SARK has wonderful ideas for getting in touch with inner wisdom. One of my favourites is the miracle walk. It’s so simple it shouldn’t work, but it does. Go for a walk with your hands outstretched, palms up, and say, “Miracle, find me.”
I didn’t ask for a miracle this afternoon. I simply went for a walk to clear my head. I struggled all morning with an idea I’m trying to develop, but I couldn’t concentrate. I kept checking my email, playing another Scrabble move on Facebook, looking out the window to see if it was still snowing. Finally I gave up and went outside.
Jake and I walk most days to the summit—a high spot on our road where you can look across the Skeena to the mountains LW and I call “the girls.” (Yes, I know. In an earlier post I said we call our chickens “the girls.” What can I say? We like girls.)
We had the road to ourselves because a foot of snow has fallen since yesterday morning. Our world is washed clean, and it’s quiet. So quiet.
I was completely absorbed in walking, breathing, seeing, smelling, being when an idea dropped from the sky and I caught it. I love when that happens. It’s just a little idea, not the life-changing kind—at least I don’t think so—but it’s a good one. I can’t tell you about it yet. It needs to incubate for a while.
Julia Cameron tells a story I love about how she came to teach the creativity workshops that became The Artist’s Way:
“One minute I was walking in the West Village on a cobblestone street with beautiful afternoon light. The next minute I suddenly knew that I should be teaching people, groups of people, how to unblock. Maybe it was a wish exhaled on somebody else’s walk.”
What I love about that story is the timing. Two people pass on a busy street. One exhales an idea, one breathes it in.
It’s arrogant to think we originate ideas. Sparks come from everywhere. We don’t control them. We certainly don’t own them. If we’re wise, we open to them. If they resonate, we can feed them, nurture them, develop them into something that can only ever be partially our own.
Not only are we breathing in ideas all the time, we breathe them out. We can’t know where they will go or who will use them. Or when.
I mention this because the idea that dropped out of the sky on my walk this afternoon was one I recognized as a distant cousin of one I read yesterday online. I didn’t know when I read the article that it held the seed of a solution for a problem I hadn’t encountered yet. The woman who wrote the article couldn’t have imagined what I might do with it. She didn’t write it for me. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know what I need. And yet she breathed out an answer to my problem. Six months later, I breathed it in.
It’s kind of miraculous, when you think about what’s involved.