There is a simple exercise I like to undertake every once in awhile, especially when I feel like I’m stuck in a slump or creative rut. It is borrowed from one of my favourite books on the creative life, Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way.
Time to Daydream!
Begin by numbering a page 1 to 5. Then quickly, without hesitation, jot down the first 5 alternate fantasy lives that pop into your head.
Some of my lists have included :
No career or interest is too outlandish. The idea is to unleash the subconscious. Often our selections reflect an inner craving or unfulfilled need. Rancher might suggest the need for solitude and wide open spaces, a place where you can hear yourself think. Dancer might stem from a childhood dream you never got to try. The list makes for some interesting introspection!
Live a Little!
The next step is to select one alternate life and take one small step towards pursuing and exploring that interest in some way. This small step is intended to excite your childlike curiosity and promote a sense of wonder. Selecting rancher might mean that you seek out a quiet field in which to be quiet and calm. If you decide to pursue an interest in dancing perhaps you could watch some YouTube videos and learn a move or two, maybe even take an adult dance class! If you choose photographer consider purchasing a photography for beginners book or simply downloading a free photography app for your smartphone to play around with.
I often find that this exercise helps me to gain the momentum needed to propel me out of the rut that every person finds themselves in at one time or another. Small steps can lead to eye opening insights. You might discover a new passion that inspires the work in your current everyday life. Above all, embrace the process in this exercise. Small deviations from our daily routines can lead to great insight and creativity. Have fun! Wander and explore!
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