010 Make a sacrifice to the doodle
A quest for unbusyness and the surprisingly most profound question you can ask.
5 Things to Draw On This Week
How are you?
No, really...how are you?
I must confess, I dislike this question. It's one of those standard greetings that people ask without genuinely being interested in the response. We don't have time, right? We're too busy to stop and listen to the answer, so why do we even ask it?
We ask this question to be polite.
Go on, admit it! We secretly hope that people won't actually tell us the truth. In case we have to stop, listen and spend our precious time listening to a never-ending list of woes, complaints or gossip.
What does the question "how are you?" really mean?
Dig a little deeper, and I'd argue, "how are you?" is probably one of the most profound questions we can ask ourselves and others if we're prepared to spend time listening more deeply to the answer.
If we’re truly sincere, we’re asking:
How are you investing in your one precious life?
How are you making the most of your limited days on this earth?
How are you spending that most finite of human resources, your time?
(Asking these questions would arguably give you a much more exciting and sincere answer too!)
Therefore the crux of the seemingly vacuous mundane question of "How are you" is time and the reflection of this newsletter today.
Because like currency, we spend time.
But unlike currency, we cannot make more time. Once it's gone, it's gone.
Let’s begin before we run out of time…
1. Words To Inspire
This poem speaks to me now, as I hustle my days between work and family commitments. Every night though, I make time to draw. It’s an evening ritual, a prayer of action. To the creativity gods saying: “I’m still here; I’m still listening!”
I particularly love these lines of the poem:
”I say make a sacrifice to the doodle; pick some flowers, speak a poem, feed the tiny muse. Draw, paint, sing or dance, and you’ll bring the gods back into the board-room…”
Read the full poem…
A Doodle at the Edge by William Ayot
Another meeting, another agenda, another
list of buzz-words, initials and initiatives.
PSU is entering Phase Three
while the CDR wants G2 to go to Level Five.
If we go the full nine yards on this one;
if we get pro-active, get out of the box, get
our teams together and on the same hymn-sheet;
if we hit the ground running, if we downsize HR.
if we get the money on board, and our asses into gear,
then we can change something, make a difference,
change what the other guys changed last week.
Meanwhile the god has left the garden,
the muse lies minimised in the corner of our screens.
Not dead, not buried, but ignored and unseen,
like a doodle at the edge of an action plan.
Me? I say make a sacrifice to the doodle;
pick some flowers, speak a poem, feed the tiny muse.
Draw, paint, sing or dance, and you’ll bring the gods
back into the board-room; the laughing, smiling,
weeping gods of the night-time and the wild.
2. Music To Meditate To
Take a meandering walk through “The Jardin of Monsieur Monet” by Stephan Moccio. This is another favourite track to journal too. Your thoughts will ripple through your hand and pen to the paper where you’ll discover hidden dreams!
3. Weekly Creative Prompt
It seems only fitting I encourage you to write and reflect this week. To stop your busyness for 5 minutes and check in with how you are today.
As William Ayot suggests in his poem ‘A Doodle at the Edge’ - you could draw, paint, sing, dance, or write your response to this prompt:
“I'm making the most of my time by doing…”
(or “I'm making the most of my time by not doing…...!”)
4. Creative Exercise Recommendation: The Abramović Method
These exercises are if, like me, you are on the quest for unbusyness. To just stop for a while and be present.
Commissioned by WePresent (WeTransfer’s digital arts platform), performance artist Marina Abramović shares her wisdom on cultivating inner strength, concentration and endurance through a series of exercises known as The Abramović Method.
This series of mindfulness exercises, she’s cultivated over the years has been popular with the likes of Lady Gaga and Jay-Z to reach higher states of creative consciousness. and to confront life’s challenges.
Abramović fascinates me with her blend of radical art, self-help and mindfulness, which utilises creativity as a vehicle of communication.
You literally won’t be able to take your eyes off her by the end ;)
5. And Finally…A Quote to Live By
“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.”
- Benjamin Hoff, Author of The Tao of Pooh
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