Sunday, September 18, 2005


brain space

ever since i embarked on the journey to carve out a new career for myself, my experiences have proved time and again that life can only evolve into what we really want when we open ourselves up to it being just that - a journey.

it brings me back to one of my favorite passages, which i've written about before. the passage is part of a letter written by ranier maria rilke:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
approaching life from this perspective allows so much more to happen, it creates such possiblity because it reminds us that we don't have to be doing "the exact right thing" we can just do what seems like the best thing to do next.

what i am noticing about this process most recently is that sometimes as we are working our way through the questions, new ideas only come once the old ones have been completely worked through. it's as if there is only so much space in our brain in which thoughts and ideas can take seed. as we let go of the old ideas, which life has proved to be unworkable, new questions and ideas can move into the available space we've just created.

as often happens, just as i was mulling this concept over the universe delivered a confirmation that i was on the right track. it was in jodee's recent post on her great blog you already know this stuff. the visual on this was really helpful, so check out the full post to get the full effect.

When we go through any kind of creative process like brainstorming, we usually don't allow ourselves enough time. We go through the motions, bringing in our old ideas, and then get bored when we've had a chance to dump those ideas we came in with. But the real value - and often the breakthrough ideas - come when we allow the process to work its way through that first downward trend and come back up even higher on the value scale.

while this description is pointing more to an exercise than to the experience of living life, i think it's entirely applicable to the bigger picture. too often we have some concept of something we want to create, accomplish or make happen and once we've tried our first two or three ideas and failed - we give up. we never let ourselves see what would happen if we kept thinking, exploring and trying things beyond those first failed attempts.

i'm noticing that the ideas i am having most recently, new ideas that i am really excited about have taken root largely because i have fully let go of the ideas that were in my mind when i started on this journey nearly a year ago. i've accepted that those first ideas were simply a means to a further end. the new ideas i'm having never would have come about had i not tried the things i've recently tried, but they also wouldn't have shown up if i'd given up all together once the old ideas lost their gleam.

what ideas are you hanging onto in spite of the fact that they've lost their appeal? what might you create space for if you let go of them?

is it time to return to the brainstorming phase with new information and experience in hand?

i'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the evolution of ideas and approaching life as a journey, post them here!

dream big,


I love Rilke - and this quote in particular. I'm so glad have it be everywhere! We used some of this quote in our wedding ceremony. After my Mom died, I found that she'd had a copy of this quote framed in her house.

Thanks for sharing your big thoughts with us! And, love the t-shirts!

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