Mindful Mimi's blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

The less routine the more life -- Amos Bronson Alcott

>> 29 April 2009

ROUTINE a course of normative, standardized actions or procedures that are followed regularly, often repetitiously.

You get up in the morning, prepare and eat breakfast, brush your teeth, dress, take the car and drive the same way to work. Routine. It is safe. It is a no-brain activity.

Those of you with children know that such a peaceful routine hardly ever exists in the morning. Child does not like the jam on the bread, wants the bread cut in small squares, shoes are missing, runny nose needs to be wiped... But a routine gets created that plans in for these unforeseen little things. So it's still a routine.

What happens if you have to go on a training course in a different location than your workplace? What happens if your partner is on a business trip and you have to do his part of the morning routine as well and also drive the kids to daycare?

Little changes that can bring on a lot of stress.

Usually when I drive to work, my mind is already at work. I am thinking about what I have to do, by when etc. I hardly notice the road. It's the same as every day.

This morning I drove to another location due to a training. I left too early to make sure to be on time (what with the unfamiliar itinerary and all) so I had time. And I noticed the trees in bloom, a new construction site, a field where there used to be a building, the sun shimmering through the forest...

I was much more aware of things. I was not thinking of work or of the course ahead.

I started thinking about routine and the many forms of it we have in our lives. And whether routine is good or bad.

If a routine works because it saves you time, does it still allow you to notice things?
Could there be a better, maybe even faster way of doing things but you're so set in your ways that this possibility never even pops up?
Do we stay in the routine because it's safe?
How much routine is needed? How much is good?

When I link routine to creativity, I know that you need to set up a certain routine to create. You need to have a schedule that sets the time to create. Whether what you create is good or bad or bad doesn't matter.
You don't wait to be in a 'working mood' to go to work and do your job, do you? You go and you start doing it. Creativity is the same.

However, if you are too set in routine ways, you tend to notice things less. You tend to be less open to new things and ideas 'because that is just the way you do things'.

So here's a few tips to try and break the routine from time to time:

  1. Brush your teeth with your non dominant hand.
  2. Drive another way to work.
  3. Go two nights in a row without television/pc.
  4. Re-arrange the location of your furniture (for a day or for longer).
  5. Get up early in the morning to watch the sun come up.
  6. Go for a walk when it's raining.
  7. Let your child wear what HE-SHE wants to wear (whether it's color coordinated or not).
  8. Change your hairstyle (for from curly to straight or vice versa for a day).
  9. Smile at strangers.
  10. Talk to a person you would normally not even notice (the janitor, the mailman, ...).
  11. Sleep on the other side of the bed for one night.
  12. In summer, spend a night in a tent in the garden with the kids. Make it an adventure.
  13. Go to see someone in person instead of writing an email.
  14. Watch a show on television which is the opposite of what you'd normally watch.
  15. Eat dessert before the meal.
  16. Eat with chopsticks for a change.
  17. Make up a story instead of reading a book to your kids.
  18. Leave the mess for a day instead of cleaning it up immediately.
  19. Treat your colleagues to croissants for no reason.
  20. Go 'complaint-free' for a day.
  21. Learn a new skill.
Changing your routine brings new water in your pond.

It energizes you.

Try it.


He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed - Albert Einstein

>> 27 April 2009

What can happen to you on any given day at Antwerp Central Station.

What happened to you today to bring a smile on your face?
What have you done today to make someone pause and smile?

The principle of art is to pause, not bypass.
Jerzy Kosinski


You can't change the world if no one knows your name

>> 9 April 2009


Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering - Winnie the Pooh

>> 8 April 2009

Photo by Rachmaninoff


Lying on the couch
in a silent, darkened living room
my body fights the flu

Trying to sleep
dozing off into a subconscious state
my mind seeking rest

Brain switched off
children taken care of by the grandparents
the house is silent

But I hear something
birds singing joyfully outside
I imagine the sun

A car passes on the road
a string of sound from left to right
I cannot see, but it is there

The computer buzzes
the wind brushes through the hedge
the wooden roof aches

It is amazing
the sounds you hear when you close your eyes
and start really listening

(c) Mindful Mimi - April 2009
Thanks to for prompting this poem on the theme of Listening.


Fragments came floating into his mind like bits of wood drifting down a stream, and he fished them out and fitted them together- Elizabeth Gray Vining

>> 7 April 2009

Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter

I have been writing since I was a little girl. I even wrote a book when I was 14 and sent it to publishers. It got refused for various reasons. I always thought those pages were in my parent's attic, waiting for me to be old enough to revisit them.

I was unable to find that manuscript again.

So before loosing the poems I have written lately, I decided to put them together in a little booklet which you can now buy here:

By POEMS by Miranda ...


How doing something you're afraid of, kills the fear.

>> 2 April 2009

Have you ever been excited and scared at the same time? More often than not, it seems to be the same thing.

I recently wrote about wanting to bring more creativity to my workplace and organizing a creative workshop among my colleagues and how that brought this self-doubt and fear of failure on me.

When I tried to analyze this fear, I realized that it had very much to do with feeling safe in my current environment. Organizing something new, with an unsure outcome of success was unsafe and scary.

But is it fear of failure or could it be fear of success? What if I am really good at this? In order to find out, I had to jump in and just do it.

So the workshop took place Monday this week. The mood was relaxed and I was well prepared to get everyone's creative juices flowing. I had decided to make them doodle. Doodle?

Yes, simple doodling. Because (almost) everyone does it, it's simple and there is an immediate and astonishing result:

It took an hour and I had organized sandwiches so people could not use the excuse of not having time (everyone needs to eat - so why not be creative while eating). Participants were happy and said they had fun and felt relaxed and that we should do this more often.

When I showed the results to my boss (who couldn't make it) she was surprised at the result and suggested I organize a second session for those who could not attend. So that is taking place in two weeks.

Now the fear is gone and I am excited and happy.

So if you plan a project and are overwhelmed by fear, read my article on the fear and how to fight it.


Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP