Are You Dating Yourself?

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I know, I know…you can take that title a few different ways—age, sex– but in THIS case, I mean actual dating.  Taking yourself out for a date.  Have you ever done it?  Dating can be fun and it can also be uncomfortable, depending on who it’s with!  Getting out of your routine and going someplace new can spur imagination and creativity.

In her book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she suggests we go on “artist’s dates” to facilitate our creativity if we’re stuck.  But it’s not always about being stuck.  Sometimes we just need to get out of our “comfort zone of creativity!”

I was speaking the other day with one of our clients. She shared her concern that although her staff has tons of creative ideas, they seemed to be trapped in their way of thinking and looking at the world.  “It’s an easy fix,” I told her.

The next time I came in to give an Imagination BreakTM for them, I gave them homework.  I challenged them to be out of their house all day on either the Saturday or Sunday over that next weekend.  “Pick a new trail to hike, a new neighborhood you’ve never been to or a new museum.  Spend time noticing what’s new, what grabs your attention. Take some pictures. Talk to people. Be a kid and play!  Have no agenda, just let the day show you where to go”.  They loved the idea!

That next week, there were stories and photos to share from all of those who took part.  I could see a whole change of attitude, as well as a renewed sense of joy in their work.  I recommended they continue this each week, even if it’s not the whole day.  Just do one new thing each week.  

When I checked in with their manager, she was thrilled with their change of attitude.  They had new ideas spurred on by art they had seen, rides they had been on and even animals they had petted!

I did this very thing this past weekend.  (Yes, I practice what I preach!)  It was the annual “Spring Fling” at the Bergamot Center, a fantastic art gallery area in Santa Monica.  It was a gorgeous day and I was excited to see what new art was there. 

Plus, I also found some new friends there!  You never know what or who you’ll find when you just go out and do something you love in a different way.

So do yourself a favor….take yourself out on a date.  Go window shopping in a new neighborhood, take a cooking class, go to the zoo.  Look for something new.  Look AT something new and look at things with new eyes.  You’ll come back to work energized and your inner kid will have some new toys to play with!

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