This week I’m sending a deep bow of gratitude to creatives who turned out Thursday night for our last Creative Momentum Gathering of the year. Marylou Gantner, Scientific Relaxation Specialist, was here to teach us the subtleties of stress reduction and breath control. And it wasn’t hard to transfer her insights on tension control to our own creative processes. She was inspiring.
If you missed this session, you might be interested to know that Marylou and I will be doing a workshop on stress reduction, breath control, and creativity in the near future. Watch the newsletter for details. And to whet your appetite for that workshop, let me share a little of what she taught us.
First and foremost, Marylou’s very presence in a room is a powerful lesson because she has practiced her own teaching for decades—and the results are dramatic. She is the master of living life with equanimity and vibrant health. She walks her talk in the most disciplined way I’ve ever seen. She is a role-model for living with awareness, and for understanding what is possible for us. At 80 years old, she is more vibrant, happy, productive, and creative than she’s ever been. What an honor to have her at LifeArt Studio, and to hear the wisdom she has acquired from years of study on breath, tension, and energy.
Marylou shared one notion that really hit home for most of us: how much work it takes to hold tension in our muscles. When we become stressed, the muscles of the body tense. Sometimes in the shoulder. Maybe in the jaw or face. In the back and glutes. We each have our favorite ways of abusing our body. And most of the time, we’re not fully aware of where the tension is taking hold. In her clinical practice, Marylou teaches clients the process of recognizing and then releasing those areas of held tension.
And here’s the clincher: It takes a lot of physical effort to hold the body in a state of tension, and as a result, we sap our precious reserves of energy, leaving us with diminished levels of energy for the actions that are really important.
Think about that: if you could free up all the potential energy that you’re using to keep your body locked down, what would you do with that extra juice? What project would you take up? What relationship would you cultivate? What activity would you find the time to do?
Once we recognize how our conditioned responses are holding us back from living life fully and creatively, we become motivated to direct this freed energy toward flourishing in our “one wild and precious life.” That’s what we’re all about here at LifeArt Studio.
So here’s an idea: Make a commitment in the new year to drop tension, breathe deeply, and create wildly. It’s possible. It’s time. Let Marylou Gantner help.
And we would like to help too! In our December newsletter you’ll find opportunities for listening to your deepest yearnings and cultivating the life conditions, habits of mind, and skillful means it takes to bring those yearnings into the world. You can start in January with a no-cost workshop introducing the core concepts of LifeArt Studio and the foundational practices that support artful living. Reserve your space in Foundational Practices for Health, Happiness, and Ramped-Up Creativity here.
Wishing each and every one of you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Be in gratitude. Sleep well. And breathe.