I was just listening to a radio interview with William Donius, author of Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.
I haven’t read the book yet (it sounds like a good one) but I was nodding in agreement with Donius’ suggestion to seek guidance from your non-dominant hand when you want a creative solution. I’ve often had clients write questions with their dominant hand, such as
“What is the most important thing for me to focus on right now?”
“What am I forgetting?”
“What is the best way for me to bring abundance (joy, harmony, peace, love, etc.) into my life?”
“What is the next step?”
“What does my body need?”
and then write the answer with their non-dominant hand.
Try it—you might be very surprised at the creative answers your non-dominant hand provides!
The reason this exercise works is because it accesses different neurological pathways than the ones you are used to relying on to make decisions. I have often been amazed at the wisdom I have found by writing with my non-dominant hand.
Listening to the radio interview made me reflect on other ways I’ve used to tap innovation, creativity and genius in myself and my coaching clients. In addition to playing with the non-dominant hand, here are five other methods I rely on consistently:
o Move. This is my favorite because it is so easy and it never lets me down. I have solved many a problem and written many poems too, by simply taking a walk. Moving allows your brain to integrate information and synthesize concepts, prompting your creativity to flourish. In fact, movement is so useful that I often include walks or hikes with clients who come to St. Louis for full day coaching sessions with me. Invariably, everything comes together during the movement time.
o Get out in Nature. The separation between humans and the natural world is false. We are nature, and we thrive when we are exposed to our family of sky, earth, trees, water, plants and other animals. There’s a reason many poets and artists find inspiration outdoors.
o Nap. When I’ve reached the limit of what my linear brain can offer me on a project, my body will often signal me to Go to Sleep. NOW. I’ve learned to listen. When I do, an hour or even fifteen minutes may provide me with a dream, an idea or a fresh perspective. I feel fortunate that I now work at home so I can snatch the ZZZ time on the couch instead of laying my head down on my desk, like I used to do. (It was always tough explaining the crease lines on my face to the partners at my old law firm).
o Do Something-Anything-Else. When you set an issue or project aside and do something else entirely, you give your creative mind permission to go play without your ego’s interference or judgment. Next thing you know, you’ll be driving or taking a shower a few hours or days later and–Voila! The big idea presents itself to you.
o Take a Trip. Visiting a place you don’t live will offer new stimuli and allow you to think differently. When you combine the trip with nature and naps and movement, well, you’ve set yourself up brilliantly to let your genius shine through. If a big vacation is out of the question for you right now, go to a nearby lake or park. The locale need not be exotic, just outside the realm of your daily experience.
A few years ago when I went to Ireland for the first time, I spent days walking outdoors, soaking in the sea and sky, listening to birds and wind and visiting powerful ancient places. Perhaps it wasn’t so surprising that, after multi-year dry spell, I began writing poetry again while I was in rural Ireland. And I’ve incorporated many of the habits I developed on that journey into my life at home, to feed my creativity and allow my hidden genius to come out and play.
I would love to hear what you do to access your inner genius! If you try any of the ideas from the list above, please let me know how they work for you. And, if you think that indulging in a few of those practices in Ireland this summer would feed your soul, I have room for just two or three more people in the weeklong workshop I’m facilitating there. You can read more and enroll at www.KimberlySchneider.com/trips
Wishing you the joy of reveling in your genius,
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