Friday, October 2, 2015

Just breathe

Sometimes my emotions get on a train track I wish that they would stay off of...

I feel anxious.
Or disconnected.
Or irritated.
Or I want to wrap myself in a blanket and not step out into the day.

One of the great gifts yoga has given me is learning that just as our emotions impact our breathing, our breathing can impact our emotions. Deep, even, thoughtful breaths can bring about balance.

Sometimes, we really do just need to remember to breathe.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If it isn't a problem, it probably doesn't need a solution.

Once in yoga teacher training, I couldn't do what the teacher was asking me to do.  When I was sharing this with Alyson-in-Triplicate later, she said: "It's because your brain is too involved. Get your brain out of it!"


"Just turn it off."

I tried Alyson's technique--impossible as it sounded--and suddenly I was able to do what I wanted to do.

Our brains spend a lot of time in judgment of ourselves.  Evaluating, critiquing. The problem with that is that anything to which we assign negative criticism becomes "a problem to be solved." (Which I'm pretty sure our brains love. Problems are puzzles.  Good work brain!)

You know that axiom that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail?  Well, it occurs to me that if our brains are always in problem-solving mode, then everything starts to look like a problem.

But we can release the need to solve.  Seriously.  We can. Just. Stop.

We can let our brains play. Daydream. Meditate.

I do know this.  If we leave them in problem-solving mode all the time, then that is all our brains will ever get to do. And as John Eldridge put it, "Life is not a problem to be solved. It is an adventure to be lived."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Art, Life and Oral Fixation

In a strange serendipity of "Art Imitating Life" or "Life Imitating Art" or however that phrase is supposed to go, I'm currently living in dejavu of the book I just finished.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story shares what Donald Miller discovered when two men decided to make the memoir he wrote into a movie. Don shares how odd it was to have people talk through his life and craft a movie plot. (The book explores how the changes they made to his "character" made him change his own life.)

I'm not sure why exactly I decided to submit a story for the Oral Fixation show. All I know is that I went to see Justin Nygren perform in it; was really inspired by the stories I heard; then woke up the next day with words in my head around the next theme they announced.

While I've written out scenes of my life before while blogging, most of my published work with an editor isn't personal. I'm finding it a completely different process to go through an editorial review when the subject is me.

Unexpectedly, I've found myself living Donald's experience. Nicole Stewart Schlessinger--the creator and director for the Oral Fixation show--is VERY good at working with artists, but it is still a weird experience to talk about story flow and character motivation when the character is yourself.

In Donald's case, they took artistic license with the story to be able to create the movie plot. In Oral Fixation, you make edits while keeping every piece of the story completely true.

I've mentioned before that we have to move faster than the doubts. And in this project I'm finding that every neurosis, doubt and second-guessing thought I could ever possibly have is a relentless stream of fear in my brain.  What is this thing that makes us want to do stuff, then tells us for sure we will absolutely, positively fail at it?

Oral Fixation's "In the Doghouse" is Wednesday, October 21 at the Dallas City Performance Hall.  It's a cool experience, and you can get tickets here: