How many of you meditate?
It’s a practice we’ve started building into our family evenings each night, and something I hope to one day be good at. Meditation is good for managing anxiety, depression, stress. It’s also good for learning to be open to new ideas and people who may be threatening to our own ideals.
And really, that’s what being a creative is all about. Being open.
I recently did a virtual creativity retreat with Creative Wellness Retreats, and our creativity coach, Kerry Schafer, led us through a guided meditation, but at the end, she did something I wasn’t used to.
She geared the meditation toward our creative projects.
I started the meditation not feeling excited about my project because I’d hit a bit of a wall, and by the end of the meditation I’d not only found renewed energy for the story, but for the entire creative process.
That particular meditation was two days ago, as of this writing, and I’m still feeling the positive effects. And it took less than 5 minutes.
What is meditation?
I feel like a lot of people think meditation is some new-age, woo-woo thing that only hippies and hipsters do.
Meditation is an ancient practice to transform the mind. That sounds woo-woo. Let me try again.
Meditation is a thing that’s been around since forever and is a way to train your brain to be aware of your own thoughts and emotions.
Not zone out or go to your nothing box. But to learn how to observe your thoughts, reactions, and emotions, and begin to understand them and yourself better.
See? Not woo-woo.
Writing is a form of meditation.
I think that’s why so many of us first turned to writing. We had a need to understand some deep emotion or reaction or thought we didn’t have the words for. And our stories were a way to help us dig down into that feeling or reaction or thought until we found the center of truth.
When you meditate, you turn off your worry, anxiety, negativity, and when you’re on the other side of it, you have a new perspective. It’s a little like sunlight pouring through a window. After meditation, the light reaches that angle where the window turns it into a rainbow.
Could meditating speed up your writing process?
Think of how much deeper you could go with your writing if you started your writing session by first meditating for five minutes. Even better? Present yourself with the next scene or story problem at the start of your meditation, then, through the practice of meditation, let it go. Let it flow. Then let it come back and present itself to you in a new light.
Other forms of meditation...
Meditation isn’t a rigid practice. Sometimes, meditation can be a simple as listening to the wind blow through the trees, or breathing while watching the ocean. Even reading can be a form of meditation, when it takes you away from your worry and allows you to reflect on your own reactions and thoughts to the story, and your life.
Before your next writing session, try five minutes of meditation and invite your creative project to join you. I think you’ll be surprised at the renewed energy you’ll find.
About Christina Delay
Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and the brand new Creative Wellness Retreats as well as an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. She may also have a new series out with Jules Lynn under a pen name. When she's not cruising the Caribbean, she's dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or giving into the demands of imaginary people to tell their stories.
About Cruising Writers
Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world. Cruise with us to the Bahamas this November with Alexandra Sokoloff of the internationally-renowned Screenwriting Tricks for Fiction Authors, Kerry Anne King - Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author, and Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.