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New Year’s resolutions are discouraging, right? For the most part, yes. For 2017, I would like to propose to you some resolutions that are more realistic (and pleasant) to keep. New year, new ideas!
-By Marie Eve Gosemick, wellness collaborator and creative writer on the move
- Daydreaming without feeling guilty
« La vie ne se passe pas sur la terre, mais dans ma tête. » (Life doesn’t happen on Earth, but in my head)
Is daydreaming a waste of our time? Not if it’s positive. One can daydream in order to try to solve what’s happening in reality rather than seek to escape from it. As long as we pay attention to not nourish our obsessive thoughts during this retreat, allowing our mind to wander is often an opportunity to see more clearly.
You may already be familiar with positive-constructive-daydreaming praised by psychologists Scott Barry Kaufman and Rebecca L. McMillan. Daydreaming is more effective than concentration in helping to solve complex problems, because this disconnection from reality stimulates the brain activity and facilitates the maturation of ideas.
In his book Playing and Reality, psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott explains that daydreaming is the children’s first creative activity. It is our unconscious expressing itself based on our learnings and our experiences.
In 2017, we give ourselves permission to let our imagination run free. Who knows, maybe that’s how we will learn to master the art of letting go.
- Observe at will
« Le matin, c’est la plus belle image du monde… On devrait l’encadrer! » (The morning is the most beautiful image of the world … We should frame it!)
If it is healthy to daydream, it is also good to leave our bubble and pay close attention to what surrounds us. Being creative means finding the extraordinary in our everyday environment.
According to neuroscience, creative thinking changes according to the context, hence the importance of developing an analytical eye. In fact, a good sense of observation goes beyond of what is in sight; it is about perceiving with the five senses.
In their book The Invisible Gorilla, two researchers in psychology reveal numerous ways in which our intuition can deceive us and cause us to lose opportunities to learn and explore, yet these are two essential parts of our creativity.
This year, when you wake up, be attentive to the softness of the sheets, to the sound of the water in the shower, to the smell of coffee and to the taste of butter melting on the croissants. We will seize every opportunity to be amazed.
- Ask better questions
« Sans curiosité, le monde serait probablement encore à l’âge de pierre. » (Without curiosity, the world would probably still be stuck in the Stone Age.)
Careful observation of our environment leads us to notice the differences. A good way to better understand these differences is to ask the right questions. How do we do that? By using the survey methodology of Statistics Canada when we are formulating our questions.
If I ask you “What is your resolution for 2017: spend less or move more?” I give you a choice for your answer and I am not looking to get to know your interests. We have to be more curious and avoid suggesting an answer. And we should not be afraid to expose our vulnerability by asking for explanations when we are wondering about a phenomenon. Instead ask open questions that are short, simple and neutral.
May 2017 bring you opportunities to be more interested in others and the time to learn (and unlearn). Happy New Year!
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