BY ANASKA FISCHER, – KIRSTY TRANSLATIONS – BLACKCURRENT@GMAIL.COM
I miss walking so much, wandering and exploring by bike, and my creativity is suffering. Nor can I fully explain how much these outings are an essential part of what I do, of my work as a writer and a creative coach. I can imagine that if the police were to stop me they wouldn’t want to hear about how these excursions of mine favour my creativity and introspection and help me connect with that state of productivity for which a psychologist with an unpronounceable name once coined the term: Flow.
For centuries, walking and roaming have been considered a spiritual practice, even in confined spaces such as the labyrinth of cloisters or in magnificent cathedrals. But I must have the devil in me, because what moves the needle of my creativity is a horizon, a panoramic view, and the colours, smells and the organic combination of real elements. But… we cannot go out yet. Julia Cameron, known for her wonderful book The Artist’s Way, is also a fan of Wanderung ( I like the word in German, because it has a hint of hiking and surprise within its meaning). Julia defines these outings as an Artist Date or Solo Expedition. It is a deliberate time dedicated to exploring, indulging, remembering or visiting a place that interests you, but always alone, to help you learn to enjoy spending time on your own. I have been working with these tools for fifteen years now and Julia Cameron has become an inner voice, always there, ready to rescue me with her good and liberating ideas. What did Julia advise me to do? You are not going to believe this… it’s a Creative Coaching exercise, obviously, and I am delighted to share it with you, and however strange it may sound at first – you will see how good it makes you feel!
My inner Julia Cameron told me that if what I needed was a horizon, I had a technological window to the world at my disposal called Google Maps. (WTF Julia?) I thought she was pulling my leg, but she suggested the following – How about you key in the coordinates of that little house you used to spend your summers in when you were a teen?
Reluctantly, I typed in the address, and there was the house, almost the same as I remembered it. I began to explore, turning the photo this way and that, all 360º, and then I clicked on the arrow. Would the benches where we used to congregate with our friends after dinner still be there?… and yes, they were there, along with my memories. By moving the little arrow I delighted in discovering all the new and different elements of the scene, while marvelling at what was a photocopy of a landscape full of memories, of first kisses, first loves, of escapades to the beach, two on a ciao, hoping we wouldn’t get stopped by the police.
When I realised, the room was in semidarkness. I had been wandering around alone, to the sound of a click, for over an hour! I had enjoyed it hugely, the sense of freedom, awe, novelty and falling in love, and I recognised that my blessed “Inner Julia Cameron” is very witty. So, I want to share this experience with you, so you too enjoy a Virtual Date with yourself, and revel in it!
PS: Creative Coaching is a creative training method to help you unravel your true lifestyle and get started on your dreams. It can be a single session, a series or a personalised exploration of self knowledge, by email, at your own pace. You can write to me with any questions or doubts.