Stone StepsEver notice that some of your best ideas, your “aha moments” and epiphanies happen when you’re not thinking of something?  In fact they come where your brain is off doing something else completely, focused on nothing and your body/emotions/soul are running the show.  We think if it as getting the right idea at exactly the wrong moment like figuring out exactly how to solve the problem and get the project finished on time and under budget while we’re in the shower and now we either have to dash around wet trying to find something to write on or go as fast as we can so we can get done before the idea flies out of our head.  Or getting the perfect inspiration while in the middle of a spin class. Or remembering exactly where that necessary thing is when you’re out on a wilderness hike with no bars and no charger. Because you wanted to be unplugged. *sigh*

Part of why this happens is because we spend so much time planning and thinking, masterminding our entire lives that there is no downtime for our creative side to problem solve. So just like a kid trying to get their parent’s attention, they finally will take whatever they can get which can cause some awkward and scarring moments for everyone. The remedy for this is to see the downtime, the non-productive time where we’re not driving ourselves to get things done as relevant, valuable, and healthy. In fact, it can be the key if we use it for creativity.

Being creative, no matter what you are creating, is a conversation between you and the universe. It may seem that you’re inspired to do something random, but it’s not really random at all. It’s often a physical representation of a question you’ve been trying to find the answer to or a solution to a problem. Try this experiment sometime: Put out paper and crayons or pens plus things like rulers for straight lines and string to make circles, then think of a really important question you have for yourself. Like what should I be when I grow up or where is this/that/the other leading. Then stop thinking about it and start doodling. Not drawing unless you feel called to it, just doodling. Follow what feels good, use what colors draw your eye, just start. Don’t let your logic brain get involved at all. Let it get sucked into the doing of this thing. What you’ll find is that random doodles evolve into symbols, which evolve into a perspective you didn’t know was there. Like an archaeologist, answers start appearing from out of nowhere and you have a piece of art you can keep or not as you choose. When you look at it, you’ll find, whether you like the answer or now, you have literally created your path.

So then the question is do you like where it’s going or what it’s telling you?