Time for Mentastics


With a newly established writing goal added to my daily schedule, I woke early envisioning a block of uninterrupted time. I know about my pattern of procrastination, so I opened my computer and demanded inspiration to come.

Unfortunately, I heard only voices inside my head clamoring about other responsibilities that should take precedence over creativity. The harder I tried to focus, the more distracted I felt. The more I argued internally the more tension I felt in my hands resting on the keyboard.

Time continued to move toward the previously scheduled scrapbooking hours with a friend. Cancelling would mean time to complete my writing as well as everything else on the to-do list, and also a loss of collective creative time. The internal argument did not last long. I put the writing away for the day, loaded my crafting supplies in my car and left the house.

A simple ten-minute path on two-lane country roads leads to my friend’s home. My mind still distracted with the question of responsibility, I drove automatically assuming my car knew exactly where to go. I noticed the cow pastures and the Amish houses. As I crossed what should have been the last intersection, the road changed from asphalt to gravel. I realized I had somewhere turned onto the wrong road. I quickly pulled over feeling embarrassed, and put the address into my GPS.

Crap, I thought, 10 minutes to destination. I turned around.

After pulling into her driveway, I stepped out and smelled wood smoke, a distinctive scent from outdoor wood burners used for heating. I saw a faint column of smoke rising, heard a ringing sound reminiscent of Tibetan Singing Bowls. This serene woodland scene with the wisp of smoke, the slight breeze, and the rhythmic gong of wind chimes reminded me to take these surprise moments and make time for Mentastics. I took a deep breath of cool air. Already late, I set my timer for one minute and stood with my eyes closed, breathing and listening.

The endless discussion in my mind stopped, my breathing slowed, the tension left my hands as I let them dangle freely by my side. My day had already changed. When I returned home later, I found it easy to open the writing window and feel the breeze of inspiration.

Mentastics Minute
Step outside as you are able
Set a timer for one minute

  • Gently close your eyes as you notice
    • What sounds do you hear?
    • What can you smell?
    • What is the temperature of the air you breathe in and out of your lungs?
  • Open your eyes either before or after the timer beeps
    • What do you see with your eyes?
    • Notice the variations of color, shape, size in the world around you.
  • Write a few words or sentences about your experience.
  • Try the same experiment inside your place of work, your home, a crowded shopping mall.

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