(And that's not even Hawaii! You win this round, California.)

I mentioned my current fitness regime in a recent post on Resolutions, but I learned something new about it over the weekend.

I began my daily routine in October, after a couple years of on-again off-again attempts at finding an exercise system that I was willing to do consistently. I've been doing yoga semi-regularly for about 4 years now, but it wasn't achieving the level of "fitness" (meaning, 6-pack) that I desired. It definitely helps with a lot of things, specifically muscle-tension and stress, and I wouldn't find any fitness regime complete without a regular yoga practice.

In October, I had an awakening about my life and how I needed to include daily fitness in it at some point, and I knew that it was only going to get harder for me. If I didn't start now and stick with it, I never would. That scared me.

So I did. I've been consistent since then. Today I started my 14th week. Whenever I have to miss a day during the week, I feel off-center and unbalanced, like something's missing. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but I felt like I had too much energy, and couldn't focus as well.

Over the weekend, I started reading Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit. She discussed her morning workout routine, but likened it to a ritual that she performs each day in order to allow herself into a mental space primed for creativity. It gives her focus.

Of course. Focus. I was no longer seeking a 6-pack (not that I mind the one starting to form) but instead the mental clarity that came with putting myself through a consistent ritual, one that expelled excess energy and gave me a sense of discipline and accomplishment. I'd convinced myself, somehow, that spending those 45 minutes working out my physical body was the number one most important thing I could do each day.

What I wasn't expecting was the mental discipline that carried over into my art. I now see my tasks more clearly. I know better how to accomplish them. I feel inspired. I'm getting tons of ideas as I work. I feel more disciplined. I'm starting to handle every single thing in my life in a more productive way. That 45 minutes each morning is actually making it so I accomplish more as the day wears on. I feel like I have more time.


Now I just need to learn a way to quiet my mind sufficiently so that I might feel sleepy when I go to bed and get a long, full night's rest and I'll be set. ;o)