I can be an extremely “heady” person.
I often get stuck in my thoughts and inside of my mind and, I swear, it almost feels at times like I’ve forgotten that I even have a body.
And there’s nothing wrong with being this way—a lot of creative people are like this too.
On the other hand, we are physical, primitive beings, just like any other animal on God’s green earth and we need to remember this, if only to continue to be able to create.
For example, the concept for the book I’m working on right now—the first book since my personally prized (un-published) memoir to truly and completely excite me—came to me while (gasp!) living my life.
So here are ways to get back in touch with the rest of ourselves, especially when we’ve gotten stuck within our brains—so that we can once again be the real-life heroes of our stories:
1. Practice yoga.
This one cannot come as a gigantic shock.
The physical practice of asana is specifically designed to move energy within our body and release physical blockages.
This isn’t all hooey and hocus pocus, either—tension is stored inside muscle tissues; areas we clench and tighten when experience mental or emotional frustration—and taking these tissues through a range of yoga postures helps us to create a body that’s supple and strong—and more prepared for the next challenges that will surely arise.
2. Get outside.
I was walking with my dad the other week and I told him that I think a period of melancholy I had been going through was directly attributed to being trapped indoors.
I have a toddler and live in a chilly winter climate and it’s just not possible for her and I to head outside for our one to two hour daily walks, like we’d become accustomed to before the cold weather hit.
Nature is where we are meant to spend time. We are not created to be cooped up in cubicles on computers all day. And, although this might be somewhat unavoidable, just getting outside for five to ten minutes is both refreshing and invigorating to us—body, mind and spirit.
Yet, this is true. If you’re a consenting, safe-playing adult, making love is one of the best prescriptions for getting out of a mental rut and back into the clarity of a happy body.
Yes, yoga class is amazing—but it’s not the only thing out there that can help to heal your body and heart.
Sometimes taking a spin on my circa-1980s Nordic Track is a surefire way to make me feel blissed out and ready to take on life again.
5. Throw away your limitations.
Yes, I’m a cerebral sort of lady—but if I tell myself, and others, that I am something, I’m limiting myself.
I’m boxing myself into a self-constructed category of who and what I am—and what I’m capable of.
So, guess what else I tell myself I am?
Here’s a laundry list: an athlete, an all-around do-gooder, a hard-worker, and, last but not least, someone who’s capable of anything.
If you find yourself feeling pressured to live or behave in a certain manner, then consider trying, for one day, putting on a new label that you admire but think you cannot wear. (My guess is that you’ll be surprised—and that this new name tag might never come off).
Because, the thing is this, life is only what we make it.
And, what are we waiting for (I mean, really)?
The only thing I’m waiting for is to see what next hurdle my mentally creative mind wants to see me hop over.
Photo: Lance Neilson/Flickr.
This article was first published by elephant journal.