One Apple A Day #738 – lissome

Here it is, one of those days with no ideas whatsoever.

Fifteen minutes and a page to fill, where should I start?

This morning my BeTheChange card says “being creative with everything in my life“. 

In the text that comes with the card, Vanessa says that “we are all in this thing called creativity all the time“.

So, it must be here and now. 

My idea, the starting point must be here in this room, right now. 

I just need to open my eyes wide shut and let my reality speaks to me.

Wait a minute, someone said something yesterday during a workshop.

I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something like “we are always immersed in abundance, we just don’t notice it“.

Isn’t it the same for creativity? We are always surrounded by ideas and inspirations, we just don’t notice them.

Yet, noticing is a tricky thing, because most often than not, ideas have this tendency to appear at the periphery of my vision, like the sneaky movement of my lissome cat.

Today, I’ll pay attention to the movements at the boundaries of my perception.

One Apple a Day #736 – idle time

A few weeks ago, I read an article – that I can’t find anymore obviously – saying that only 16% of our smart and creative ideas emerge while we are working. All the rest happens when we are doing something else or nothing at all.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with my creative self. Yes, I have a daily appointment with him, but it’s only 15 minutes. Most of the day he is pushed in a corner while the “get-things-done” guy is working.
Then, out of the blue, the “get-things-done” guy shouts to the “creative” guy asking for an idea.
Quickly possibly.
But the creative guy is shy. He gets nervous under pressure, so he fishes something out of his memories and throws it back.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the “get-things-done” guy. When he is in the mood, he can achieve a lot.
But he has this tendency to take over the whole space.
And ideas need space to emerge.
Yep, I need to carve more idle time in my days.

One Apple A Day #723 – pay attention

“Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.”

Mary Oliver

I should probably stop here. 

What else could I add to Mary Oliver’s poem?

Yesterday I wrote that action precedes inspiration and that through deliberate creative practises, we can learn to be inspired. 

However, something was missing. 

Attention.

It all starts with paying attention.

So, this morning I wanted to write about it. About how inspiration ensues from the quality of our attention.

But it’s all there. 

In that poem by Mary Oliver.

It is just perfect.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

That is the power of attention at work. When we really pay attention, we silence all the noise, all the distractions, all the decorations so we can see the essence of it all.

One Apple A Day #717 – choose or chase

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

Mary Oliver

They say that energy flows where attention goes. In every moment, our senses are flooded with signals. They are so many that our mind can’t really process all of them without overloading and getting stuck. According to a study by a neuroscientist named Manfred Zimmermann, 99.9996% of the information that you sense, goes unnoticed by your mind. 

And it is on that tiny fraction of information, that we source our words and actions. 

What defines the direction of our attention? 

Is it a conscious choice or an unconscious one? 

Sometimes I feel that my attention is informed by a chase. Something I need or have to achieve. I know when my attention is chase-driven because I always feel a step behind. My vision is narrowed on the object of my pursuit, and the rest of the world becomes blurred. I soon go out of breath and find my self exhausted. 

In contrast, when I choose where to put my attention, my vision opens, time expands, and I feel energized.

Think about the things you’re giving your attention right now, do they make you feel energized? Is it a chase you’re in, or is it a choice?

One Apple A Day #714 – the same but not the same

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” — Heraclitus

I would like to write something new, fresh, and original every morning. 

I really do. 

But it’s tough for a few reasons.

To start with, after more than 700 posts I can’t really remember everything I wrote about. The first post is more than three years old. 

Plus, I have some recurring themes that are close to my heart towards which I’m easily dragged.

And finally, inspiration floats. There are days in which my fingers can barely keep the pace of the words flowing out of my heads. Other days in which I have to really dig out or use some tricks to put together a decent post.

So, some days I’m worried about repeating myself.

Have I already share this? Haven’t I wrote about this a few months back?

And I do repeat myself. I think it’s unavoidable. But I’ve also learned that I changed with every post that I write. The person who publishes the article is not the same who started writing it. 

It’s a tiny difference. So small that it’s almost imperceptible, yet it’s there. 

So, even if I repeat myself, as Heraclitus said, I’m not the same person.