A Guide To My Creative Morning Ritual

I have a ritual that I perform to keep my creative juices bubbling.  It often involves coffee, or maté and a lively coffee shop.  We can call it a form of meditation.  It is.

I call it The 10 Minutes of Nothing, but it’s basically just mind-wandering.   Sounds pretty stupid, huh?  Yea, right.  Have you ever noticed how cluttered your mind is all the time?  Constantly vaulting THIS THOUGHT at you, and then THAT THOUGHT, and then ALL THESE THOUGHTS.  Meanwhile you’re trying to focus on something completely different.

Well, that is why I like to give my mind a little space.  Every day or so, I like to give it ten minutes when it can vault whatever the hell it wants at me.  You can do it anywhere, and it is often ground zero for interesting new ideas that you can write about, take action upon or just giggle about.

Below I have included a brief step-by-step guide to help get you started:

A Guide to Mind-Wandering

Step 1: Sip some caffeine (this is optional).  But be sure to only start sipping when you intend to begin your wanderings.  That way you will be paying close attention when the caffeine starts invigorating your mind and you will feel it happen with penetrating detail.  Oh. yay.

Step 2:  Look around.  Pay Attention to where you are.  Notice the aromas, the people,  the feel of the seat,  the hug of the air.  The external world is bustling around you. Pay attention to it.

Step 3:  Notice whats happening inside yousrself.  Where are your thoughts tending to go?  What are they focusing on? What do they FEEL like?  What is their quality?

Step 4: Don’t think.   Or rather, try not to interact with the thoughts that come to you.  Simply observe them, and let them continue to string along, one to the next.  Your mind is stringing together thoughts like pearls on a necklace.  What does it look like?

Sometimes, this is where you remain.  Thoughts pass you by.  They may be focused on where you are; the place, the people, the sounds.  Or they may find merit in other places; past memories, problems at work, stresses at home, at school.  Whatever.  Just notice them.

Sometimes, the string of thoughts may slow, leaving a space.  That’s pretty cool.  Notice what happens to that space.  Can you expand it? Does it fill immediately with a thought or concern?  and if so what is the thought?

New thoughts  appear like sparks in a vacuum.  Notice them, but do your best not to interact with them.

Step 5:  Briefly write down any noteworthy thoughts you remember before going about your day..  

If you’re like my dad, and wonder where I come up with a lot of the weird stuff I write.  Well, that’s my secret.


Happy wanderings, mateys!


asset-3 OOLIN @ The Dingy Old Victorian House, San Jose, CA


One comment

  • This is pretty much what my morning runs are about 🙂

    Good insights – and I can hear your voice in it – as I can with most of your pieces.

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