Mantras & Meditation – A cure for writer’s block? Maybe.

Lately I’ve been having a bit of a writer’s block. The usual things that inspire me to write just haven’t had the same appeal lately. Maybe it’s because there’s been a lot of things going on in my life – new job, mountains of laundry, relationships, been sick, I can go on…the little stresses of everyday life have begun to pile up and I even started to feel knots in my back. Stress definitely doesn’t help the creative writing process. I was writing last night in my journal, it’s one of the ways that helps me sort out my feelings and thoughts, and a mantra popped in my head. It came out of no where and after I got done writing in my journal I did some research on the Internet.

One of the things I read about mantras is that they usually come about in two ways: they’re given to you by your spiritual teacher or they come about in moments of reflection. Now, I’m not going to share my mantra (maybe down the road) because your mantra is suppose to be kept secret to yourself. The reason why your mantra shouldn’t be made public is because it decreases the efficacy of the mantra. An analogy that was used is that a mantra is like a seed in that it needs to be protected from the outside influences of the world. A mantra can only grow if it’s sheltered and nurtured in private. If it’s exposed to the elements of the world then it can never flourish.

Well, since this mantra popped into my head I figured it must mean something, right? So I began to think and thought why not start meditating to help me focus my mind and decrease my stress.  People have been doing it for centuries and it seems to have worked out pretty well for them. So I went back to Google to read some beginner guide articles for proper technique and advice. After hitting a couple websites, I decided to give it a whirl. I put my phone timer for 15 minutes, found a comfy spot on my bedroom floor and closed my eyes. One of the pieces of advice for beginners to help concentrate only on breathing is to say “I am breathing in, I am breathing out.” I thought it was going to be relatively easy. How hard is it to sit in one spot and focus on just breathing?  Actually, it’s really freakin hard! My mind was all over the place. Here’s a little sample of my thoughts: I am breathing in, I am breathing out, I am breathing in, I am breathing out…I wonder how long I’ve been sitting here…crap! concentrate on breathing…I am breathing in, I am breathing out…I need to get my oil change, I think I should go to a new place though…think about that later, concentrate on breathing….

I sat there for 15 minutes without looking at the timer but it felt so much longer. After it was done though I did feel a lot more relaxed. I went to sleep quicker and woke up a little more refreshed then usual. I did it again in the morning and it was just as hard to concentrate on just my breathing as the night before. I’m going to keep meditating once in the morning and once at night while repeating my mantra to see what happens. Even if it doesn’t help me get over this writer’s block at least it’ll make me a little less stressed out so I can enjoy my days more. I’ll write an update in a week or so to let you know if there’s been any progress. What about you? When you have a writer’s block what do you to help get over it?

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