We are born with creativity. Have you seen any child who doesn’t create with natural materials like soil, sand, water, leaves etc. Every child imagines characters, situations, stories in his mind. Children are the most imaginative. With time and worldly affairs, it starts taking a backseat. We are told to focus on practicality of life. We become engineers, doctors, CA, lawyers, mechanics, teachers etc and start believing that creativity is for professionals like painters, musicians, writers, filmmakers etc. When we try to do something which is not practical, we are told ‘don’t be childish’.
There is a difference between being childish and child-like. Being child-like is a quality which I’d recommend every adult must possess. It’s the child in us that sets us free from dogmas, structures, authority. It’s the child in us which makes us imagine…. To go beyond the known…. To be free and creative. We must protect and nurture this child at all costs. It’s a God’s priceless gift to us.
There are many ways to nurture this child in us but the simplest and the most beautiful thing we can do is to go to a park and swing. I do it regularly. In fact some of these ‘everyday, morning blogs’ have been written on a swing.
There is no child who has not done swinging. When we grow up, we stop doing it and instead take our children to swing. You will find grandparents in parks helping grandchildren swing. I believe, we the adults, need it more than the kids.
There are two aspects of swinging. One is physical and second is psychological. Our ability to move is an outcome of the development of our sensory integration. Sensory integration is the process whereby the brain interprets sensory experiences and connects them to our motor skills.Sensory experiences include body awareness, sight, sound, movement, pull of gravity (balance) and touch. For example, the sensory experience of the pull of gravity is interpreted by your brain and triggers your motor ability to balance your body. Sensory integration interprets what you need to do and tells your body how to do it. In a world where there is so much stress on physical training, strength training, dieting etc, 10 minutes on a swing can do a lot to improve our balance, coordination and motor activities which have great benefits as we age.
The reason I like swinging is for what it does to my mind and soul. How it makes me more creative.
- Have you ever seen anyone sitting on a swing and not feeling happy? When you are most angry or sad or feeling negative…. Just go and swing… you will be smiling in no time. Only a happy mind can be truly creative.
- The back and forth movement of the swing gives an inner peace that is soothing. As the mind calms down, the right hemisphere comes to life. So does the creativity.
- Swinging brings in body awareness at the subconscious level and brings in a feeling of integrity between our body, mind and soul.
- Swinging can be alerting and, due to an increase in blood flow to the brain, create a better environment for focus and attention. Swinging for just a few minutes can raise endorphins and wake up a sleepy brain and body. I am able to focus more. Just try this – pick up a book, after reading few pages you will find yourself looking in the limbo, making your own stories or your own interpretations on what you just read. It will start opening your creative juices. In no time, your mind will stop wandering and you will be able to focus on an idea or a thought.
- Since swinging raises endorphin levels, it gets your mood up! Just a few minutes of playing or rocking on a swing can change a mood, and it’s not likely you’ll see a grumpy person get off the swing they got onto.
- Swinging helps in day-dreaming – the first requisite to be creative.
- And trust me… Swinging helps bond with friends, colleagues, family better as it reinforces all the memories of childhood when we bonded with our parents, siblings, friends and even strangers in a park while swinging. It used to be a buddy sport – one friend pushing, one swinging. With those positive memories of bonding help our relationships.
Be child-like. Be creative. Be #IAmBuddha
Note: you can also contribute to this column by sending your ideas, stories, fables, anecdotes. I’ll use them with due credits.