The million miles between head and heart
Quest Digest #27 👁🗨 plus inspiring finds from our Questers this month...
THE QUEST DIGEST by Creative Quests is a treasure chest of ideas, stories & opportunities exploring what it means to live an illuminating, creative life. Delivered when inspiration strikes.
We are just over a week into our ‘Bring Your Own Theme’ Creative Quest. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat reticent about how everybody exploring different themes at the same time would be. Chaos & confusion?! Thankfully quite the opposite.
Our live sessions and Discord and have been absolutely alive with GENEROSITY for each other’s Quests. Everyone has been contributing wisdom and ideas to their fellow Questers, fuelling this month of creative discovery. It’s even given people a chance to explore the intersections and similarities between themes… something I couldn’t have predicted before this month. The power of experimentation my friends!
“How do I listen to and lead with my heart more?”
It’s a question I’ve been sitting with and, somewhat ironically, thinking a lot about recently. Particularly while running.
I am guilty as can be for letting my mind run the show. A world-class over-thinker that lets the what if’s get in the way of what feels like a good thing. Then on the other side, months down the line, to be met with the ‘Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda’ torment of not having done the thing. Maybe you are the same?
Growing a young business and nurturing a community in conscious ways takes up a lot of my thoughts. Most jobs do. Strategy and considering the most efficient route from A to B is important when deadlines must be met and progress must be made.
But what your creative self desires is often far different.
A creative life is a commitment to the taking scenic route and trusting that your internal heart-shaped compass will guide you through uncharted territory toward the things you want to bring into the world.
Crossing the bridge from head to heart is no easy journey! It may only be a 12 inch distance or so… but the reality is that the gap between head and heart may as well be a million miles.
There were two things I came across this week that shed a little light on this shady path:
1. As part of my own Water themed Creative Quest I have been really captivated by the work of Wallace J Nichols - who has written and spoken extensively on a theory he has coined called ‘Blue Mind’. That being in, on, under or near water can have incredible benefits on our cognitive and physical wellbeing. In a blue mind, we are more present and our creativity has space to flow.
In his bestselling book and on this podcast Nichols talks about a Blue Mind being an antidote to the always on, notification laden, screen glare of modern life AKA ‘Red Mind’. He also makes the point that a Red Mind is not all bad. Our ability to cope with multi-streams of stimulus, is likely what has helped us evolve as a species… but in excess it leads to ‘Grey Mind’. A place of burnout and anxiety.
Nichols suggests that actually there is an optimum point between both Red and Blue mind where we are productive, creative and conscious of the world around us. We feel connected to other people and planet we live on.
2. This week saw the passing of Sinead ‘O’Connor. I can think of few artists, or human beings full-stop, who let their heart lead as much as much as her. Even if it led her into widespread media criticism throughout most of her life.
I saw this quote posted on Instagram amongst the vast outpouring of tributes to her life this week:
“It’s no accident that the voice is placed where it is, right between the head and the heart… The voice is halfway between the heavens, and the Earth – constantly grounding us to the Earth at times then guiding our path up out of it at other times… Song, and chants, place us in the in between – between head and heart, between, and beyond, in the here and now – pulling us in two directions. In this unity of opposite lies, its healing powers.” - Sinead O’Connor
I adore this idea that our voice is a channel. A meeting place for heart and mind. Maybe the best thing we can do in service of our creativity is in fact ensure we give it a voice and encourage others to share theirs.
Both Nichols and O’Connor’s words guide towards the idea of an ‘in-between’ or more poetically ‘a unity of opposites’ as being the place we are our most optimal creative selves.
Between Red and Blue.
Between Heaven and Earth.
Between Head and Heart.
I’ll be taking this these opposites for more walks, runs and swims this week and see where it takes me.
💬 Let us know in the comments if you have a go to technique for bridging the gap between head and heart 🧠 〰 ❤️
A round up of illuminating discoveries from our Questers…
🖥 Are.na is a platform for connecting ideas and building knowledge. My creative magpie senses are tingling with this one.
🐋 We promise you that you have never seen life under the ocean like you will in this video: One breath around the world
🤫 David Foster Wallace on the importance of quiet
🧿 Dive into the Bureau of Surrealist research *
🤳 Dérive app gets you lost in your city and lets you share that experience with others.
🗣 Ira Glass's compassionate speech on storytelling, getting lost, the truth and how to bridge the taste gap. *
🌳 How trees talk to each other *
* thank you Alison, Vasu and Melanie for link inspo.
This week we closed our vote on October’s Creative Quest theme! We have a winner that I think will take us to some incredibly interesting creative places.
Thanks to everyone who voted.
Next week we’ll be sharing how you can get involved in October’s contribution team.
🥾 Quest Guide / Founder
THE QUEST DIGEST by Creative Quests is a treasure chest of ideas & stories exploring what it means to live an illuminating, creative life. Delivered when inspiration and creativity strike. Subscribe to receive each issue!
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