We've all had that feeling, part-way into a holiday, when we realize our mind has moved beyond the small immediate and opened up into bigger wider thoughts. Time slows & you feel calmer, more creative & open to possibility. So how do we bring that feeling into daily life?
In our overly distracted world we spend a lot of time trying to stay focussed and 'get things done'. Focus helps us be productive but too much can lead to a narrowing and rigidity of thinking that, with the addition of stress, results in reaction rather than creativity. To balance this out we need to actively practice expansive thinking. Expansive thinking is thinking that moves you beyond your immediate personal context to allow you to look at things from different perspectives & possibilities. Here's a few simple ways to try this in daily life:
- take a moment each day to look up into the sky or out at the horizon
- read a poem or zen koan to move your mind into a different rhythm
- visualize looking at yourself from the vantage point of space & time
- ask yourself expansive questions like 'what other possibilities might exist?'
'Possibility is the secret heart of time.' John O'Donohue