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walking to think + create

December 30, 2015 , , , , ,

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Reading this article struck a chord with me: Walking to Think Creatively

I am an avid walker. I walk everywhere. Make me run for more than 2 minutes and I cough up a lung, but I can walk for hours and be perfectly happy.

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Aside from the energy that walking gives me, I have found that my day unequivocally goes better if I get my walk in morning. I’m usually out the door at 5:45am and walking until 6:30am; then it’s a scramble to get ready for school and start the drive before the real morning traffic hits. That 45-minutes of walking is gold time for me; part of it is “play-time” for my mind, which I sometimes find calm and organised, and other times completely scattered + bursting at the seams with random pieces of information. Walking somehow allows it to make all the elliptical connections it needs and align itself. I can actually feel + direct the process some days. Other days, it’s like being in the guts of an enormous, half-finished puzzle, where I can dive in and out of the pieces at will. I run through entire choral warm-up sessions during this time, role-play difficult conversations, look for the right pathway into a topic of a half-thought lesson plan, or rehearse a conversation I need to have with a student where I can explore every outcome…this time is magic. I can’t do this sort of thinking, to this capacity, at any other time than during these morning walks. I catch the most extraordinary ideas during these walks…the most creative and imaginative snippets of ideas that start to grow and by the time I’ve reached home, have arrived almost intact and whole. Entire sets of lyrics, or harmonic progressions for compositions happen this way too…maddening, since I can sit for an hour at my work desk or piano and have nothing during “actual” work time!

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But most of all, this time is pure play time for my mind. A chance for my heart and mind to touch base with each other, have a conversation, do the crazy and whimsical “what-ifs”, wonder and wander freely, so that I may have all my thoughts and ideas lined up before I start the day.

The day goes better when I get released into the wild for my walk. What about you?

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