There is a thought-provoking movie that can be rented on Netflix called The Quantum Activist. It's a documentary about the scientist Dr. Amit Goswami, who comes across as the kindest, gentlest spirit on film.
During the movie, Dr. Goswami explains that when we desire change in our lives, creativity is our best way to explore beyond conditioned behavioral patterns. A key idea proposed by researchers on the subject of human creativity is the importance of balancing doing with being. More specifically, embracing periods of incubation when you just sit on ideas instead of taking action. This period of beingness allows for more possibilities to accumulate so that when you return to doing you have more ideas to choose from; and therefore, increase your chances of reaching the best solution.
Dr. Goswami calls it Do, Be, Do, Be, Do where you value being as much as doing and weave it into your life in such a way that they work together. This concept reminded me art school when teachers asked me step away from my work and then come back to it after awhile to see something new.
Though I make art in this way, I had never consciously applied it to my life until one day at Bikram yoga, I noticed that the whole second half of the series is based on the concept of doing a posture and then being in dead body pose in between -- a place of complete relaxation. Often times I struggle to relinquish myself over to this pose of complete relaxation as I try to hurry the class along in my head or plan for the day. I'm still doing in my head instead of just allowing my body to be. Savasana or dead body pose may actually be the most difficult posture for most students in the class because from early childhood we are conditioned that doing is something of value while being is often discouraged.
On a very basic physical level Bikram yoga is teaching me how to do and be in the microcosm of the classroom so that I can start balancing doing and being outside in the world. When I noticed this was something to build upon, I began looking for ways to incorporate it into my life. What would it look like? Would I work for a couple hours and then go lay in the grass and look up at the sky? Would I turn off all electronic gadgets at the end of the day and just sit with my cat for awhile? Would I put all my projects away and just spend time listening and laughing with friends?
Doing and being are best buds, and as I learn how unify them in the yoga classroom, my deepest is wish is that this habit will eventually extend out into my daily life in a way that allows for creativity to be the root of everything.
The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga.
To shop for yoga charms that celebrate the different poses click here to view this blog post Sterling Silver Charms for Bikram Yoga Postures.