I have been participating in Danielle Laporte’s ’30 Days To Fire Up Your Creative Genius’ Challenge, which outlines thirty unique questions, one each day, to help you focus in on what matters most to you in your life. Check it out if you have a chance: I think Danielle Laporte really has some great questions to get you thinking! One of the questions a few days back was about approaching the familiar in a new way, using what Zen practitioners refer to as Shoshin, or “Beginner’s Mind.” This is a concept that I have been playing with today in my writing. I have been doing my best to approach each paragraph with openness and curiosity. This is a bit of a stretch for me, because I tend to want to know what happens next, right from the start. However, I am finding that the coolest sections and chapters I’ve written so far have come from my practice of Shoshin. It’s when I take a step back, allow for the unknown, and show up with an open and expansive sense of “I don’t know where the hell I’m going!” that the real creative magic happens.
There is only one drawback: it can be scary! It’s not just I-feel-a-little-apprehensive scary. It’s white-knuckles-oh-my-god-blind-panic kind of scary. Because I think we’re hardwired as human beings to want to plan ahead and know what to expect. But if you are willing to give Beginner’s Mind a chance, I highly recommend it as a daily practice. I have consistently surprised myself when I’ve really made room for the unknown in my work. I am more creative, resourceful, and wise when I get out of my own way.