Dear Reader and Self-Compassionate Soul, Welcome to Mid-December! In the next few days, try the below suggestions to reconnect to those who came before us–choose activities that move you away from technology and ground you in the present.
Give yourself a bit of a power outage. Spend an evening in only candlelight, or the light of a fireplace. Trace your ancestry back to the times when evenings would be spent sewing, drawing, reading, or writing letters by firelight. Soak in the simplicity. In yoga, the practice of sense withdrawal is called Pratyahara, and it is the precursor to meditation. We are often bombarded with stimulus. The more we practice minimalizing stimulus, and drawing our senses inward, the more we activate our intuition, a key aspect for creativity to flourish.
Turn off your TV and computer, and reconnect with the radio era. Make a cup of tea, grab your favorite blanket–anything that will make you feel cozy–and listen to a podcast (some of my favorites include The Moth‘s storytelling radio hour and On Being, which looks at what it means to be human). While you listen, close your eyes. This is the fastest way to bring your mind into concentration. Our vision occupies 40% of our brain’s capacity. Rest your eyes as you enjoy a story being told to you, or listen to a conversation you don’t need to participate in.
Spend an evening reading aloud. Read to a friend, a loved one, or to someone at a senior center. If possible, switch turns so the other person can also read aloud to you. Experience the texture and tone of their voice and enjoy seeing a story unravel only through your imagination.
I wish you joy in simplicity & letting your senses rest.
To peaceful evenings & basking in the benefits of past eras,
Writing Prompt: What was your experience with the above suggestions? Did any resonate with you? If so, in what way? Did eliminating stimulus and distraction spark your imagination? Explore how resting your senses and moving inward can deepen your writing and creative practices.