creativity, the corpse pose + what to do in between projects

Savasana, (often pronounced “sha.vas.nah”,) is also known as the “corpse pose” in yoga. Typically, Savasana is done at the end of your practice. Lie flat on your back, palms to the sky, eyes closed, relaxing every part of your body, focusing on your breath rising and falling.

Savasana is not so much about chillaxin’, as it is about integration. Some teachers will say that if you skip out on Savasana, you lose the benefits of your yoga session.

We rest to integrate the benefits of the work that we have done.

Creative and work cycles need Savasana time – consider it divine debriefing. This is the most under-valued practice in business and busy living. We resist. We fidget. We race forward. For similar reasons, Savasana – undoing, unwinding, letting go – is considered to be one of the most difficult of all yoga postures to master.

Right now, my career / creativity is in Savasana.Which is to say: agitation, satiation, ebullience, and fresh rushes of ambition – all at once. For Creatives (and we’re all Creatives,) this is the unavoidable, slightly uncomfortable, and sacred space between exertion and renewal. If we bypass this place, we miss the most empowering insights of all the work we have done – insights that will fuel us on the next journey.

This is the first time in two years that I haven’t been operating under an intense deadline. A few weeks ago, I delivered my final manuscript for The Fire Starter Sessions. There will be copy edits. My Canadian spelling and poor punctuation will be stripped, but mostly, I am done. I hardly know what to do with myself.

I’ve done the Downward Facing Dog of deals, I’ve done the Tree Pose of multiple product and event launches amidst gusting winds of life upheaval. I’ve sweated and twisted and floated, and I have felt the breath of angels in my lungs as I lifted my ass and aspirations to new levels. So now what? Fidget. Rest. Ready myself.

rest is productive : the savasana of creativity + work

At the end of a big project, you will be pulled with equal force in three directions:

CLEANING UP. You’ve been in the creative bubble. Your auto-responder was set to “don’t bug me,” your door mat said “Unwelcome.” Now your inbox is encrusted with emails like barnacles on an ocean-liner. There are many things that legitimately need tending to, people you care about are waiting, and you genuinely want to move into responsive mode. But you also really need…

STILLNESS. Your mind has been burning for so longing that needs the cooling effect of suspension and ambling. A nap. Reading a book unrelated to your line of work. Unscheduled time. Listening, receiving.

NEWNESS. Part of you is raring to get going on the next Big Thing. You’re wired to make stuff. It’s what you do. If I was more chemically imbalanced, I would have started my new book the day after I submitted my last book, (it crossed my mind. The next tome is burning a hole in my heart.) But I knew it was Savasana time.

Prone on the floor with your eyes closed, it’s easy to fall asleep in Savasana. Some yoga instructors discourage this because it’s not about escaping per se, it’s about integration. I used to consider it nap time. But now I listen, and I hear so much more. And I re-enter the world more energized.

The same approach applies to work. I used to wrap a project, crash hard, and then zip into the next thing. Now…I sit with both the discomfort and the enthusiasm. I stay awake and look at where I’ve been and how it relates – or doesn’t – to where I want to go.

We rest to integrate the benefits of the work that we have done.

CLEAN UP without rushing, without panic or guilt, and with respect for the patience you’ve been shown.

BE STILL in the ways that your body and mind crave.

LET THE NEWNESS ROOT. Allow yourself to be sensationally excited…without acting on it…yet.

When you rest, you have space for all of it.
And when you rise to meet the future, you will be very, very ready.

 

 

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