I once lost three whole chapters of a novel I was writing when my laptop died suddenly on an airplane. I didn’t have internet back up, I didn’t have my chapters saved on a memory stick, I didn’t even have the ability to recover my hard drive. Over 9,000 words, gone in an instant. I was devastated.
It took me a long while just to come to terms with the fact I’d lost all my hard work. There had to be a way to rescue my words from obliteration, surely. But there wasn’t. My poor computer was beyond repair and those three chapters were history.
Eventually, I knew I had to start over. I had to recreate my creation. But I thought what I’d written was perfect, and I couldn’t imagine how to capture that magic all over again. So I decided to sleep on it. Or rather, dream on it. I’d read that Edison, Dali and other great minds had used their dream states for inspiration. They would drift off to sleep, and just as their subconscious minds took over, opening to the infinite wisdom of that mysterious space between reality and fantasy, they would wake with the aid of a key or metal ball dropping from their hands.
But I had a different sort of dream state in mind. Rather than completely drift off, I planned to open the path between conscious thought and infinite wisdom without engaging the wacky wonders of my subconscious mind. I was going straight to the “superconscious mind.” Carl Jung coined this term to describe the collective wisdom and knowledge of all our ancestors. But I think it’s more than that. I think it’s our true Self we’re really tapping into. And the best way I know to connect with that source of supreme intelligence? Yoga.
Something happens when you practice yoga. It’s more than just physical exertion, and I can’t really explain it. But when you align your breath with your movement, it’s as if a portal opens to your higher intelligence, your true Self.
So, I unfurled my yoga mat, put on a little bing-bong music and set an intention – to find my words. I led my body through a series of sun salutations, standing poses and finally a number or restorative postures until my limbs were loose and my heart was light. Then, ready for inspiration to begin, I lay down in Savasana (corpse pose) and allowed the ideas to flood my mind. It didn’t take long, and soon I was at the keyboard typing away. And you know what? Those three new chapters were even better than the ones I’d lost.
The next time you’re struggling to overcome a block in your creativity, try taking your problem to your yoga mat. Or, just try my 10 Minute Stretch. It might open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.