I’m in an online group led by Jill Badonsky, a creativity coach based in San Diego. She posts interesting prompts during the week to spark a new creative thought. One time she asked us to write a review of our breakfast, as if it were a musical performance or restaurant critique. So I came up with:
“This act was getting some buzz, and I had to sniff out the scene for myself. The pans clanged loudly as the chef looked for just the right pot in which to stir a delicate dance of oatmeal and water. You could feel the heat in the room as the stovetop eye started to warm to its audience. Finally, the combo began to gel, then a little sugar sweetened the mix that was ultimately smoothed into a cohesive delicacy, thanks to a bit of margarine and milk. The show runs every morning this week and will appeal to those who hunger for a basic breakfast experience.”
Story shaping is a little like that. Looking at things differently. Finding more joy in your ordinary journey. Discovering the beauty in the mundane. Even breakfast can be a great story, if you start noticing how cool life really is.
“What do I get to do today?” That’s a question Jill tells us to ask. It’s how you shift your thinking from seeing obligation everywhere you look to seeing these same things as opportunities. So, instead of telling myself “I have to write this article,” as if this article were bossing me around, I say, “I get to write this article and share these ideas.” There’s a lot more energy in the “get to” when compared to the “have to.” That’s the point.
The “shoulds” can really pile up. I heard a speaker one time (it was a church event, no less) talk about people who have a “should-y” attitude. It was such a perfect phrase, I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on. In any case, he was trying to encourage us not to put all these shoulds on ourselves, but instead to relax and trust and have faith.
At times, though, daily life just gets really bossy. Like when you’re running late, running behind, running over or even running under. That whole idea of “running” is probably evidence that daily life is entrenched in its overly pushy tendencies. As if it just really doesn’t want you sitting still and enjoying the view, but would rather nag and pick on you till you look away.
So it helps to have techniques to remember to relax and let go of the demanding expectations some of us carry in our head. It helps to pull back, slow down and cherish the small things.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, there are a lot of amazing things to see. And you’ve probably got a least a minute to spare to notice the beauty around you or the joy in your moment. So take another look today and enjoy your magnificent journey.
– Minnie Lamberth
The Magnificent Journey
Vol. 2, Issue 29