At Saturday's workshop, we spent a little time on the use of simple physical jobs as a form of meditation to improve our writing. As in: do a little writing, do a little laundry or sweeping or sorting, then write some more. Once we've cranked up the writing, then the rumination continues, in a more relaxed and less conscious and more wide-reaching way, while we're doing the housekeeping task.
To demonstrate, I brought along several pounds of bright plastic beads of dozens of different colors and shapes. I ladled out a couple of good handfuls to each participant and asked them to sort for a while and then go back to their writing. It's amazing how a "mindless" meditative interlude stirs the imagination and problem-solving abilities of someone who has already fed in the basic facts.
I used to do a fair amount of advertising copywriting. For a while, I felt that I was so-so just-adequate at it. Then I started meditating, and I got to be pretty good.
What I'd do is read the material on the product or service, then meditate for half an hour with a mental focus that didn't allow me to cogitate on the ad job. Often a headline or two for an ad would pop into my head just as I ended my meditation. And even if it didn't, I came back to the work more relaxed.
One of the writers at the workshop said that she keeps a huge jigsaw puzzle going in the room where she works. Now and then she'll loosen up her mind again with a puzzle break, which I think is a wonderful and pleasant strategy.
In other news, here's a good quote, passed on from Mamie of Can I Do It?:
Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
- Orison Swett Marden
And welcome to Alexandre Ferrari.