Expand Your Viewpoint

Expand Your Viewpoint

What do you see in the picture above?

For me it has to be Rainbow Sprinkles. I love them — always topping my fro-yo with these. However, when I was in SE Asia last year, I found them named “Colour Rice.” This took me a second to appreciate to be sure. Yet, then, I noticed the little pellets do indeed look like rice that is in fact colourful. How clever I thought to myself as I snapped this photo.

Now, I have been enjoying rainbow sprinkles forever, but seeing them called this name made me appreciate expanding my viewpoint to see something familiar in a new way. Trying on a new, novel lens as I think about something very familiar is very refreshing and challenges me to get out of my normal way of thinking about something and see it and/or call it by a different name.

In SE Asia, I eat my ice cream with Colour Rice topping it. Tastes the same, but feels different. I now see these little rainbow sprinkles and think about a world away that refers to them in a completely different way. It can be this simple to expand one’s mind as long as we are open.

Let us all be open this week. Perhaps look at something familiar and expand your viewpoint by coming up with a new name yourself or looking it up to see how others in different areas of the world may refer to it.

Creativity Burst: A City Stroll

A City Stroll
Missing a City Stroll?

Do you miss a city stroll?

In this time of sheltering in place, where one is encouraged to only wander in one’s neighborhood and keep 6 feet distance from people, the days of going to a city — either your own or that of another city you have traveled to – feels long ago and far off from ever being able to do again.

Strolling a city leads me to new ideas, thoughts, smiles from strangers, a spring in my step as I take in new sites and sounds, unusual smells, and more. o stroll is to take in everything through all of one’s senses. It is invigorating and reinvigorating and often leads to a creative burst of energy. I don’t mind walking my neighborhood, but it is difficult to miss one’s city strolls.

Imagine my excitement when I found the blog Kottke.org and found a post where they literally offer you city strolls to take. Ah, these are perfect. Up to an hour of your time can be spent taking a stroll of a new city, such as a neighborhood stroll in Paris, Lithuania, a Floating Market in Bangkok, and more. Actually, not too many more, but these may be enough.

There is very little narration of these walks. Really, it is literally fifty minutes or so of strolling the area with all of the various sites, sounds, people, and more that one takes in in any good city stroll. It’s life in these areas which is all abuzz. I find I don’t even need to be looking at the city scene, but can just keep it on as background noise on my computer to keep me company. It is so novel to listen to a buzzing street vibe. I haven’t heard such a scene in so long, and yet it is so comfortable.

I will admit it right here. I miss it. Listening to the scene, make me feel this acutely. I worry will I ever have the opportunity again to move so freely in my world and take in a simple city stroll in Seattle, where I live, or in some far flung destination? I used to take such a thing and scene completely for granted. Perhaps that is one of the “up” sides of this time. To really cherish all that we had and to appreciate it once we engage again. Somewhere, I hold a hope that all of us will engage in the world as these scenes show.

Given my days are mainly spent indoors, it is wonderful to bring a city stroll inside for a little bit of time. I certainly feel more creative and energized from engaging my senses in this way. Perhaps I will plan my next trip or become motivated to learn more about a certain area. Perhaps it will motivate me to get up and walk my neighborhood and take it in as fully as possible.

Try a city stroll and remember what it was like and have hope we will all stroll together in marvelous spots soon.