Meditating your way to Creativity
I used to be a wannabe creative.
I was a writer who felt like I didn’t have the right to write. It’s easy to see why. We’ve all been told the lies; we’ve all gone too far down the conservative career path before we find out the truth. Sometimes we know our true destiny as small children, but forget somewhere along the way. Sometimes, we discover our calling “too late”, and lack the courage to do what feels right.
We all have something unique that we can offer: a sacred contract to fulfil with the universe. And most of these contracts are actually… creative.
We were designed to create
You might argue that your purpose in life has nothing to do with creativity. But we are creations ourselves: human creations, than in turn, are unique in our abilities to create. We’ve created pleasure, we’ve created disaster, and our current challenge is to create positive change. Our lives have EVERYTHING to do with creativity to navigate the problematic and changing states of our current world.
Whether you’re an artist, writer, musician; or a project manager, data analyst, biology researcher, or sustainable developer: all these careers depend on creativity to thrive. But most of us don’t want to adopt the term “creative” because of the lazy, negative rap it gets. Which is total bullshit.
I know this now, but I got lost along the way. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was a little girl: I was busy creating storybooks for my family and neighbours as soon as I learned to read and write. I was illustrating my own cover designs in watercolour pencils, and I refused to buy birthday cards for anyone, because it was my one opportunity per year to show that person that I was creative.
Then I grew up and found out that artists and writers “can’t make money.” So I became an English teacher. Close enough, right?
I spent more than ten years assessing other people’s creativity, but something was bubbling up inside me. It wasn’t that I was a bad teacher. It’s just that I wasn’t writing anymore.
How yoga unlocks the mind-body connection
Fast forward a few sad, stressed and confused years. My body called out to me with all kinds of ailments. I got a crippling back pain –
And finally I went to my first yoga class.
I squeezed myself into all sorts of positions that felt both painful and exhilarating. My mind calmed. I was entranced by the incense and the sound of Indian music. At the end of the class, the instructor told everyone to lie down, put a bolster under your knees, close your eyes and forget about the world.
I watched the rest of the class eagerly getting comfy under their blankies, sighing and placing their hands by their sides.
And then I closed my eyes.
And magic happened. I fell away from the world. For ten minutes.
I didn’t quite fall asleep, but I experienced something different to my ordinary life. I saw things, and dug up memories and feelings I hadn’t felt since I was a little girl. Me, the Creative, came back to life.
I walked out of that class with a little tear in my eye, got into my car, picked up my phone, and wrote and wrote and wrote in my little notes app. I hadn’t felt like a real writer for years, until that night.
Meditation allowed me to drop deeper into my subconscious and access my full potential. So I went every week, and then it grew to twice a week – even though I wasn’t the most flexible or strong yogi. But I was getting there.
All I knew was, if I did a yoga class, I would get to do Savasana. And during meditation, my brain let go… and I was able to be a writer again.
My Sankalpa: The mind-body connection in full force
Creativity slowly began sprouting its seed, once I planted it. It became my Sankalpa, my statement of change. No longer would I be a stifled creative. I was going to harness a life of Creativity, and I was going to marry Confidence, and I would walk through every uncomfortable door to get there.
Yoga, and more specifically pranayama and meditation techniques, has helped me to overcome my greatest problem – the creativity block. It has been the stimulus to dream, focus, write, travel. To enrol in my Masters of Creative Writing and quit my stressful job in teaching. I also found a new home in one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in Australia.
I’m now living my dream: writing a novel, teaching yoga and conducting creativity workshops. I’m still a teacher – but in a different, more creative way.
I realised that this new creative path is a vocation that I will never want to retire from. I can’t wait to be the 90 year old thriving yogi who is still giving to the world. I’m going to be that limber, intelligent, creative, inspiring woman I’ve always wanted to be.
Coincidentally, I’m also in the most loving relationship I’ve ever experienced. And he’s joined the yoga journey with me too. There is something so addictive about inner peace.
Looking inside - inversion – is to fulfil a contract with the universe. It’s something larger than yourself. If nothing else… It feels good to meditate… and create.
Rose Mascaro is a Yoga Alliance Accredited Yoga teacher, trained at the Byron Yoga Centre. She also has studied Transcendental Meditation. She is currently studying her Masters in Creative Writing at UTS, Sydney, and writing her first novel, inspired by her South American travels. She teaches yoga and creativity workshops across the Central Coast of NSW.
You can connect with Rose @roseonthecoastyoga and @meditationwriter