Last Friday I found myself on the business end of my vacuum cleaner. Family was coming from out-of-town that evening, and I needed to catch up on my housework. I really wanted to be writing instead and was feeling kind of grumpy, but I kept moving forward and after a bit my mind wandered from my irritation. It wasn’t long before I noticed how peaceful I felt. The roar of the machine and the rhythmic to and fro arm motion had worked me into a meditative state. The next thing I knew, vivid images displaying answers to some problems I was having with a WIP (work in progress) I started and shelved months ago were flashing through my head. By opening and resting my mind, I had given those ideas room to swim around and find their way to the surface. I had to switch off the vacuum cleaner and dash into my room for my journal and pen. There was no way I was going to let those babies get away.
Not long ago, Courtney Carver wrote a wonderful post on her blog, Be More with Less , about using regular, mundane tasks to center ourselves when life gets crazy. It got me thinking about how much I like to clean my kitchen every morning. I quietly arrange my thoughts and prepare for my day. Some days I actually unwind while folding laundry, and apparently I get amazing light bulb moments when vacuuming. I’m not good at meditating-sitting still is really hard for me-and I didn’t realize until I saw Courtney’s post that those routine jobs serve more of a purpose than just keeping my house clean and running smooth.
Last week I finished reading Natalie Goldberg’s The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language. She talked a lot about the connection between meditation and writing. I was inspired by the idea, but as I mentioned above, meditation and sitting in one spot is not easy for me. However, combining her ideas with Courtney’s thoughts I realized I just might have a winning combination.
Does your creativity flourish when you are able to rest your brain and get back in touch with yourself?