Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shifting from the outside in

Lilacs change moment to moment

Above are two photos of lilacs taken only a couple of days apart. Lilacs begin to wilt as soon as they are cut. So why even plant lilacs? Why bring the blooms inside? Granted, they give off a glorious smell, but still.

Could it be because they are so transient? Because they are a reminder of how fleeting beauty and therefore life is? And what does this have to do with shifting to success?

Because shifting is also changing. Yes, that sounds like only semantics, but it goes deeper than a different word. It's also a hint as to how to shift from the outside in.

When was the last time you changed anything in your workspace? Do something new--a new plant, move around the pictures, shift your laptop to a slightly different space. Put a different wallpaper on your monitor. Or even cell phone. Little changes, but they help "wake up the brain" to new possibilities.

When was the last time you tried something new to read? Tried a different way to write? Stepped out, in a small way, of your comfort zone? Done some tiny thing in a different way? Even walking in a different direction or driving to work can help the brain with larger paradigm shifts.

And finally--itsy-bitsy visualizations. Visual yourself finishing a chapter, or mailing a manuscript, or even hearing back with a positive response from an editor or agent. Be detailed with this tiny visualizing--glory in it, if you can.

Any and all of this will shift from the outside in.

What are some of the small changes you can think of to make?


Jim Murdoch said...

For a great many years I wrote nothing but poetry. I was a poet and poets wrote poetry. Right? Since my mid-thirties I've written four novels, two plays and forty-odd short stories without letting go of the poetry. I was good at writing poetry. I had no problems getting it published but it was restrictive, there were things that needed to be said that didn't work as poetry. Now I think of myself as a writer and nine months ago I started a literary blog to add to my writing credentials. My novels are nothing like my short stories and my short stories are nothing like my poems; each one has allowed me to develop a different aspect of myself as a writer, to grow. And if you're not growing then what're you doing?

Dave King said...

Surely, the lilacs don't wilt because they've been brought in, but because they've been cut off from their life source. I'm not sure where that gets us, but I have recently made big (for me) changes to my work space - and I'm still trying to catch up with them. At the moment, I feel it may be me that;s wilting, but we shall see.
I would like to say that I read all your posts with great interest; I do not always comment because I often do not know what to say without sounding anti - which I am not. I guess you catch me on one of my weaknesses, but keep doing it, it's good for my soul!

Swubird said...


Great post - thought provoking.

As a matter of fact, I changed my screen saver yesterday. Every once in a while I like to give the place a different look. It makes me feel better. It's like washing your car. Everybody knows that a clean car runs better. I guess it works the same way for your creative juices. Make a change, and the juice begins to flow.

Have a different day.

Conda Douglas said...

Hey Jim--yeah, it's all writing and all writing teaches better writing (well maybe not this sentence).

And what are you doing if your stagnant? Isn't that rotting?

Conda Douglas said...

Dave, thanks for your apt comments--yes the lilacs wilt because they're dying! (But they are notorious for doing so far more quickly than other flowers, even when still uncut.) And yes, a change often leads to that "wilting" feeling--I think that's because it takes energy to go through the change.

And Dave, thanks for your kind comments on my entries. I enjoy your "Pics and Poems" blog as well, it often makes me think a little differently, which of course creates shift.

Conda Douglas said...

Good for you, Swu--it amazes me how the little stuff works sometimes. Not to go too woo-woo, but I think that changing your screen saver can be real energizing, and easy IF you remember how...I'm not a techie.

The Muse said...

You know me, I change everything all of the time! I just changed my wallpaper too.

I've been rearranging the house, changing my wardrobe, and changing my writing style...I'm all about change!

Have a great day!

Conda Douglas said...

Muse--the more you use those change muscles the stronger they become!

BookingAlong said...

You definitely shifted my perspective today! If you have time, you might check out my latest blog about Val Kilmer, the actor, and an incident about market timing and promotion involving a rare book he wrote. The article does not have a MESSAGE in caps..for people to get...but leaves interpretation to the reader.Plus, I'm not selling a thing.

Conda Douglas said...

Thanks for commenting, bookingalong. I'll check out your blog.