First, can I just say, 90 days! I’m actually impressed with myself. I had no idea when I started this challenge if I could even do it, and I had no real expectation that I would keep it going if it got hard, and here we are, 90 days in. It feels like a big accomplishment.
And I’m going to let you in on a secret. It is hard. It has been hard, this week especially.
The end of the month is always busy, and that catch up/keep up/keep going feeling that comes after a week of not working much (which was actually great) is hitting me full force.
I have no creative ideas.
I don’t really want to do anything but finish up these not-very-creative-but-essential-to-getting-paid projects.
And yet, I’m 90 days in and I don’t want to stop now.
So today’s challenge isn’t to make anything at all.
It’s to stop.
A Meditation Challenge
My friend Jackie is awesome for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that she’s constantly and consistently trying to improve her already really great life.
And she wants to help other people do the same thing, so she hosts a 30 Day Challenge group in which people set goals for each month that they work to make progress on every day.
My challenge for March was meditation. Starting with five minutes in week one and adding five minutes a week.
Which was really silly if you think about it.
During spring break I barely got time to pee alone, never mind 20 minutes of silence a day for meditating.
But I still need to do it, because Jackie and I are going on an adventure this fall and I need to be able to meditate by then. But that’s another story.
I know meditation sounds hard. And when I got to 15 minutes it felt like forever.
Start with five.
Just breathe, or say a word or phrase to yourself over and over (I like “calm” or “still” or even just “breathe”).
You don’t even have to call it meditation if you don’t want to.
Call it “sitting still for five minutes.”
Just try. See what happens.
What Does this Have to Do with Creativity?
You might be surprised, but there are all sorts of links between mindfulness and creativity. A 2014 study found that people were better at coming up with a variety of solutions for problems after meditating, and some of the benefits of meditation for creative people include:
- clarity of thinking
- easing anxiety
- quieting of the inner critic
- connection to creative flow
- improved attention
- empowering of the authentic self
All of that sounds pretty good, right?
I usually meditate by just sitting, on my couch (I’m also working on my posture so I’ll be able to sit on the floor more comfortably), with my eyes closed. I try to just let thought flow but sometimes I use a word to help myself focus a little bit more.
If you meditate, I’d love to hear what you do and how it helps you. I’m back on track with a different approach — I started back with 10 minutes on Monday and am adding a minute a day until I get up to 30. If nothing else it’s really nice to have that calm, quiet space in my day.