Watch Out: Creativity and the Power of Standing (Still)

My sister, a mental health therapist, has mentioned an approach she uses with some of her clients that she refers to as “posture and purpose,” reminding them to keep standing tall both in body and in mind, and to think and continue to move forward. She advises them to raise their eyes often, that this lifting up of the eyes and the face to the sky invokes some of the muscles that also are triggered by a smile. This reminds me of “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan’s advice to maintain a sense of calm assertiveness, and his own upright posture, shoulders back, chest expanded. It also reminds me of voice lessons in which I was asked to feel like a line connected my upper chest to the sky, so I always had an uplifted feeling, allowing capacity of breath, and to keep my eyes looking forward to help cast the sound to the ends of the room. Posture and purpose. This all feels like excellent advice for life and for creativity. But, as I reminded my sister, it was with upright posture and forward momentum in pursuit of the great purpose of watering an outdoor plant that had faded in the heat that I rammed my little toe into the leg of a chair, causing pain and limping for weeks. So there must be some caveats to all this good advice that I have not yet learned about.

I have not been writing much these days, so I need to at least make sure I’m maintaining a posture and positiveness that will allow ideas and creativity to come, not curl up into concerns and idle distractions, eyes on the ground. I’ve been feeling bad about not writing, but need to remember that there’s not-doing and there’s being. It occurs to me that this notion of posture and purpose can at least pull me from a slouch of not-doing to a stance of being. But it seems like I shouldn’t make any sudden movements. Or at least wear shoes.

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