently working out, and in my cardio exercise I am aware of my breath. Now, I need to make an effort to implement more yoga into my workouts, 15 minutes of yoga a day, and this includes making plenty of time for sleep each night. I had been depriving myself of a decent night’s sleep for weeks, going to bed too late. And I have been congested since my bout with the flu, so I’m still taking Claritan-D, which doesn’t help in the sleep department, other than it helps to keep me clear so that I can breathe – that is, paired with a Breathe Right Nose Strip adhered to the bridge of my nose.
I need to come up with a dedicated writing process. I need to make the time for it, I need to cut out distractions, I need to slow down, to breathe and just write. Conversely, I need to stop over-thinking, stressing, and pressuring myself to perform. I need to create a process or ritual that will aid in the free flow of expression. I haven’t identified the process yet – light candles or burn incense, stretch, do a couple of yoga poses that will open up my creative energy, sit at a desk or set up at the dining room table…
After writing this, I took a deep, meditative breath and shook out the tension in my shoulders. I think this book is going to prove to be quite helpful, at least I’m hopeful. Meantime, I made myself a cup of Yogi Tea and the following message was on the tag: Be happy so long as breath is in you.