A Holographic Garden

It’ll be three years ago this summer that I began restructuring the garden at Graig Ddu.  Many of the small shrubs were over 30 years old and reaching the end of their lives, and some were diseased. It was in the ensuing chain-sawing, uprooting and burning that the holographic nature of the garden wove its way into my awareness.

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4 Reasons To Have A Conversation

Conversations – The Counterpoint To Spending Time Alone

Being At The Cottage is about using the power of spending time alone to deepen the development of something extraordinary.

However, in order to add perspective and depth to that experience, the time spent alone is enhanced by conversations.   But calling them conversations doesn’t really do justice to what can happen when two people sit down and talk together with purpose, so I’ve borrowed a phrase from a special friend which conveys much more eloquently what it’s all about.

‘Conversing with an intelligent stranger with no agenda.’   

These words are the words of Ted Simon – a journalist and legend among the small tribe of overland bikers and a self-deprecating cult figure among motorcyclists generally, describing the importance to him of anticipating sharing the experience, insights and shifts in perspective that are triggered by spending time alone.  And he should know.  He spent 4 years travelling alone around the world on his motorbike – not once, but twice and 30 years apart.  So I value his words about the importance of the conversations at Being At The Cottage.  His Triumph Tiger 100, which he rode on his first journey, is in the Museum of Transport, Coventry.  

I realise that for many, the thought of coming face to face with yourself for an extended period of time may make the hairs stand up on your arms. After all, isn’t it just easier to let the habitual distractions roll over us while we succumb to the backlog of mundane problems that swirl around us like autumn leaves on a gusty day.

Having conversations with an intelligent stranger who has no agenda has the potential to stir the sediment that lies unexplored in the subconscious and create a space for expansion.

Being At The Cottage - Conversations Creating A Space For Expansion

There are at least 4 good reasons why, wherever you are and whatever you do, seeking out conversations like these are uplifting, affirming and food for the soul.

Dynamic interruption

Good conversations should be dynamic involving give and take, timing, patience and preferably well-judged humour. Dynamic interruption helps to organise and prioritise the flow of the conversation. Intentionally provoking, it challenges ideas and encourages development and clarity of a theme, or stream of consciousness that has arisen. Smoothing and teasing out the strands of thoughts, untangling and arranging them into well-organised skeins so that they may be used to weave the idea into existence.

Discovering And Discarding Potential Barriers To Success

We’re all governed by our conditioning and beliefs. They shape the reality that we perceive by distorting, deleting and generalizing the information.   This is what we want most of the time, because if the subconscious shared all of the 60,000 thoughts that we have on average each day we would achieve nothing.

However, to have a belief that deletes, distorts and diminishes the possibility of creating something extraordinary is a barrier to progress. During the course of the conversations if barriers to progress are discovered then they can be dealt with.

The Perfect Counterpoint To Spending Time Alone

Mulling over an idea while spending time alone encourages the mind to expand.  Warm but candid conversations assist the organisation of disparate patterns of thought and investigate the significance of apparently random thoughts. They create space for movement around persistent and under-developed ideas and provide refreshing, new perspectives.

Bringing It All Into Sharp Focus

While spending time alone stimulates expansive thinking and creativity, by its nature the process is introspective. Like photography before the digital era, the images and ideas need to be brought into sharp focus manually. Having conversations with an intelligent stranger with no agenda intentionally draws the mind back from the unstructured, free thinking and brings thoughts and ideas into sharp focus.

So, borrowing Ted’s description of ‘conversing with an intelligent stranger with no agenda’ sums up the process beautifully for me because each conversation provides delicate balance and is the counter point to spending time alone.   

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Hop Into The Bath And Unleash Creative Solutions

Create: ‘Bring something into existence’ – Oxford English Dictionary
‘To evolve from one’s own thought or imagination’

Creativity thrives in an expansively quiet mind.  It doesn’t happen while we are staring at a tablet or dealing with the daily grind of mundane problems in the office.  That’s why 72% of people get great ideas and insights in the bath or shower.   Being in water induces a meditative state and engages the brain’s default mode network.  Soaking in a steaming bath or being washed by a waterfall of water under the shower causes us to daydream in a way we wouldn’t when we remain focused on a particular task.

