tap the muse: use the Miracle Mile Practice.
Ever notice what you're doing when some of your greatest ideas occur to you?
From solving everyday problems (e.g. what Halloween costume can I possibly cobble together for my kids using the remnants of my old Halloween costumes that are still stored in a box in the garage?) to answering serious life-directing questions (e.g., what the heck am I am supposed to be doing?), our best ideas often arise from seemingly nowhere.
They can hit like a lightening bolt while in the shower. Or, while chopping kale. They may even arise in a dream that startles you awake, compelling you to write down some cryptic notes in a journal on your bedside table, the journal your best friend got you for your birthday two years ago, labeled "Big Ideas."
For writers, this ability to tap into this inspirational zone is a gift. It’s like having a big pump to a deep well. A satellite dish that picks up incredible channels. Or, a super fast Wi-Fi. It’s what keeps a blank page filled with words. And the CLICK of the keys on your computer keyboard humming away like the popping sound of microwave popcorn right before it burns.
It’s possible that some of the most successful and prolific writers among us, those for whom writing comes easily, have been born with a natural ability to tap into this Source whenever.
But this isn’t to say that others can’t sharpen and hone their own transmission talents, too. Which brings me to my point. What’s the best way to tap into this great creative Source of inspiration?
While there are many ways to connect with one's muse, the Garage Girls have discovered one method that is so simple, so easy, and yet, so effective that you may find it hard to believe.
Wait for it…
It’s called walking. Yup, that’s it.
And you don’t have to be walking in the woods either (although, yes, forest bathing has its own distinct benefits). For writers, though, it doesn't matter if you're walking a country back road or a city street. Both are equally advantageous.
Need to figure out what novel to write?
How to resolve your crisis in the third act of your screenplay?
Or, how to make your heroine tough, but flawed, and yet, still likable?
Some of the most life-enhacing and creative ideas that have ever occurred to me were thought up while walking. Usually while I was walking to work. Thankfully, my walk to Courtney's garage office is actually a bike trail that is (not coincidentally) just under two miles!
Now, we do know that exercise can enhance cognitive function. So, it’s possible that just getting the blood flowing by moving the physical body walking can clear out the mental cob webs. But, I would also submit that sunlight is also part of the secret, too. It feeds the pineal gland and syncs up our circadian cycles. It helps our bodies naturally make vitamin D. I could go on. But no one really needs a roundup of scientific studies to prove to us what we already know: We just feel better when we mindfully bask in the sun’s glow.
The other aspect of walking that makes it poised for tapping into the creative Source for inspiration is the action of taking a step. It’s a metaphor for a journey, which we’re always on. But walking also has a rhythmic quality, a cadence that is useful for counting, especially when you’re repeating a mantra or an affirmation, or any series of powerfully positive words that tune your unconscious mind to the frequency of thoughts you’re desiring to manifest.
So, if you’re stuck in your job, your relationship, your life or your writing—get outside and get walking. The Garage Girls have started to think of writer's block as the one in our neighborhood where our houses are situated. And all we ever have to do to get unstuck is take a long walk around it! Happy writing!