By Estora Adams
Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. It’s a simple enough concept well understood by anyone like me with a fair amount of midriff pudge who’s tried to fold herself into some of the common yoga positions. No matter how free my hamstrings are, my belly won’t let my chest reach the front of my thighs. But I’m working on that.
Perhaps, though, tangible objects are not the only things that must find their own space. Maybe thoughts and ideas need their own room to breathe as well.
Those of us who are blessed enough to live in first world countries are inundated with information, stimulation, and communication. Some of us feel like we aren’t maximizing our time if we aren’t multitasking with at least two screens going--the television plus the phone, the tablet plus the laptop, a notebook sitting alongside the iPad. I’ll even admit that occasionally I’m watching something on the television while another project is going on my laptop, and my phone sits on the arm of the recliner in case I get a text. I miss the days when the phone rang and I had to get out of my chair to answer it despite not having a clue who was on the other end. Focus was so much easier back then. So was falling down the rabbit hole of creativity.
I have a few friends with whom I can lose vast amounts of time talking about ideas we have and feeding off of each other’s thoughts. Nothing nips that stream of creativity in the bud like a text or Facebook notification, though. I have yet to stop my Facebook scrolling, however, to jot down some earth-breaking new idea in my journal. With two exceptions (podcasts and an artists’ FB group), all of that media to which I feel constantly drawn contributes almost nothing to my intellectual or creative growth. Instead, the space in my thoughts occupied by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is space in which new ideas seem to be completely unable to grow--mental soil choked by weeds.
Only when I shut off the phone, the music, the never-ending input, do the ideas begin to flow, so I’ve started making the drive to town without turning on that podcast or audiobook I’ve been listening to. My workouts don’t always have a soundtrack these days, and when I sit down with those friends, my phone stays in the car or face down with the ringer off. I’ve been rewarded for my efforts with new ideas for my work in progress or my blog or my art. Problems that are vexing me get sorted through faster, and I catch the nuances of beauty in my world much more often.
Mind you, my Facebook account remains active, and I still love to see what my friends are up to on IG, but occasionally, I make space in my brain for the muse to play. Apparently she likes wide open spaces.
If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to read more of my thoughts or connect further, please visit me at my website, EstoraAdams.com, or find me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. My Twitter handle is @Estora_Adams.
Tiffany Heiser is the owner of Tiffany Heiser Graphics & Fyre and Brimestone Publishing. She is a self-taught graphic artist, an author, publisher, & a loving mom.