Last Friday, I took a couple of hours off and my wife and I drove up onto the Blue Ridge Highway. The trees, as promised, showed off their autumn color – brilliant magenta, deep rust, bright yellow, and even a sneaky little celadon beaming from the roadside. As we traveled up into the gray clouds, mist surrounded our car and transformed the historic highway into a delightfully spooky journey. I couldn’t stop myself from exclaiming, “This! More of this!”
From that two-hour respite, I floated as I completed necessary tasks and peacefully rode the wave of a weekend which had moments that upended my routine. The hamster in my head stopped running on his little wheel. Stress didn’t even hit me until noon on Monday. Sixty-eight hours of peacefully managing life from that one short expedition into beauty.
These little moments of respite are what I think will get us through the next few months of what looks like an even more stressful time.
So, I am encouraging you to integrate a little creative playtime into your life. Breaking out of your routine sparks your mind and your creativity by introducing new patterns. And taking a little time for these short adventures with your body and mind allows your soul to recover.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing creative exercises – something that will break that hamster out of his wheel and give them a chance to play!
Do a Verb
The first one integrates your body and your creativity. It’s called “Do a Verb” and comes from Twyla Tharp’s inventive mind. To play along, pick an action verb and then mime doing it. Experiment with all of the ways you could possibly do this verb. For example, let’s say you decide on “Run” as your verb. You could jog slowly, like an out-of-shape person resolving to strengthen their bones. You could leap like a gazelle across the savannah. You could scurry like a mouse escaping a cat.
A good hint for selecting your verb is to choose one which you instantly know pushes you to action. Here are some verbs to pick from:
A fun variation is to write each verb down on pieces of paper and put them in a jar. Select one per day and see what happens!