Friday, November 06, 2015


We've not had much snow in recent years!
Well the leaves are off the trees, the temperature is falling, the wind is picking up. The seasons are
a'changing once again and before we know it we'll be scraping the frost off the car in the morning and  - fingers crossed - bracing ourselves for snow.

Ok, perhaps the snow thing is wishful thinking - ever since I made my kids a proper wooden sledge a couple of years ago we've not had any "proper" snow! (Much to our collective disappointment!)

It's the time of year when birds start to gather together and migrate south for the winter. The summer visitors to our shores such as swallows, martins, flycatchers, hobbies and ospreys will be returning south with their young. As one set of visitors leaves, another set arrives from further north, ready to enjoy our mild winters (at least someone does), like Bewick and whooper swans and all manner of geese.
"It's the time of year when birds migrate south for the winter"
I always notice that there are more adverts around during autumn and winter for sunny holidays on exotic beaches. It's unsurprising that we yearn for sunlight during the winter months - it's a bit depressing when the days are short and the nights are long, and clearly the advertisers know it too!

We've got family in Florida, and in the over the winter they have an influx of visitors - people also escaping the cold winters, affectionately known as snow birds. And who can blame them!

Whooper swans visit us in winter
I wrote recently about creating refuges, safe habitat, for our dreams during difficult seasons. It occurred to me this week that perhaps our ideas, dreams and visions need a season to migrate, get more daylight and some unseasonal warmth, to flourish and prosper.

When I interviewed Jeff Goins over the summer, we talked about Mihaly Csikszentmihali's book about Creativity. Jeff pointed out that sometimes, in order for our creativity to flourish we don't need to change our technique particularly, but instead place it in a different environment.

So instead of sitting home alone trying to be creative, to find some place where other people are being creative and take inspiration and encouragement from that.
"In order for our creativity to flourish we don't need to change our technique but instead place it in a different environment."
Routines, rhythms and habits are good for us, I truly believe that, but sometimes we need to shake up our routine and do something different. Take our dreams on holiday, to absorb some different scenery, immerse ourselves in a different culture and see what takes shape.

It's easy to get stuck in a rut, and if that means that a metaphorical winter is setting in and your creativity has gone dormant, then it's time to thaw out by doing something different. I was interviewed for the Changeability Podcast last month, and I suggested that we take inspiration in different ways from time to time.

For instance, I love reading and read a lot of books, but there are times when I need to stop reading and spend time listening instead - listening to podcasts for instance, or maybe watching documentaries. Or rather than filling my brain up with stimulation, going for a walk and NOT listening, or reading or doing - just being.

Migration looks different for different species, and your creative migration will look and feel different to mine. But as the days are shortening, why not shake up your routines, stretch your wings, and fly your dreams and ideas south for a change - who knows what might happen if you do!
"Why not shake up your routines, stretch your wings, and fly your dreams and ideas south for a change!"

Thanks for taking the time to read Migration. If you've enjoyed it please share it with your friends on social media! Why not subscribe to The Potting Shed Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for expanded musings and much more (direct RSS feed is here). 

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I was recently interviewed for The Zone Show and the Changeability Podcast, both of which are well worth a listen!

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