How Did it Go?

Wonderful! Amazing! The best thing I have done for myself this summer!

What, you are asking? My "No New Ideas Month." In June, I realized I was creating too much brain drain and stress by constantly finding, researching, trying, deciding, looking up new ideas, and then repeating the process again and again. Telling myself I couldn't act on any new ideas for an entire month was an experiment that went beyond my expectations.

In fact, I was nervous about a week's vacation with this limitation, let alone a whole month. My normal week off would have been filled with time spent on new ideas. Instead, my vacation flew by without me even noticing the lack of new ideas. In fact, I didn’t even miss it the whole month.

The secret to succeeding at it? Realizing I have enough of my own ideas and interests! I really didn't need any more. Enough - a powerful word. It is actually the key to a lot of things.

It is amazing how many little things we accumulate in our lives. They are small, they don't cost much, and we have no hesitation buying them. Then over the years, they gradually accumulate into large piles. That is how my ideas were going. I kept finding little ideas, especially on Pinterest. I'd save them for later, and move on to the next. I kept collecting ideas.

Pinterest became addicting. It was like a "high" to see all these pictures and new ideas. Then a new idea popped on the screen and I'd follow that. Down another rabbit hole I went. In hindsight, the process of collecting ideas was actually frying my brain.


That wasn't all. I'd start acting on ideas, jumping in without thinking. I made lists. I ran to the library for books on the subject. I bookmarked pages in the book (too many as you see here). I bought supplies without trying the idea out. I had great ideas for quilting, bought extra fabric for the next project when I hadn't started the first. When I started the first, I found out I didn't like it. Now I have fabric I have no use for. This was a constant cycle for me.

Forcing myself to stop the idea collection, remove Pinterest from my phone, and start focusing on the things I already have was a great relief. My mind got a chance to rest. I found space to focus on just a few things and I loved the feeling. Space and time. Yes, this month gave me space and time. I find that I value that more than new ideas.

So to be honest, did I really have no new ideas? That is impossible. I did tell myself I could write them down, to revisit in the future, but they lose some luster this way. (That's actually a good thing). I did have one idea that seemed brilliant, not to be passed up, and I almost acted on it. Thank goodness I didn't, because a week later circumstances changed that made the idea implausible.

We also worked on finishing up a couple of ideas that we started months ago. Those weren't new, so didn't count. In my new found time I read 7 of my favorite author's books (Agatha Christie), sewed one small quilted wall hanging, biked, kayaked, spent time with family, helped family with college homework and with moving, cleaned the house, and continued decluttering from June's Mins Game. I never felt bored.


So now it is August. I let myself go on Pinterest the other night - that was a mistake. An hour later, I had peered down at least four different rabbit holes. Finally I told myself to quit the nonsense. Tonight I almost acted on another idea, but stopped myself and finished another thing first.

My lessons learned: Pinterest is great in small doses, and good ideas are best written down and thought over. Making a list of what I already have, and doing those things is extremely helpful in reminding me what I can do. In fact, I never seem to get through that list anyway. Enough is a powerful word to keep in mind.

Hopefully I can remember these lessons. I'm trying to refocus a few things, and slowly work out some ideas that have been brewing a long time, but need solutions. Maybe I will find the solutions, maybe I won't. Instead I hope I continue to find space and time.

Comments

  1. I love this Lisa, I really do. I can relate to all you talk about.

    It strikes me that as a society we spend a lot of time 'not' being able to fit things in. Yet, we seem excellent at adding things in.

    We build homes that in time accumulate things. We grow families, increase work loads and we add noise. Noise from tv, computers, newspapers, books, shopping malls, mail and people.

    Of course this is not a bad thing! I adore the my nest filled with children and my mind that is being expanded by reading memoirs and discussions with like minded people like you from across the world. Heck, in writing this to you I'm expanding and filling my soul right now.

    I love your experiment...maybe you don't even need Pinterest. Maybe you have enough ideas. Maybe in the quiet and stillness of not hearing 'everyone' else's ideas you will in fact find solutions in your own ideas. How wonderful Lisa.

    Imagine if we all gave something up to see what we already have/know. This is the thing I love about seeking simplicity. It's not the physical decluttering that creates the mammoth shifts. The freedom comes from trusting your own ideas and stepping in from time to time to hear a perspective or find some inspiration. But actual contentment. Well that's found away from the noise - in the stillness - in yourself.

    Looking forward to tagging along with you Lisa as you share these insights, these gems you're digging out.

    Fran x

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