I tend to often get lost in my head... mental to-do lists, planning and organizing in the abstract, capturing ideas and inspiration on the fly, bits of writing that begin to narrate themselves in my mind all vying for space in my uber busy brain. Huge chunks of time can go by where the only thing I am interacting with is my own internal dialogue, so physical practices are a must for my survival and sanity. I sometimes forget this and want to check out by taking a really long nap, but even then my thoughts can still be churning. Don't get me wrong, naps are often an important and beautiful thing, but a lot of the time I am so much better off getting into my body some way to relieve the weight of too much headiness and stress.
Here's a few of my favorite ways to keep the energy flowing as opposed to getting all jammed up in mental and spiritual gridlock, which is mainly where stress and disconnect stem from. I am admittedly writing this list mostly as a big reminder to myself (along with a swift palm to the forehead). Even if you don't suffer from Active-Brain-Itis like I do, where on occasion you reach maximum capacity and think your head is about to explode, these three tools are essential best-living practices in general so great for helping us to keep all things harmoniously moving and grooving... think of them as lube for your creative life!
Exercise :: A whole hour at barre class and not thinking about anything other than the position of my abs and the length of my spine truly is blissful. It's amazingly gratifying to push and stretch to the full (imperfect) amplitude of my muscles while also meeting my physical self with kindness wherever I am on that particular day. It feels both passionate and compassionate and really enjoyable when I just let go into the experience, especially knowing it is something that's good for both my mind and body. I never thought I would say that about exercise. Ever. So trust me, you can get there too.
Sex :: I always lament the way some women often equate sex and exercise as two things that are reluctantly on the should-do list. I think we can be so out of touch with our bodies and physical desires that it makes it so hard to go there, and if I had a magic wand I would wave it to give girls everywhere the power to advocate for a fun, exciting and fulfilling sex life. There is nothing better than a sensual romp for getting you out of your head and into... um, something else... that can help you unwind and deeply connect you with yourself in a way that nothing else can. True story. Knowing how to enjoy and make yourself feel good in your own skin will open doors that you would never expect. Good sex has a positive ripple effect in all areas of your life, and a partner is nice, but completely optional by the way. You can get to it any time.
Making something with your hands :: Baking a cake, digging in the garden, creating a painting, writing long-hand, decorating your space, all have in common two essential things. One, they are all are acts of creativity, and creativity is part movement, part joy, and part meditation if you are doing what you really enjoy. Two, making something is a way of being fully present and in the moment by moving an inspired thought out of your head (it's a beautiful day to work in the garden...), through your heart (I love hydrangeas and can't wait for them to bloom...), and into your hands (getting dirty in the rich and hearty earth), with an end result you can see and touch (a beautiful bouquet of flowers!). Don't forget, the process is what is cleansing and gratifying, not the end result!
All three of these practices actively move our energy from swirling mental vortex, to a proactive, visceral and enjoyable experience. This is the key - a trifecta of core passion, joy, and movement, each with it's own dynamic arc resulting in more overall momentum and ease. You'll be amazed by the unexpected shifts that begin to happen.