Opening to receptivity

Last week I wrote in my morning pages, but not in this journal, that I was feeling a bit creatively tense — the imagination’s equivalent of how I feel when I haven’t done any yoga in a week or haven’t slept very well: it’s not like I can’t move, but there isn’t the same quality of joy and freedom in the movement as there is when I’m properly limbered up and well rested. It was partly the colonoscopy, partly the constant back and forth of driving to San Jose and the duties of family and so forth, partly all the decoupaging and probably even the drawing and writing I’d been doing before that. All of these activities are fun and important, but they’re creatively draining. I needed some deeper rejuvenation and some more well-filling.

Apparently I’ve been getting the rejuvenation and well-filling, because today in yoga I found my mind teeming with ideas, and I just felt receptive to the universe’s artistic currents in a way I haven’t felt in several weeks. When I’m feeling receptive, it’s like the ideas are all around me and all I have to do is wait for them to flow in. When I’m not, I can still create, but ideas come from my conscious mind and aren’t as free-associating and rich as they are when I’m in a more receptive state. (It does please me that I’m able to recognize these shifts in consciousness now!) I think I especially noticed this in yoga because yesterday I went to David’s yoga class and that was new, and then today I went to a brand-new studio with a beautiful space, and that was new too. Maybe doing particularly inspiring new things helps cultivate receptivity; that would make sense, because learning new things brings me to a beginner’s mind (which in yoga is considered the highest kind of attitude), and experiencing new surroundings and people brings me to a child’s mind (which Julia Cameron says is where creativity comes from).

Anyway, today’s ideas, which I hope to act on at a later date:

  1. Perhaps the reason I am not as offended as some other critically-thinking Asian Americans by Othering of Asians is that I have always felt both an I-ness and an Otherness toward my Asianness. (This is a heinous sentence, but it gets my point across, at least to me.) As an ABC, China was a foreign land; even Chinatown was foreign, compared to the mostly-white suburbs in which we lived, and my fellow Chinese-school students were also foreign, because they understood Mandarin and I only partly did. From my parents I learned that other dialects, other cultures within Chinese were also foreign to them. And then there are Koreans and Japanese and Vietnamese and all other Asians, which are mostly-foreign cultures to us as well. Just from our Asian and Asian American experience, we do understand many Asian cultures in a way that non-Asians generally don’t, but their Otherness is still readily accessible to me. Asian American solidarity movements emphasize our similarities, but there are differences that still resonate with me. This is something interesting to think about.
  2. Rosy said she always gets pigeon (ekapatarajakapotasana) and dolphin (pinscha mayurasana) confused. This got me thinking about a world in which dolphins take the place of pigeons: carrier dolphins, dolphins hanging out in the streets, dolphins everywhere. This would have to be a world of canals and floating residences. This has the possibility to be extremely beautiful and interesting.
  3. I was in Shoulderstand and this allowed me to look behind me at the mirror, which I was also seeing upside-down because of the inversion. The studio ceiling has shimmering lengths of silk suspended between beams, and from an upside-down view this appeared as a springy, light-filled, multi-colored floor. I thought how fabulous it would be if we could really walk on a surface that looked like this, and this idea called to mind children’s playgrounds. It’d be fun to draw an extended, multi-page version of this Seussian image!

Speaking of ideas, I also wrote something last week that I keep intending to blog. This is about relationships and equality and symmetry, and it’s based on a chapter in Composing a Life. I’ll have to get to that later this week.