Books Creativity Storytelling Zine

SPRING 2022: No Other Choice

Waiting Room, John Register, 1990

Some of my favorite moments are those times you have no other choice but to sit still and think — the waiting times, the pauses, the storm days. I do some of my most creative work there in those unencumbered moments, those times in between the Busy.

I outlined an entire book during an MRI scan a few years ago. And my Words by Jen logo? I came up with that while waiting for a client to arrive at a coffee shop.

When I travel, I always show up early at the airport and sink into the slow wait of boarding and waiting and flying. Often, the tires hitting the tarmac come too soon — no matter what adventure is about to commence.

For me, there is something about that hollow space that gives my brain permission to go explore something new and unknown. Like Alice, following rabbits down rabbit holes and discovering things I never imagined!

It’s challenging to find those moments, though, especially these days when headlines have our rapt attention. When rabbit holes seem too frivolous in comparison to struggles and turmoil.

But as Carolyn Gregoire explains in her article Creative in Times of Crisis, “Art seeks to make sense of everything from our smallest sad moments to the most earth-shattering tragedies. It helps us to process and come to terms with the things in life that we can’t control and can’t really explain.”

“Any experience that shakes your world and challenges your assumptions can lead to heightened creativity and more authentic self-expression. Positive or negative, any experience that leads us into the unknown is also guiding us into the birthplace of creation.”

So, I encourage you to make time to explore that unknown, even now in these days of unending challenges. Give yourself breathing room, claim those unencumbered moments, and connect with your creative voice — it can be a solace, a grounding force, an anchor in the storm.

With Love,

Jen Payne

4 replies on “SPRING 2022: No Other Choice”

Yep… It’s that “nothing” time. What an old friend called “passive mode”… When “what happens next” is completely up to other for forces, people, organizations, et cetera. There’s probably a lot more of that than we let happen! :-) Thanks for the reminder to embrace it.

Nothing times are few and far between – passive mode, right. Open the windows and doors, let the fresh air in! Fresh ideas too. More please!

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