Activating the brain’s default mode network is extremely important for creativity.  The mind begins to relax and wander.  Free of stimulation, we are in the best position to produce some of the finest problem-solving and creative solutions that the mind can generate.

Being At The Cottge - 72% of people get creative solutions when they hop into a bath

Being creative doesn’t mean we need to be an artist, architect or sculptor.  Being creative is about bringing anything new into existence that wasn’t previously there – something that is demanding your attention.

Creativity is inherent in all of us and lying in a steaming bath can accelerate the potential for the creation of something extraordinary.

Sometimes group discussions, brainstorming and many heads are better than one.  At other times, the need for the solution we’re seeking drives us to take a break from the daily grind.  At those times, the sweetest answers often come while spending time alone in the bath or under the shower.

Taking time out to relax your brain, re-group your thoughts and recharge your batteries reassures the subconscious. As soon as the mind chatter and habitual distractions are put to one side then we can tap into the hidden seams of inspiration held by the subconscious.

Being At The Cottage - Bathe - soft towels and toiletries

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Why Walking Boosts Creativity

‘Walking is potent mood medicine that enhances thinking, sharpens memory and safeguards brain health.’  Forbes Magazine

Walking increases creative inspiration by an average of 60% versus sitting down. In experiments, the effect was evident during and shortly after walking anywhere between 5 and 16 minutes. Walking enables divergent thinking – an expansion of the mind which increases the generation of creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

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5 Reasons To Spend Time Alone When Pursuing Something Extraordinary

Reason No 1 – Get Away From Your Work Environment

When we separate ourselves from the white noise or our work environment, relinquishing the digital gadgetry that props us up, curious and wonderful things happen.

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6 Important Things You Need To Know About Your Subconscious

Thing No 1 – Giving you the edge you need

Developing the relationship with your subconscious will give you the edge you need to succeed.  The more you can connect with your subconscious the more extraordinary results and eureka moments it will give you.

Thing No 2 – Dissolving barriers to progress

As you pursue something extraordinary, accessing the hidden seams of inspiration held by your subconscious, you will trigger eureka moments and dissolve barriers to progress.

Thing No 3 – Stimulate creative solutions

Leaving behind habitual distractions and spending time alone while tapping into the Subtle Dynamics at the cottage deepens your connection to your subconscious. You get an Access All Areas pass to the infinite well of creativity and innovation stored there, and creative solutions will be stimulated as you develop a deeper connection with it.

Thing No 4 – You get what you think about most

It’s not so much about trying harder to think smarter, it’s about learning a style of non-thinking thinking.  It’s about being more, and doing less.  Gradually learning to spend time with this expansive awareness is important because the subconscious does not think independently.  It follows instructions absolutely, and will deliver whatever you repeatedly imagine, feel and tell it to. You get what you think about most.

Subtle Dynamics of Being At The Cottage

Thing No 5 – It stores all your memories, beliefs, experiences and emotions

The subconscious is your gut feeling and intuition and works in harmony with the Subtle Dynamics of being at the cottage in the forest. The subconscious is extraordinary.  It holds onto everything and never sleeps.  You will never feel alone once you engage your subconscious.  It stores all your memories, experiences, beliefs and emotions and is continually processing upwards of 15 million pieces of information in any single moment. In contrast, your conscious mind is only able to process 7 bits of information at any one time, plus or minus 2.

Thing No 6 – It works according to your conditioning and beliefs – always

Your subconscious has the job of taking this almost infinite amount of information and filtering it down to what must be used by your conscious mind.  This will be different for each individual and will depend on the conditioning and beliefs accumulated over time, some of which will be barriers to progress.

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To engage with the subconscious is to be able to see and create whatever you choose because it has direct access to Universal intelligence (your higher self), which your conscious mind does not.   Until you take control of your relationship with your subconscious, information from your hidden seams of inspiration is only passed onto the conscious mind if the subconscious determines that there is a need for it to do so. Otherwise it holds onto that information until you trigger its release.  You can open a dialogue with your subconscious through connecting with any of the Subtle Dynamics, opening up the streams of consciousness which contain the eureka moments you are looking for.

As your awareness of the power of your subconscious mind sharpens, and you allow the process to unfold naturally, trusting that everything you need to know is already here, your subconscious will gratefully offer up to you everything it has been holding onto.

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