I Was Thinking
Timed writing #2.
Wednesday One – Oh, was gonna, well, enough of that. The suggestion read in a book to begin each day taking a few minutes to come up with and write down ten (10) ideas – every day – and if that felt to difficult, come up with 20. Sticking to the 10, it is energizing, that’s one word for it, to take a few minutes and do this daily. I’m about two weeks into it, meaning I have come up with at least 140 ideas (I have added extras on particularly jumping brain-cell days) and I’d guess a minimum of 110 are mostly useless and often boring and stuff I’d already been thinking about or thought about in early morning meditation (as opposed to the sought after “no thinking”) which means in the last couple of weeks I have, right out of the morning blue, come up with something like 20-30 interesting and potentially valuable ideas, images of actions and activities and potential commitments not previously considered. Which is very cool. I’d list some here but the notebook – my “Idea Notebook” – is way over there on the ping pong table and this is an exercise to keep writing (non-stop) for 25 minutes, so leave it to say that the process of opening the mind and jotting down some of the things flying and silently slipping into it has been and is and no doubt will continue to be invigorating.
Now, in fact, I have moved on some of these ideas, carried out their mission, and I’ll wait to see what if anything comes of them. I believe it will. And there is the anti-Alzheimer brain cell workout which of itself is reward enough. They suggest crosswords and Sudoku and foreign languages and the piano and those are all good suggestions and I have dabbled for brief periods in a few of them – crossword and Duolingo apps on the phone, Craigslist purchased keyboard a few years ago, over there on the spare bed in the cellar, unplugged, waiting patiently for the Leon Russell in me to stop back by. But this sitting and coming up with ideas, every day, there is an energy nearly palpable – seriously – a low-hum electrical charge and, yes, these do follow first cups of coffee of the day so there’s always that caffeine thing, but it’s more. The sitting and coming up with ideas thing is more. There is something there. Periodically I go back and read a week’s worth of ideas, see if I’ve taken the bait and acted on them. I think ahead to a year and those potential 3500+ ideas and it feels inconceivable right here and right now that I could ever come up with that many, even if the creek don’t raise and there ain’t no meltdown. I will point out here that – and I have shared this in a previous Blog post – one of those early ideas was to pull 50 books from my shelves and incoming cheapo used Ebay purchases and collect 50 books and commit to reading them all, one after the other, and I’m well into book number three and already – already – another idea has sparked from this process, the collecting, the reading, the wondering about unintentional connectivity among the books, asking myself if my life has followed threads, all these years, and if in the process of these readings I take time to report – not so much the book or what I have read, but where it has taken me along my own timeline – well, taking 10 minutes one morning to scribble down a few ideas in an old notebook will surely prove to be a gift of value far beyond what I may spend good money on. Or something like that. I am becoming an idea-generating muscle, an internal organ with more than 10 billion sparks of wonder and perhaps awe.
So I ask you dear reader, give this a try. Donate 10 minutes each morning, that’s 144th of the minutes you’ll get any day your lucky enough to wake up, consider it an investment. A good one. With no risk and a potentially endless upside.
Just this. Create a 10-minute sacred space tomorrow, to which you have brought a notebook, a pen or pencil, and your wide-open mind, and write down the next 10 ideas that show up. Who knows – maybe you’ll be raising sheep next spring, maybe you will have moved to the coast of Portugal and taken up surfing, just maybe you will have abruptly stopped what it is you have been doing the last five or 15 or 50 years, and find yourself doing something entirely, unimaginably new. And smiling more.
Just 10 ideas.