Creativity, Action and Doing Nothing

This is the transcription of the talk 🙂

I have a million ideas all the time, as my friends will vouch for. I go through periods where I say, “Ooh! I’ve got a new idea! I’ve got a new idea!” and I get really excited and I start talking about it and it’s absolutely the next thing and it’s really going to happen and I’m going to do this and do that and, “Oh my God!” and it’s such a great idea.

The thing is, of course, that this happens quite a lot, so not all of these ideas actually turn into something. And I caught myself the other time I was mentioning to a friend of mine, “Oh, I’ve got a new idea I need to discuss,” and I thought, “Oh my goodness – how many times have I put her through this, this whole, ‘Oh, I’ve got a new idea to discuss,’ and she sits and she’s very good and she goes, ‘Yes, that’s a great idea,’ and then they don’t turn into anything particularly?” And then I started to get a bit, “Ooh… My ideas don’t turn into anything.” And this little voice started its work of, “Oh well, you see? You don’t actually get anything done, do you? All these ideas… Don’t waste other people’s time,” on and on and on, this little voice. And I realised that I didn’t care what the little voice said.

I do have a million ideas and I am equally passionate about every single one of them. I’ve got a book that I’m writing, there’s a brochure that I want to get written for Serenity Retreat, there are other projects on-board that I want to get started for Serenity Retreat, business workshops I want to get started. Now, not all of these will come off – I realise that. But that’s not the point.

The point is that we just have to keep chucking stuff out there, because it seems to me that one or two of those projects will take root and they’ll become more than just a notion – which is what has happened with Sicily. Sicily is now a thing; it’s going to happen in October. I’m going to do a partly silent retreat in Sicily. The Greek retreats have been running for… this is our seventh year, and that started with one of these ideas.

So even if we are an ideas person and keep coming up with stuff, I’m a real big fan of ideas. I am not a very big fan of listening to ideas that haven’t got a plan behind them or that people are just musing about and thinking, “Oh, one day I might…” I haven’t really got time for that. What I’m really interested in is seeing somebody’s passion and for somebody telling me that, “Oh, and I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that,” and outlining their action. It might come off. It might not. But just by putting that passion and enthusiasm into something and looking at the steps necessary to take action, we’re fine-tuning our way, we’re getting more and more in touch with what’s really resonating for us and what isn’t.

So I’m a big fan of millions of ideas. I’m going to keep having millions of ideas and most of them won’t come to anything – and that’s absolutely okay. And so it’s okay for all of us.

Which is also why I’m a big, big fan of sitting and doing nothing. I love meditation, but I think sitting and doing nothing is massively under-represented. I love lying on the sofa and turning everything off and just having a little wander around in my mind; not trying to get anywhere in particular, just seeing where it goes, really. Sometimes it turns into daydreaming and sometimes it turns into worrying about something or what have you. And I just notice all of that and see where it goes. Then sometimes, something will come to me in a flash, like the Sicilian thing did. I was lying down and just BANG! This idea came to me and I had to get up and get on with it straight away.

So I’m a really big fan of doing nothing as well. Let’s all do more nothing.


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