Have you ever noticed how the “gray zone” sneaks up on you? One minute you are all charged up about your day, and the next you find yourself passing time, usually quite comfortably, as all those creative writing and business ideas slowly circle the drain and disappear.
Today, the gray zone looked like sitting in a chair in the sun on a Sunday afternoon looking up college campus tours with my daughter on You Tube.
You may be wondering what’s wrong with that? Nothing, per se, except we had been doing it for 1 ½ hours and we had gone from excited about it (let’s research colleges on You Tube!) to less excited to uninspired as we watched people throwing someone in the fountain to celebrate their birthday (a tradition among many liberal arts colleges, we discovered). Our body language said it all as we slumped over various pieces of furniture, eyes glazing, watching the videos.
That’s when my husband walked in, saw us, and suggested a walk.
Part of me resisted, yet part of my awareness perked up just enough to know that it was just what I needed. We shuffled out the door, and within the space of 30 minutes, I went from being passively entertained to actively engaged. It doesn’t take much. I noticed a bright yellow waterfall of flowers cascading down a huge vine. Look another direction, and I was pondering if the way a person’s lawn was trimmed to reflect their personalities? Then there was the Clydesdale-like sound of my dog’s rounded foot pads rhythmically pounding the pavement.
The more I walked, the more images streamed in and pretty soon any direction I turned my attention brought creative ideas – I started capturing article ideas, workshop ideas and taglines for my new brand.
The seductive part of all this is the trance we get in when we do something and don’t keep tuning in to see if we are still feeling vibrant and connected to an activity or if we have slipped into a more one-celled existence. Gray may be relaxing, but there’s nothing like a shot of hot pink to ratchet up the level of creative living. And I’d much prefer to catch ideas like raindrops on my tongue than to watch them splat and disappear.
Pearls for Reflection: When is the last time you remember being in the gray zone? What were the signs that you were getting there? How did your body feel? How would you describe your brain activity (slow, jumping around?). What was the reason you stayed there? And how did you eventually break out of it (was it conscious, or did you realize after 7 hours on the computer that moving your body somewhere else would do you good?). Don’t judge, just notice.
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I’d love to hear your comments on the article, what pearls you notice when you begin reflecting. Please share your thoughts below in the Reply box …