Change the way you move, change the way you think. Movement is something so many people take for granted and don’t often appreciate the ways that our bodies’ health has so much to do with our brain’s health. I love walking and find that many of my issues of the day are resolved or dissolved by the end of twenty minutes moving through space at a good clip. I am able to walk out things that require planning, patience, understanding and forgiveness. I can start to deflate anger and anxiety by redirecting my energy from emotional to physical simply by moving one foot in front of the other. I always come back calm and clear.
I wonder how many people who experience road rage would ever attempt to speed after another driver if they had to on foot. I doubt they would remember why they were mad if they did catch up to the offender.
Running, dancing, being actively involved in physical movement helps both body and brain. Not everyone has complete freedom of physical motion, but I believe it’s still important to find ways to create tactile experiences that challenge the brain. As much as I enjoy walking, some days my feet hurt and I really can’t do the major hike. On those days I make large circles with my arms to open up my breathing, I may end up incorporating circles somewhere in the next painting. I may simply loosen up enough to get the oxygen flowing, so I can think more clearly about my next creative project. I was never much of a fidgeter, but I’ll bet that kind of energy goes to creative use.
Movement can elicit great joy. I remember when I was a kid, my family had impromptu dance parties in the living room. Dad played records on the Hi-Fi and Mom and the rest of us danced. Any cousins visiting got caught up in the mania. We danced the Twist, the Mash Potato, the Swim, even the Cha Cha and “was it the moon, no, no the Bossa Nova?” Whatever music got spun, we were up dancing to it. It was absolutely joyful. I believe that ritual supported a lot of creativity in my whole family.
I’ve rediscovered that old joy plugging by into my new IPod and dancing about the house when nobody’s home. But to be honest, I think it’s time for a real dance party and maybe to pull out the Hi-Fi and vinyl. More dancers can only increase the creative energy in the room.
You will notice that I have not mentioned sports as it pertains to creative movement (well, actually I just did), but it’s a topic for another day. Right now, come to my dance party!