A very good friend of mine advocates ‘No Box Thinking’ . In fact , in a past chapter of her eclectic life, she wrote and delivered seminars about it. I’ve not seen her seminar…perhaps I should watch it, I’m sure there’s a video or podcast out there somewhere.
Anyway, the premise is based around forgetting the sales/marketing propaganda of ‘thinking outside the box’ and instead just get rid of the damned box. Sounds like perfect sense to me. In fact I thought I lived by this very premise: not pigeon holing life; not following set paths. I really believed that not only did I agree with the overarching idea, but that I was successfully both teaching that ideology to my son and leading by example. I really thought I was living without a box.
Then I went away for a couple of nights and realised that whilst I live outside of the ‘norm’ and largely don’t conform by walking the marked paths of progress and expectation; my life, like most people’s, has become so full and busy that I only see outside the near peripheries of what I already do.
My boxes may be large and colourful, and not particularly cuboid, but they still exists. I’m still constrained by them.
A few hours into a car journey towards a rare 2 days off for a little R&R and my busy little mind wandered off ; it meandered outside of its normal constraints and met up with some random ideas and options.
I thought I had life sussed, but I realise now that my life lacks one vital ingredient for ‘no box thinking’ … that ingredient is best described as ‘Nothing time’; moments of time where the mind is not processing data; not reviewing existing projects and ‘to do’ lists; not worrying about outstanding commitments; pressing engagements; the shopping; the cleaning; the kids; work ; phone calls that should have been made; emails that need to be sent; letters that need to be composed. I’m talking about those rare moments when your mind is silent.
Perhaps silent is the wrong word. I mean moments when the butterfly cage of the mind is opened and the butterfly can flutter off and explore the wider landscape and take an aerial view of life.
Precious moments of free (non)thinking have broadened my horizons. I’ve viewed my landscape from way above the ceiling I’m normally constrained by and as such I’ve spotted a few more paths worth exploring.
Like me, you may already have a life full of joy and activities; love and fun; as well as work and routine. Like me you may not crave anything else: BUT I challenge you to afford yourself some nothing time, a few moments of free (non)thinking, and see where your imagination might take you…….
Dinah Liversidge is now a small holder, country dweller, crafter, active community member, wedding celebrant, motivator and general super cool superstar of a woman living in rural wales and I am lucky enough to call her my friend. In a past life chapter she was a life coach and mentor and ocasionally she slips back into it both officially and unofficially. She once mentioned to me her program of no box thinking and it stuck in my head. When i am lucky enough to have her to myself for a few hours, i find her inspirational. i never leave from time with her without a spark alight in my mind and the ideas and energy just flows from there. we may not even have been talking about the project i become motivated to do.; but I am always more alive and more motivated after some time with her… you can find her here... or here…