|photo by Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy|
Kit Frazier is an award-winning mystery author whose books have been Mystery Guild Book-of-the-Month selections and who was named Author of the Month at Barnes & Noble. Titles include Scoop and Dead Copy, among others. A former journalist, Kit lives on a working cattle ranch outside of Austin, Texas. Learn more about Kit and her books at her website.
10 Minutes to a More Creative Life
By Kit Frazier
I know it seems counter intuitive to spend time to save time, but hear me out on this. I had a hard time meditating when I first started because I can't get my brain to shut the hell up. But I've found you don't have to completely shut down, and for me, setting a specific time on my meditation doesn't work; i.e.--I must meditate for 20 minutes--no I don't. I meditate as long as it's beneficial, and the more I meditate, the easier it is.
Part of the beauty of meditating is teaching your mind to be patient with itself.
Yeah, I know. Gah!
A recent study from Harvard University and the University of Sienna found that the powers of meditation go way beyond the whole self-awareness and improving concentration-thing--we've all *know* meditating helps the heart and bolsters the immune system. But consistent bouts of *small* meditation also cuts anxiety and depression--clouds that seem to haunt writers and other creatives.
My Morning Meditation is simple. I call it The Bearable Lightness of *Being*
Find a quiet place to sit and relax. Turn off your phone, put it away and dim the lights. This is your time. A time for total relaxation and inner stillness.
Take a moment to make sure that your clothing is loose and comfortable and that you are seated and comfortable. Rest your hands loosely in your lap.
Now, figuratively close your eyes and understand that you are a Daughter of Creativity.
Take a long, slow, deep breath in . . . hold it for a count of four, and then slowly exhale.
Allow any tension to melt away as your body relaxes more and more deeply with each breath.
Take another long slow, deep breath in . . . hold it for a count of five, and then exhale slowly.
Empty your lungs completely with your exhalation.
Take a third deep breath in. Take your time. Hold it for a count of six and then let it go.
With the release of your breath, you can feel yourself drifting into a state of deep relaxation and creativity.
Suspended above your head is a Golden Ball of Light. It is warm, and gentle, granting you peace and shelter from all harm, from all worry.
You notice and acknowledge that the Golden Ball of Light is the Creative Spirit that lives within you. You welcome this Light as an old friend . . .
You realize the golden light smells slightly of honey, and you breathe it in, infusing your body with the scent of warm sweet smell . . . your skin warms at the familiar scent . . .
As you continue to breathe, the Golden Ball of Light slowly descends, streaming creativity as it barely brushes the tips of your hair.
You welcome this warm touch as the glowing light descends, flowing along and into your scalp, infusing its welcome presence in every cell of your mind, sparking new ideas, completing old and broken thoughts, and comfort comes in this new confidence . . .
You are Creative . . . acknowledge this awareness, and that awareness brings you peace . . .
The warmth continues, and flowing down and down, over and around your face, and you taste the honey of the light on your tongue as it pours through your blood.
You swallow the light, delighting in its sweet taste, as it feeds your mind and body and spirit and creativity . . . you acknowledge the creativity . . .
The Light continues down and down, flooding over your shoulders, you feel it streaming through the veins in your arms, infusing your blood with energy and peace and the spark of ideas, flexing your fingers as it sparks in your fingertips . . . there is power in this knowledge and you know it all the way into the middle of your bones . . .
The light continues, illuminating your lungs, filling them with deep breaths of fresh air, fresh ideas, fresh feelings awaiting your call . . .
Breathing deeply this breath of life, the Light fills your belly, bathes your organs in the soft glow, sends the light rushing through your abdomen, coursing down your legs, carrying your weight on the wind, on your breath . . . your body is weightless and anything is possible . . .
The light courses down and down, running the over and around your thighs, flexing in your knees and calves, down, surrounding you with warmth and light, it surrounds your weightless ankles, caresses the arches of your feet and you notice the Light’s tingling presence in your fingers and toes . . .
The Light is Complete, it completes the circle of energy that is your body . . . the Light floods you inside, filling your body, it surrounds you from the outside, embraces you like a warm, gentle hug and you are surrounded by creativity . . .
You are one with the Universe, and all is possible . . . all is likely . . . all is coming to you, through you, around you . . .
You recognize the light as an Old Friend . . . it is as familiar as an old song . . .
Breath deeply, taking in the light . . .
You are vast. You are weightless. You are timeless. Your path is Clear . . .
All is obtainable, you are able, you are willing, you are one with the Universe . . .
You are ready to take on the World . . .
Now . . .Take a deep breath. Open your eyes. And Write . . .
A MacKinnon Christmas
Cauley’s Christmas To Do List:
1. Identify the Dead Guy.
Not the usual intro to a Christmas To Do List but not so unusual for obituary writer Cauley MacKinnon.
Her problem is complicated by the way the dead guy died--he was gunned down while busting up a convenience store robbery in an eerily similar incident that killed her cop father, ten years before.
Adding to her troubles, she's preparing for her mother's Annual Pre-Christmas Feast of Dysfunction, avoiding her Mama's Knock You Naked eggnog--and she's got exactly 12 hours to make FBI Agent Tom Logan fall in love with her . . .