by Megan McDonough

My daughter says I have a fetish for journals—and she’s probably right. I have thin and fat, large and small, colorful and plain journals stuck in all sorts of places—including by my bed, in my car, the office, the kitchen.

I like the blank pages bound with a beautiful cover. It holds potential. It’s unencumbered with rules, responsibility and “shoulds.” It’s filled instead with “possibles.”

We all need a pathless place to explore—like a coloring book without lines, an empty book, a blank canvas, a walk through the uncharted woods.

Maybe the infamous midlife crisis comes when we deprive ourselves of a space to just create. When we keep reaching outward for satisfaction—a fancy new car, a thrilling young relationship—we miss the creative inner spark that is the sustaining, interesting, and intriguing juice of life.

Do you ignore the capacity to be led from inner motivation versus outer expectations?

It’s not easy to meet the blank page; it’s scary and at times cumbersome. But it’s infinitely more satisfying. And that type of satisfaction lasts longer than the fleeting high of the shiny new thing used as a distraction.

If you looked at your day today, would you find space for a blank page? Is there room in your mind for creative expression without boundaries? What would you do with that space if found?

Summer in Seconds
Take the next 60 seconds to bring summertime energy into your heart and mind.

Sitting quietly, perhaps where you can have the sun on your face, close your eyes and let your mind wander back to carefree summertime days. Allow your open mind to gather images of summer.

Without controlling, notice if one summertime memory is brighter, stronger, or louder than the rest. Settle on this memory and focus your attention on it. Notice how old you were, the energy in your body, the thoughts in your mind, the smell in the air, the colors of the sky. Bask in the summer fun.

When it feels right, thank the memory and open your eyes. What part of the memory can serve you as you create this day?

This post is excerpted from “A Minute for Me: Learning to Savor Sixty Seconds,” © 2012, by Megan McDonough.

Megan Megan McDonough is CEO of Wholebeing Institute, an educational organization co-founded with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. WBI is committed to spreading ideas and practices that can help individuals and groups live life to its fullest.

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