Have you ever kept track of when your best ideas hit you? What it was that sparked them? Or as Elizabeth Gilbert would put it, when an idea first paid you a visit? If you haven’t, you should. If you’re anything like me, they come when you’re not looking for them.
There have been so many instances where I’ve started my day, wrote out my to do list, and said, “Ok, let’s write!” And then stared at the page, waiting…
When I finally succumb to defeat and go cook, clean, or take the dog for a walk, then BAM. There it is. A shiny, glimmering idea that is like the sun poking out from behind billowing rain clouds. Even more often, they come right as I’m about to fall asleep, or when I’m in the shower – the absolute most inopportune time to write down an idea, is almost always when it shows up. What gives, universe? Oh, and that’s why they make these by the way.
I began thinking more and more about my idea ignitions. I continued to try and wrap my head around my thought processes, when my ideas come to life, and the places or activities that I’m enveloped in when ideas flicker. And surprise, surprise, it’s almost never when I’m sitting waiting for it, pen in hand.
It’s during a walk on the beach, a juicy yoga flow, or reading a book on a Sunday afternoon.
I was walking my dog, Lani, this morning, still thinking about this concept. I even had the phrase “slow down” floating around my head, despite my recent frustrations with Big Island Marketing on Island Time.
I let Lani off her leash just before reaching the dog park in our neighborhood, and just like I do at the start of a workday, she takes off running. She runs around the field with speed and precision as she turns corners and covers almost every inch of the park. But after a few laps, she gets a little tired, she starts to cut corners, and she loses her grace a bit when starting a different direction. Eventually, she collapses to the ground, tongue handing out of her mouth with her eyes bulging out of her head. It was like looking in the mirror after a day of too much caffeine.
Just because you’re moving, doesn’t mean you’re getting anywhere. Sometimes you need to stop to notice that you’re running in circles and cutting corners.
Eventually, Lani gets up, sniffs some of the freshly mowed grass, chews on a stick, and rolls around in the dirt. Not too long after, she’s up and running with the same vigor and spunk as before. She just needed a breather to do it all again. Sound familiar?
That’s the thing about dogs: they do what feels right, not what they’re supposed to do. I know, this could get us all into some trouble and would probably lead to Tuesday afternoon cocktails or retail therapy sessions courtesy of Mastercard. But you know what I mean.
There has to be a way we that can connect what we need to do for our sanity, and what we need to do for a living. In a way, isn’t it what fills us is what fuels us?
So , slow down to speed up.
Slow down, sniff some grass, and roll around in the dirt. If we all just stopped running in circles a little bit, maybe those brilliant ideas would have an easier time finding us.
P.S. This blog post is brought to you from my hammock on my lanai. Gotta practice what you preach, right? Big Island Marketing at its finest.