Today I came in from a birthday party, and instead of heading to clear up the kitchen, I plunked myself down in front of my computer. By default, I clicked onto the solitaire game on the desktop. “What a waste of time!” I chided myself.
It was about 5.00 pm and too early for dinner. I was going to have leftovers anyway. And “The Maverick” was on late shift—so no need to worry about cooking for him.
Blog! I could write a blog entry…yes. Now, what was on my mind? Hmmmmm? Right, …nothing came to mind. I closed my eyes…a long blacktopped road appeared in my imagination; just a long, flat, black expanse, with no end destination. Neither was there a train to climb onto to follow as there was a non-existent track.
I could be sorting out all the clutter in my guest bedroom that serves as my office. No energy for that. What did come to mind about 6.00 pm was the stack of dirty dishes sitting on the worktop awaiting washing. Deep sigh…and one can only procrastinate for so long. Plus I hate an untidy kitchen—even if I do have a bad habit of letting dishes stack up over a series of days.
An amazing thing happened when the water started flowing from the tap. My ideas started flowing as well. There is something about physical activity that jump-started the creative activity in my brain as well. What I was avoiding was actually the key to solving my slumbering creativity.
For me there seem to be three things that instigate productivity in my mind: washing dishes, taking a shower and taking a walk. Oh the pleasure of hot running water and sweet smelling soap to bring refreshing, order and even a sense of playfulness to me.
Maybe it’s the warm and soothing affect of the running water that relaxes the body tension, so that in those muscle-melting moments all kinds of happy chemicals are released in my brain. I start thinking about events during the day that I want to share. I talk to Jesus, giving Him praise for His love and grace. Vague ideas about characters and story lines begin to develop like a photograph in chemical bath. So, the dishes get clean. Or my skin is exfoliated. Or my body gets a bit of exercise as I walk.
I’m sure scientists have a better understanding of how the body and mind are affected by each other. All I know is, that when I need inspiration, some physical activity, and often flowing hot water can flip the switch of synapses in my brain and I’m creating again.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,