A friend asked for an old blog entry that got eaten when we moved to this beautiful new website! So here it is:

The brain you had when you were a kid was just a little bit softer than the brain you have now. Let’s take a step back and soften up your grown-up brain, to let more things in. Here are some practice exercises from various sources:

  • Walk around your room naming things the wrong name, i.e. point at the chair and call it a squirrel or a gleebeldy weebelly.
  • Do a crossword puzzle or a Sudoku wrong. I recommend not limiting yourself to letters and numbers.
  • Close your eyes and turn your head any direction you’d like. Open your eyes and look at what’s in front of you in the frame of your vision. Appreciate it like it’s a painting or a photograph someone deliberately composed in just this way. Try to analyze the symbolism, and the artist’s intent.
  • Brush your teeth with the wrong hand.
  • Make an art project out of the things in your junk drawer.
  • Take the wrong route home.
  • Draw a really terrible picture of a bunny and mail it to an unsuspecting friend or hide it in a library book.
  • Open a document on a computer, and just start typing. Type whatever comes, even if it’s just, “I don’t know what to type, I don’t know what to type.”
  • Play one-word story with yourself by closing your eyes every other word. (http://improvencyclopedia.org/games/Word_at_a_Time_Story.html)
  • Play Initials – find two letters, like DW, and make up little activities as quickly as you can – drawing whistles, draining wolves, diabolically writing…

    Your brain has pathways, and unless you find ways to get off those pathways, you’ll never have a new thought. See if you can surprise yourself today.