Consistency matters! (as Mork from Ork would say, humour, arr arr…)
A lot of people think chiropractic is either woo-woo or dangerous, but I’ve been seeing my friend Darren for 15 years. He’s not a ‘back-cracker”; he uses x-rays and a clicker thing, and you lie on a table with a special mechanism that adjusts the atlas bone safely. It’s all about electrical impulses…that’s as much as I know after 15 years, but it’s decidedly 99% woo-free!
This post isn’t about referring my chiro, it’s about something he said to me yesterday.
When I took up yoga seriously 5 years ago, I needed to see Darren less and less. I felt strong and straight and didn’t suffer the back and neck stiffness that had plagued me on and off since childhood. But lately, hours sitting at a desk and not enough yoga or exercise have meant back pain and stiffness have come back with a vengeance! (I used to stand at my desk and while painting in the past.)
Darren was happy to see me and reminded me that as I age I owe it to myself to take better care of myself. The key to health as we age, he went on, is Consistency.
I haven’t been very consistent with my health lately. I need to make time for yoga daily, not just the Ashtanga-based classes twice a week (yoga with Adreine – search on youtube. she’s brilliant!) I need to walk more (also great for integration after a free-writing session. Julia Cameron and Stephen King both swear by this, although SK nearly died during one walk…keep your eyes on the traffic peeps!) And I need to see my health care professionals more consistently if I want to keep my health in perfect condition.
I’ve rigged up a standing desk which is alleviating the back pain, but my free-writing is still done seated. I’m not sure how I’d do that standing… Joanna Penn has written a great book on the subject of the healthy writing.
For our creative work too, consistency is the key to both quantity and quality. We all know about the 10,000 hours it takes to gain mastery in an area (google Malcolm Gladwell The Outliers) but as others have said (and no I can’t think of exactly who I heard say this first…) it’s not just the hours we put into our work. It’s the hours between…the 20,000 hours of rest and sleep and doing other things including exercise and meditation that allows us to marinate, to steep in our efforts. Sure someone could work their butts off for say, 416 days, and following the 10,000 hours theory achieve mastery, but it’s just not that simple. (Okay, I know someone isn’t going to stay awake for 416 days straight…work with me on this…)
Amit Goswami puts it this way. Putting out our best creative work and thriving in the process is a matter of Do be do be do. Do, relax, make, chill, create, exercise, do, meditate, do… love it. This is consistency in our creative output and helps us build a life worth living. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in our drive to build a career so gently reminders are important if we want to avoid those big wake-up calls that the universe seems to be quite fond of…
Quote of the Day
If I am not for myself, what am I? If I am only for myself what am I? ~Jewish proverb
Something else I am thinking about…I noticed a small sign in the video above with Joanna Penn. It read “The Race to the Stones”. I don’t know about you, but I am very interested in walks and pilgrimages, and all things Celtic/English. I am playing around with a story that I feel will be a project that will take me a while, the premise being that England was once connected to Normandy. My family of origin is from Norfolk, and I am fascinated with the Wiltshire/Somerset/Berkshire and obviously the standing stones at Avebury and Stonehenge. https://www.racetothestones.com/route/
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