#9: Time out of the shower

On the weekend I read a great article about strategies for finding “sacred space” and making time for “deep thinking.” Ok, I saw you roll your eyes just now. It’s not what it sounds like. It’s about taking a few moments (or more if you can) to just shut the world off and just think. No chants or visualization exercises. Just plain old, distraction-free, time-in-your-head time.

The article examines how pure, uninterrupted time is pretty much extinct. We’ve heard this, we know this. We fully acknowledge that the omnipresence of in-contact devices makes it near impossible to focus on one thing for any length of time. In many ways we have lost our ability to enjoy those delicious “creative pauses” that requires being either passively or totally disengaged. If we’re always engaged, there’s never a time for those eureka moments when the solution or creative idea just presents itself. This is why if it happens at all, it’s going to get us in the shower where there is no Blackberry or TV or other device competing for attention. The shower is fast becoming one of our last great hopes for creative thought.

I am one of these “shower people.” This is when I remember the name of that film, when I think of a concoction to make from last night’s leftovers, when I daydream through that trip to London, when I think of a solution to that annoying problem. Sometimes the ideas just keep flowing and there’s too many to capture before they disappear with the water down the drain.

Today I tried something when I walked home from work. I unplugged. No Blackberry or iPhone, and no music. Just me and the street. At first I was really bored, so just I looked at everything I could see. And then gave these visuals a little thought. Each thought dissolved into other thoughts. And pretty soon I was almost home, with two ideas for my creative-ness project, the basic outline for something else I wanted to write, and a pretty good feeling all-round. I’m not sure that I experience anything as profound as “deep thinking” but there was at least a bit of groovy disconnected space, and definitely a pause that I can rubber-stamp as “creative.”

Hopefully I can engage (or dis-engage) a little more frequently in the coming days. I have a few creative-ness days to catch up on…

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