"Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain." Carl Jung
For me, this is a really insightful quote, where Jung is referring to the powers of expression that we hold in our hands and bodies, not just in our mind via our voice. I won't claim to be a jungian expert, but this idea is one that I'm really interested in.
While I was a student in college I occasionally attended some ceramics evening classes, which I loved. And I remember clearly the teacher talking about some student's sporadic attendances, explaining that for many it wasn't about creating a finished clay piece, but just about 'working out' whatever they needed to, and then the work was completed, without actually needing to produce any finished piece.
Personally I found working with clay very therapeutic and expressive. I think this same power of expression must be experienced by many musicians, artists and dancers. Without actually having to articulate words, they can communicate and release so much through the expressive medium of the body. I believe this is what every student can experience on the yoga mat. Especially for people who don't naturally gravitate towards a lot of physical activity, and haven't had the chance to feel something similar. When I'm climbing the same thing happens, and I think it's also something that other climbers feel, and in fact anyone participating in physical activity, whether or not they have described it this way.
Sometimes we can't find the appropriate way to confront things in our mind, but if we allow ourselves, our bodies can 'solve the mystery' for us, confront and resolve a problem, without us needing to turn an issue over and over in our heads. We are culturally conditioned to spend a lot of time 'in our heads' so to speak. Currently in Ireland primary school children are required to do one or two hours of P.E. a week. As a society we put much more emphasis and prestige on carrying out intellectual tasks successfully, and give less importance to movement for its own sake. I look forward to a day when time in school is split equally between academic tasks like reading and writing, and physical activities, like arts & crafts, sports and dance.
The playful hands-on activity of working with clay or sketching puts your mind in a state of relaxed calm, quiets the chattiness within, and awakens parts of your brain associated with creative insight. So perhaps when you are most wracking your brain for the answer to a problem, put your thoughts aside and just do some kind of creative activity, dust off that guitar or sketchbook or dance around in your room when no one's watching. Instead of questioning our mind over and over, we wait, and you might surprise yourself when your m