Thursday, September 14, 2006


Life of the Mind, Life of the Body

Most of us have heard of the phrase "life of the mind," usually used as a positive reference to someone who leads a life with lots of mental work. I love mental work and do a ton of it. However, if I do too much in one sitting, my head starts feeling doppy. When I look up from my mental work or step away from it, I feel as though I'm living in a half-dimension. My vision is blurry. I've been away and it's hard to come back to the real world.

But, oh! That real world is so critical to the mental world. I've found that it's just as important to live a life of the body as well as a life of the mind. Now, some might think the phrase "life of the body" seems akin to living a life of the flesh, as though I'm promoting prostitution or something. Regardless of your thoughts on THAT topic, we don't tend to give a lot of credence to our physical selves until they fall into a disease state. Then we realize how critical our physical selves are to our mental selves. In fact, too much mental work, which I've been indulging in lately, tends to make my physical self ill. It's as though my body is screaming for attention. And it is. Rest, outright snoozing and engaging in physical labor all make me feel better and recharge my creative energies.

When I behaving sanely, I always intersperse my writing time (major mental work) with something physical. It feels a little crazy to admit this, but I like to take dance breaks. Sometimes I even warm up for writing by dancing first. It gets the wiggles out and settles my mind.

Songs I use to warm up:

Queen: Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy & A Kind of Magic
Michael Buble: Fever
Ultravox: Vienna
ABBA: Take your pick of songs
: All of these are from the album Star -Feed the Tree & Slow Dog & Gepetto (This last one will really get your blood moving)

Once in a while I'll throw in some Gwen Stefani or Madonna.

Now, if people could see my dancing, they'd probably laugh at me. Tough cookies. As long as I do it alone, what's the problem? It's just me and God and God doesn't care how I look.

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