In this blog series, I'll draw a card at random and use its energy and ideas to cook up five brain-sizzling creativity prompts. You can use these to think about particular situation you are experiencing, or as writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing, or simply as food for thought to fill an idle moment. You can journal these prompts, or just mull them over in your mind, meditate on them, workshop them collaboratively, or blog them (if you're sharing them somewhere, let me know in the comments below! I'd love to see what you come up with). I'll be using the Aquarian Tarot for this draw, so my comments will refer specifically to its imagery, but feel free to draw from a different deck if you prefer! See the full Creativity Prompts series here.
Our card this week? The Seven of Pentacles.
The Seven of Pentacles represents that moment in the cultivation of a skill where we get to stand back and evaluate our progress. Its key themes are apprenticeship, study, advancement, cultivation, perseverance, and payoff.
1. What are you working on right now? This card reminds us that although it's great to get one's nose to the grindstone, we do on occasion need to stand back and say, "Hey! Look how much I've accomplished!" Take a pause right now to evaluate your progress, to give yourself some props for how far you've come, and to make a plan for the next steps.
2. This card also asks us to think about how we work. Are you a dedicated studier, able to put in hours of uninterrupted and focused labour, even if the house is burning down around you? Or (like me, *ahem*), are you a consummate procrastinator who needs regular incentives and frequent breaks in order to get anything done? Why do you think that is? What insight about yourself might you gain from examining this further?
3. How do you find flow in your work? It's interesting that some tasks utterly fail to occupy us and getting them done can seem like pulling teeth, and other tasks will absorb our attention for hours. What gets your focus engaged? Is it a particular kind of task, or a way of working? For more on this, check out the TED talk from the expert on flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
4. Let's get a little lazy for a second! I often think about that scene in The Matrix, where Trinity downloads helicopter flight instructions directly into her brain and can immediately pilot a chopper like a pro. If only it were that easy to become an expert at something! If you could download mastery of any discipline, what would it be? Why? And do you think you could still appreciate your skill if you hadn't done the hard yards to learn it?
5. It may not be so simple in the real world, but we can still plant seeds and hope to grow accomplishments in the future. What will you be planting next? What ambitions do you have, what barely imagined projects do you have hiding away in your bottom drawer? What do you dream of learning but imagine you might never actually conquer? Spend a little time with that. No matter how remote, is that a seed you could start to plant right now?
Looking for more fuel for your fire? You can find the other posts in this creativity series here. As ever, if you're blogging or journaling this series, let me know where I can find you in the comments!