Sometimes, when a plot line is fragmenting before my eyes or a character refuses to do what I tell them to (and, more importantly, doesn't give me any other suggestions), I retreat within. No mountain, lotus posture (not with these hips) or kaftan required. Just stillness and the breath. It needn't take long, just a few minutes to recalibrate and remind myself what it's all really about.
Don't get me wrong, I do get through a surprising quantity of snack foods, chocolate (it's a separate category for me) and peppermint tea. And I often love the backdrop of jazz, classical or something from the sixties. But sometimes I get so tangled up and carried away by the business of writing that I forget it's a choice. And not in a good way.
So, here are a few thoughts about the benefits of meditation in the workplace - for those of us lucky enough to have that option.
1. One of the objectives of meditation is integration. No more dichotomies between how you want to behave in your own time and how you feel you need to behave in work life.
2. A mind that in clutter-free is more likely to respond well to stressful situations, difficult people (which could be the same thing), and changing priorities. You can become the still centre of the storm, regardless of what's going on around you.
3. A clear mind is more receptive to intuition, creative inspiration and intelligent choices. Inner calm allows you to operate from a position of non-ego.
4. Stillness begets stillness and peace begets peace. Call it non-violent protest if you want! Meditation reminds us that the workplace doesn't have to be a drama stage or a battlefield.
5. Meditation reclaims the space, so that you have positive associations with work. Let's face it, if you were going to spend upwards of eight hours a day at work, a little tranquility wouldn't go amiss!
How do you keep it together when your writing is coming apart at the seams?