This is my fourth time teaching Stunt Writing for Personal Growth so how do I, as the teacher, up the ante? I’ve decided to blog here about my own Stunt, an investigation surrounding the body/ mind connection. Everything I write here is just a draft, and not meant to push or influence anyone taking the class. I am looking for the same thing as everyone: a better knowledge of myself, to push through some boundaries, and also to reinvigorate integrative process of teaching and learning.
STUNT WRITING FOR PERSONAL GROWTH: Parameters
- I commit to writing for 30 minutes every day.
- My stunt is focused around: connecting the body and mind
- I will consider this aspect of my life from 3 different perspectives, one each week for 3 weeks.
WEEK ONE: MENTAL AND PHYSICAL: (internal) meditate every morning for 30 minutes, after reading a passage from Buddha’s Brain.
WEEK TWO: MENTAL AND PHYSICAL: *(external)I will take the baby Moyo drum (a steel drum hand tuned to a pentatonic scale with a chiming melody click for a video on Youtube) to the park and play it for an hour for anyone who will listen. I will write about what it is like to be physically present, playing music for everyone to hear.
WEEK THREE: (physical) Try going to see a Rolfer, it is a type of body work described as, “Structural Integration is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body.” I know very little about this method beyond what a friend who tried it has told me.
#1 Write a short paragraph about what your stunt is, this will be your “plan of attack.”
Dan Gilbert, who wrote the book Stumbling on Happiness, and his eponymous TED Talk said, “Research suggests that people are typically unaware of the reasons why they are doing what they are doing, but when asked for a reason, they readily supply one.” We think we know why we choose one thing over another, why we follow the same path, why we order the same thing…but we don’t. We just have rote responses for why we act they way that we do. It is time to slow down, sit with yourself, and use the Stunt Writing experiential exercises and writing to synthesize what is on your mind. I think it is fun to sit on the sidelines and teach, but I also need to keep myself engaged and learning new things. I have found that over and over I return to the same discomfort in my life. My brain wants to exist without my body. I can literally melt into a computer for hours without even thinking to go outside and greet the real-life day. Finding ways to reconnect my body and mind has always been a challenge and I think I am ready to try some new modalities or come up with a new balanced practice.
My stunt will be a mix between trying new body-mind connected activities and trying to engage in having the discipline to have a strict practice.In meditation you follow your breath, the connection between clearing your mind and experiencing your breath travel through the body. I am also on body/mind medication as someone with an anxiety disorder. My mental practice is reading, writing, processing and creating. My physical process is sleeping, cooking and crafting (thinking and doing at the same time), how I feel about walking and exercise, how I felt that my body betrayed me with cancer, aging gracefully as one of my goals for 2015/ getting married, how I walk but listen to podcasts so I barely feel it in my body, I take a pilates class because it gives me a chance to space out away from the screen and build my muscles.
Is the connection between my body and mind broken? Or as we get older do we become not as aligned. My idea of heaven is a salt water pool– the ability to float in warm water at night looking up at the stars in silence.
I also often feel overwhelmed with information from being on the internet so much, and I want to remind myself of this quote I read recently from the letters of T. S. Eliot, “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” Do I need to read that next article, open another browser window or tab through stories on my phone. I will question it.
#2 Create Restrictions: Removal, Consequences, Places, People, Research, Data, Change and Practice
- Removal: I will give myself an hour break when I feel overwhelmed
- Consequences: I will be honest with the class when I don’t fulfill my own plan
- Places: I will check in with myself and try to figure out how I react to my environment
- People: I will ask friends about how they deal with the body/mind connection
- Research: I will conduct research online and also reference the book, the Buddha’s Brain
- Practice: I will prepare for my stay at the New Calmoldi Monastary