The morning I spot the spider web hanging by its threads between two damp-infused tree trunks is the same day the Internal Revenue Service wants all corporate tax returns submitted by late filers. A barbed wire fence and rows of lush green ferns separate me and the giant web. An iron gate ahead of me is open, and the cool gray driveway that meanders past the web begs me to come in and have a closer look. I remain on the outside of gate and fence and marvel at the stillness of the woods. Standing on a flat sidewalk with man-made cracks, I am caught in the gap between a blissful, natural peace and a burning responsibility to complete my morning run.
The jagged edges of dozens of nameless plants barely reach the outside row of the web designer's artistry. Leaves on trees extend themselves in the direction of this delicate yet firm-looking spider web, seeming to offer praise and worship since the web sparkles with pure water droplets in the early morning light.
A hot breeze fit for use by a Southern gentleman courting his soon-to-be lady blows through me and musters its way through the wooded clearing. The web dances lightly and then stops - perhaps much like business owners mustering their own way through the final touches on their tax returns before sending them off to Uncle Sam and with just as much heat.
I touch my lips with my right hand, partly to cover my mouth - and I do not know why - and partly to remind myself to exhale. A pickup truck backfires in the distance and I am thankful for exhaling at this moment.
Witnessing the lone spider web among a scattered collection of trees completes my morning run, although I have a quarter-mile to go. By stopping, I find freedom, much like what Uncle Sam, baseballs and apple pie represent to Americans.
A ferris wheel at a carnival is much like this spider web - and the business of writing, too. It goes round and round in smooth fashion, but with too much information and not enough time to stop and smell the proverbial roses, we are in a jail of practicality, only going in circles. And feeling nauseous.
In our offices, in front of our computers, our work and information we seek to inform us, arrives in droves whether we sign up for it or not. Mailbox. Email. Overnight packages. Texts. Phone calls. Voice mails. Skype sessions. Instant messaging. And more. We are caught in a web of overload and we seek - and need - clarity and calmness so we may get unstuck from where we are to release and deliver our creativity to our writing.
Writing about life outside our offices electrifies and awakens our human need for freedom. Even if your written work and message focus on your business and not a fiction story or the outdoors, writing in nature can inform you in a way that supports your success and long-term goals. Writing workshops are a wonderful way to support you.
Think of the spider web. When was the last time a business venture dazzled you, only to devour you, your energy and your budget, much like the black widow eats the insects she preys upon?
When was the last time you stole moments in your day or evening when you took your notebook and a pen and headed outdoors to seek the freedom you are looking for, but have yet to articulate from your lips on your book project that is burning to see the light of day?
Nature allows us to breathe in freedom in all facets of our lives. It gives us the natural opportunity to exhale our worries, the colleague comparisons and the mental noise that talks back to us in the morning mirror.
Nature is free and open 24/7. The books we want to write can be born simply by taking a walk... whenever you wish.
Can you describe the last time you spent in nature on your creative projects?
Christy Heady is a published author of several popular books, the most recentBuzz: How to Create it and Win With It (2007), co-authored with former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch.
As a journalist, Heady's articles and television reports have appeared locally, nationally and internationally in print and broadcast outlets such as CNN-Chicago, Bankrate.com, America Online, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The Chicago Tribune, PAX-TV, Consumers Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, and Charleston Style and Design.
Imagine having the ability and support to live your writing life... and do it well. Download Christy's Writing Manifesto (for FREE) to support your writing goals, life and the vision.
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Causes Christy Heady Supports
American Diabetes Association
Race for the Cure
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society