When is a door not a door

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This snowy, icy weather has long since ceased to be amusing. Inspired by my daughter’s research for a graphic design assignment, I created a journal page yesterday which illustrates how my mind has (already) turned to thoughts of spring. I spent a happy couple of hours putting the images and text together, completely oblivious to the rest of the world. A waste of time, the more rational amongst you might think.

This morning however the after-effects of spending time completely focused on a creative pursuit are revealing themselves. I woke up and reeled off some ideas for my business onto paper. These projects feel very exciting. To pick up on the spring theme, these are definitely still-fragile shoots of ideas which will need a considerable amount of beefing up before they can survive in the outside world, but they are now planted and ready to feed.

Taking time out to get into that creative state of mind has definitely paid dividends. Paradoxically, just when you think you have least time is probably when you most need to take time out from the daily routine. Who knows what fresh thinking might emerge?

Julia Cameron, author of many books on creativity, points out that we often go into immediate denial about this creative stuff: “Inner work triggering outer change? Ridiculous!” she writes. “I like to think of the mind as a room. In that room, we keep all of our usual ideas about life, God, what’s possible and what’s not. The room has a door. That door is ever so slightly ajar, and outside we can see a great deal of dazzling light. Out there in the dazzling light are a lot of new ideas that we consider too far-out for us, and so we keep them out there. The ideas we are comfortable with are in the room with us. The other ideas are out, and we keep them out.”

She advises that we “gently set aside our skepticism” and nudge that door open a little wider and see what happens. Let me know.

PS In case you don’t know the old joke, ‘When is a door not a door’, the answer is ‘When it is ajar’ …

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