I look out my window where I sit to write and I notice that the colour in front of me is green. The leaves on the trees, the bushes, the plants, the grass. On a grey day, like today, and after a thunderstorm, the green is deep and lush and overflowing. I soak in this colour because I know that, in a few months, this same greenery will be covered in white. It will be a different world out there from today.
I feel lucky that I have this view from my desk. For me, it beats the concrete, man-made world, that I have to go to during the week. Peace. Quietude. Solitude. Calm. In this space, I can hear my own thoughts.
Seated in my yellow wing chair, before heading over to my writing space, I felt a vibration coming up through my right foot that was nestled comfortably on the lush brown carpet. The vibrations were coming through from the ground up, and this feeling resonated with the chapter I read from Fruitflesh by Gayle Brandeis.
Our bodies are like tree trunks, simultaneously anchored in the earth and reaching toward the sun. Creativity surges inside us, green and alive; when we tune into our bodies, we can tap the force, the source, that brims in all our cells.
There is a really good book called The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, in which she mentions that one of the important things to do is to set an artist’s date with yourself, at least once a week. It is a book about reigniting the inner artist in yourself. Simply, it means that it is important to take time for yourself, to awaken the side of you that you might put away in front of others, family, loved ones.
I read this somewhere recently: “There are two kinds of people in the world – those who walk into a room and say, ‘There you are!’ – and those who say, ‘Here I am!’ ” – Abigail Van Buren
I had a good chuckle when I read this. This isn’t about that.
Now, Putting Yourself First is important in the “You put the breathing mask on yourself first so that you can help the person next to you” kind of way. Many people live for the sake of others: Doing things that other people think is right for them; and helping others whom they think need help, and so on. Things to do, places to be, people to see… you know the motto.
Essentially the body and mind need time to re-assimilate to its surroundings and that means with little things such as, getting back to nature – we live in such a technological world now that it is hard to tear away from the mobile phone, the laptop, the iPad, or the TV. The body needs to rest to revitalize itself.
The mind also needs time to recuperate from all the external messages that it receives – and frankly, there has never been an age where we are bombarded with constant information on a daily basis. (There are days when I just keep going and going and then suddenly I hit a wall and think “OMG I have just reached my point of OVERLOAD – and I literally have to stop.) So step away from the techno babble and just relax with a book, or take a drive in your car to the country, venture a stroll in the park, or just sit and do nothing but daydream.
It is all about keeping the balance within yourself because if you don’t – your body and your mind will tell you anyway. I always think that when I hear people saying (or myself thinking or feeling) – I’m tired, I’ve had enough, I don’t feel like doing anything – that’s when you know that you have reached that point and need to Put Yourself First.
The body is like a barometer and if you listen to it carefully, it will tell you exactly what it needs.
A thought is just a thought until you write it down.
We receive messages from our inner selves — from an energy field that we can access and that is all around us. We write one sentence, a second one, and then another, and before we know it, we have a paragraph.
We want to communicate to others. Something tells us that we MUST write, that others need to know, and that it might make a difference to someone else.
Once the thought is out there, it has a life of its own. A thought becomes an idea; it turns into a story, and then becomes a book.
What if… a character takes a different route and ends up in a ditch in the middle of nowhere in a country he does not know? What if… there is a pack of hungry wolves nearby? What if… the only weapons he has is a flashlight and a pack of matches?
What if… I shut down my computer and go to the beach?
This is a photo I took when I visited Cadaqués in Northern Spain in 2008. It is the little Meditterranean seaside town where Salvador Dali lived. After I visited the area, and his museum in Figueres, I was imbued with an energy that I was not able to shake off for a long time. I had been close to a potent creative energy, and even though he is no longer living, it was ever present. He was a different kind of individual with a unique mind, albeit wrought with numerous psychological challenges, but entirely inspiring. I believe there are certain places and persons in the world that offer you that kind of feeling.
It is imperative to change your environment if you want to reignite your source of inspiration or creativity. The mind constantly needs to be fed with new imagery, input, and stimulus to grow.
Try to get away from your screen or pad of paper and discover something completely new once in a while or whenever you need to replenish the source. You will be amazed at the abundance of material that will come to you when you explore an unknown location or setting.