We all experience sleepless nights.
I’m not talking about having a baby cry every other hour in the next room or a roommate who insists he doesn’t snore. I’m talking about the buzzing brain that won’t quiet until it can create.
Some people personify their creativity as a muse. I don’t always do this, but sometimes I imagine my muse as a little character in my head, a lot like Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out.
Sometimes I neglect my muse and she tugs at ideas in my brain.
She knocks over the old-timey color-coded drawers and flings the individual ideas out of them, one page at a time. Each idea floats from the top of my brain to its floor, falling on top of one another and piling up in a discombobulated mess. My muse picks up various ideas and reads them off to me, shouting. When I turn over in bed, she tosses that idea and grabs another idea to shout at me. On and on until I get out of bed with a quiet huff.
I can be exhausted, but still, my muse makes a mess of things in my brain. She tells me I haven’t let her out in a while like an unruly puppy. I can’t ignore a puppy. I must feed, water, and exercise it at least daily.
Over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my muse usually acts up when I skipped my workout that day. *gasp* I don’t mean a rest day, but instead an “I was lazy and slept in like a bum” day.
My needs to create and move are intertwined!
I’m not exactly sure how my creativity and fitness are linked, but I know when I fuel both of those needs – mind and body – both my muse and my desire to move stay happy in their respective corners in my brain. But when I neglect one or even both, my mind turns my body against me. My brain buzzes with obnoxious activity and my legs literally ache. I’m forced to either go for a run or write in a notebook until my brain is satisfied and calms down, allowing me to finally get some sleep.
Take it from my experience: don’t ignore your muse.
Ignoring my muse’s shouting only fuels her frustration, and the ideas pile so high in my head that I continue to toss and turn for hours. When I get out of bed, grab my notebook, and pour out all of those pesky ideas onto the page, I feel a sense of relief. My muse curls up in her corner of my brain and we both are able to fall asleep.
My challenge for you this week is to think about your muse. Does she nag you when you’re trying to sleep? Does she choose your days of activity or inactivity to bother you the most? How does your muse relate to your health and fitness? Let me know in the comments and then do something to make your muse happy.
For extra credit, listen to “My Muse” by Sarah Jarosz at www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjdGgcFf-T8. (I just really love her music.)