The dam wall of non-writing burst after last Thursday, and ever since then I have felt myself drawn to the blank page, book or MacBook to pour out words that express my experiences. I have rediscovered the relief that writing provides me as I live each moment.
The page is a blank and impartial listener to release words and thoughts that float around me. A canvas that I can create ideas and images with. The very act of writing elicits a greater quality of attention to each moment, as I eagerly await an unexpected jewel of inspiration to burst forth from my life and catapult me into a flurry of sentences.
In fact, everything that I would have otherwise overlooked becomes material for my fingertips to explore! With the blank page, I can join my peers of the written word; the Ursula Le Guins and the David Whytes out there...
I trust that as I continue these blog posts, my writing will become clearer; more distilled. It’s the ‘showing up’ that is simultaneously the hardest and most vital part of this quest. I am inviting you into my process, and thanking you for joining me.
Now, I am sitting in the same place as I was last week to write to you. Usually I prefer to sit in a café or at my desk to write, but it seems for this Thursday morning activity, it’s a sheepskin-rug-in-front-of-the-fire kind of deal, with the laptop nestled on my little coffee table.
A money plant extends its limbs out in all directions front of me. It has no intention of slowing its growth any time soon, especially not now that I have re-potted it and given the offshoots pots of their own. I think, slowly and surely, they now intend to multiply and take over my entire cottage… Maybe that’s why they call them money plants?
Speaking of which, today I want to talk about the power of compound interest.
Most people understand the concept; you put some money away and over time the sum plus the interest makes more interest and the interest is therefore compounded. Simple, effective, easy. Right?
But I’m not talking about money.
I mean, literally, interest! What are you interested in? What are you researching right now?
It has come to my attention that our attention is the most powerful tool we can use in every moment. What most people tend to forget however, is that we can actually choose how to use it.
If I foster my interest in what I am doing, if I actually decide to become interested in it, then I immediately have more power to change what I am doing as I go along, without forcing, fixing or trying.
So, right now, are you sitting or standing as you read this? Without trying to fix or change it immediately, what can you get interested in about what you are already doing? Are you swaying slightly with the movement of your breath? Are you breathing shallowly, or not at all? Are you straining to see the screen or letting the image come to you? Are you scratching your skin or fiddling with your hands?
Now that I have your attention (and maybe your interest…), see what happens if you start to do that action consciously, to actually choose to scratch, sway or hold your breath, whatever you were doing. Notice the change of quality...
Now, let’s follow that action to your next choice; do you want to continue to do that action, or do something else? What are you researching, what are you interested in as you do? Where are you, how are you moving, and what movements are actually available for you to choose from?
I experienced some of the most extreme pleasure I have ever felt from a simple game I played like this a few days ago. I didn’t try to feel good, or plan on being so blissfully enraptured, I simply decided to become interested in what I was doing, and to follow that into the next choice and the next, until it became a small, delightful dance. Each gesture opened up to a whole new set of possibilities for the next, and the next. I remembered the joy of being alive…
And now, back to compound interest:
By engaging with my interest, I became more interested! It compounded and I became the richest person in the room, deriving great value and pleasure from each learning moment. Each movement offered a wealth of sensory feedback and imaginative stimulation. It may not have looked like anything from the outside, but there was vibrancy, delight and pleasure in every fibre of my being as I explored my freedom of choice, with added interest.
Try it for yourself this week, I’d be interested to see what your research findings present...
What’s your interest-rate doing these days?
Until then, a quote from Einstein himself:
Yours in Art and wealth,
Sent on 27 May, 2021