What in the Nelly?
There was a time when I was plugged in to every outlet, device, medium, source and file. Didn’t matter what it was, as long as it supported my productivity, fed my passion for learning, kept me in contact with my tribes and on time; I’d have it.
I even bought an app to take a photograph of every piece of clothing in my cupboard, so I could virtually plan my outfits for the coming week. #productivitytrap #sillywoman
And you know what?
It wasn’t so bad.
I was productive. I was in contact with my fambam. I was achieving.
I was achieving other peoples goals. Not my own.
I was in contact with my friends and family, at the detriment of myself sometimes, always allowing them in, with no consideration if I was able, but always being what they needed.
I was monitoring my productivity, and getting so good, that I was adding more and more of other people’s work, desires, wishes, goals, wants, and needs onto my plate, without realising that I didn’t have a single anything for myself on there.
Now I’m going to pause a second and admit, I am telling a fib here.
I didn’t work this out. I didn’t have a moment of clarity nor brilliance. #wishihad #muchmoreprolific #notenlightened
My partner pointed it out. #bloodyknowitall
He pointed out I was working so hard for everyone else, and asked what the bloody hell was I doing for myself? For Us? For my goals? For our goals? Some of the things I was working on didn’t even align to my core beliefs nor values, but the #peoplepleaser in me was pushing through instead of pulling back.
What in the nelly?!
Science Time Fools
I’d like to say I stopped. That I unplugged and my muses came rushing like my tears watching any #disney film ever.
I burnt out.
My creativity was gone. I had nothing. Not even a paint by numbers was achievable. #soempty #flacidcreativity
At this time, my employment offered me an opportunity to learn under the guidance of a brilliant humanpreneur on the subject of Neuroscience.
And what she said, struck so many chords, I then went out and researched more and more and realised, well hot damn they’re not wrong. Unplugging is bloody good for your creative abilities. #boredomisgood #neuroscienceisontosomething
Not feeling me?
Check out this passage from Dr Sandi Mann, psychologist and author of The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom is Good.
“When we’re bored, we’re searching for something to stimulate us that we can’t find in our immediate surroundings….So we might try to find that stimulation by our minds wandering and going off someplace in our heads. That is what can stimulate creativity because once you start daydreaming and allow your mind to wander, you start thinking beyond the conscious and into the subconscious. This process allows different connections to take place. It’s really awesome.”
I read it and thought, huh, that’s cool.
Didn’t truly believe her though. I didn’t believe anyone.
But you know when it all clicked?
When I bought a dog
And started to take her for walks….without my headphones.
Because I would bet my bottom dollar, the idea for this platform to push and share my creativity came while exploring with her.
The subplots and motivations for my characters in my novel, came while walking.
How to problem solve minor issues at work, came while walking.
Perfect gift for my partner for his birthday, came while walking.
While not being conscious of the time.
Nor where we where going.
Not focusing on outcomes #exceptherenjoyment
Nor demanding more from myself then just enjoying being with her.
I now #whenican seek out and allow myself time to be unplugged. To be bored. Not in charge. #freakinghard #controlfreak #feelssogoodthough
And those slinky muses of mine, they come charging in, I tell you what. Bloody valkyries with their ferocity, as if they’d been waiting for the opportunity when I wasn’t so engrossed in others needs and allowed myself a moment for me.
(Don’t get me wrong. I still go out and actively hunt down ideas, solutions for problems I can’t fix; my light bulb moments. While I make sure I give my muses an open channel to find me, those sly foxes sometimes like to make me play hard and earn my brilliance) #humbleisforanotherday
This piece you’re reading right now? Was first written while on a 3.5 hour flight, where I went full analogue and didn’t allow myself any technology bar a highlighter, pen and journal. #pagesofideas #liberatingmoment #washard #didgettwitchy
You Do You… But Outside Now
Dog walking not your style? Or not a fan of the outside?
Where can you allow, not schedule, but allow those quiet moments in?
I want you to allow your mind to wander, to daydream, to be free.
Is it, no social media before bed, or before work in the morning?
No radio on your drive to work? Or instrumental music with no lyrics to distract you?
Taking your lunch break away from your desk #needtolearnthisone
When challenged by a podcast to stop and think about something they just said, do it, instead of powering through
Taking the stairs at work, instead of the lift
I don’t care. It’ll be different for all of us.
I’m going to say a line I have had repeated to me more times than I would care to admit.
Imma need you to chill
Personally I always took that as an affront to my naturally intense personality.
But did you know you can still be intense and chilling?
I look damn fine while walking my dog and at times, you may even call it a shuffling jog.
My mind is free, my dog is happy, my mind is bubbling
To download new ideas, you need to unplug, chill, relax, breathe, ground, pause; whatever word works for you….. do it.
And totes make sure you do a shout out to me in a couple years, when you win that big award for that cool thing you come up with tomorrow, while having your quiet time.