Take a slow, deep, breath in.
Hold it for the count of three.
Let it out.
Take another slow, deep, breath in.
She’s sitting at her desk, feeling stuck, frustrated. Half written sentences fill a mostly white screen. Backspace. Delete. Ugh. Out of sync. Unhappy. The work feels painful.
She starts taking the frustration personally: “Why can’t I figure this out?” “I must be doing something wrong.” “Maybe I’m not cut out to write in the first place.”
She gulps her tea. Eats a handful of almonds aggressively and swiftly.
She’s uncomfortable. Back sore. Toes gripping the edge of the seat. Her knees pulled up to her chest, her arms holding them tightly in place, reaching around for the keyboard.
Blood tourniqueted by the tight angles of her limbs. Her writing cut off from its poetic potential.
Why We Tighten
Although uncomfortable and stuck, she sat there diligently because she was called to stay. The spark to create was there. The want, the drive, was quietly flickering. (Although dim and desperately needing oxygen.)
What happens when we do work that matters to us, is we tighten unconsciously, in the same way we might cross our arms when in new, vulnerable, or uncomfortable situations.
Similarly, we want to protect ourselves from the vulnerability and potential of creating. When we curl our bodies up, hold on to tension or discomfort, our writing tightens and slowly suffocates.
To fan the fires, to open ourselves up, to unblock creative roadblocks, we breathe.
The reason this works is because writing is embodied; it is breath.
When we feel stuck it’s often because we are not writing from an embodied place. So naturally, taking the time to breathe allows our writing to feel and flow with ease.
How to Get in Your Body
She unwinds her legs and puts both feet on the ground.
She gets comfortable in her body.
She lifts the crown of her head up.
She pictures her spine lengthening.
Shoulders float up and back.
Both eyelids drift close.
Attention draws to her breath.
Tension releases on the exhale.
Lightness and light enter on the inhale.
Starting to Write
After getting in her body, she starts to type again. This time her body is strong, confident, soft. Her words relax. Her words reinvigorate. If she were writing in a notebook, the letters would be bigger, easy, messy.
Blood flowing: The rush of oxygenated cells move easily and create heat.
You are also her. She is we.
When you are struggling to get words out, get back in your body. Get back in your breath.
Writing is breathing on the page.
Your body is the bridge that takes the words from your imagination to paper. Your self-expression comes in rhythms, in dancing motions.Soften your body. Soften your thoughts. Then the words will come.Click To Tweet
Nurture Creative Flow
Start noticing what projects make you tense. Notice which ones make you feel comfortable and loose. Do more of these. Nurture these. Spend time here.
When stuck and tense, breathe. Connect. Open your body.
Soften and breathe to set yourself up to write joyfully.
There is joy in creating. Joy in allowing the words to rush from the spark of your nervous system and translate into the magical ones and zeros on the page.
Set yourself up to experience joy by opening your body to it.
This time, let it out with conviction.
Let it out with confidence.
Let it out with the potential of creating something, because that is exactly what you are here to do.