I thoroughly enjoy silence.
It’s probably why I love Mondays so much, because everyone goes back to “their corners” and I have my quiet back again.
With two rambunctious boys and a husband that works more and more from our very compact home, I don’t have a lot of “quiet time” in my life, which is why I value what I do have that much more and work hard to carve out silent time whenever I can.
I never listen to the radio…I take reallllllllly long showers…and I try to keep my schedule clear on days when I’m going to be in my home office alone.
I do this, because it’s when it’s quiet that I have my best ideas…my aha moments…my snippets of brilliance. And I truly believe that these ideas are there all the time, but if it’s too loud or I’m too distracted, then they are going to pass me right by. So I have to be ready and open for them to be received.
This idea of ideas flowing through the universe came to me from Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. She gives so many great examples from her own experience and from other “artists” about having to chase ideas that are about to escape them or ideas that they had that they inadvertently passed on to another. I think we’ve all experienced the moments when we realize that an idea we had had in the past was one that someone acted upon and is now a success as a result. “OMG…that was my idea!” So it’s not just being ready and open for the idea, but willing to take the idea and do something with it.
I recently saw an interview with a very successful musician (or so they said, I hadn’t heard of him before, but I’ve also noted that I never listen to the radio!) where he was asked if he ever wakes up in the middle of the night with a song wanting to come out and need to get his guitar to take it down. He said that it had happened a few times, but for the most part he believes that if it isn’t still there in the morning, then it wasn’t meant to be his song.
There are so many times when I have a thought and I’m sure I’m going to remember it, but I don’t. I wasn’t ready, so it went along to another. To help combat this, I have paper and post its everywhere (even in the shower), because if I don’t write it down, it’s at risk of escaping. And I want to have the opportunity to decide if I want to pass it along to the next person in the universe!
I do consider myself a “creative”. My day job is filled with deadlines to come up with new graphics, ideas and plans for corporate and non profit events and marketing campaigns, but I don’t think this concept of infinite creative ideas flowing through the universe is only for creatives. I truly believe that what you are needing, wanting, and/or yearning for as a direction, as a catapult, or an inspiration is right beyond your nose. You just need to turn down the volume, amp up your listening, and be ready.
You will be amazed at what will come to you.
A creative life is an amplified life. –Elizabeth Gilbert