Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Playing the Way to New Solutions

Western society considers playtime for adults as unproductive and a waste of time. But some of our best ideas can come in when we’re focused on doing some other fun and creative activity. I find that scheduling time to be non-productive actually opens up an empty space for new ideas to flow in of their own volition. By making space for them, new solutions to problems and new approaches can flow in easily and effortlessly. 

In a workshop I taught this weekend, I encouraged writers to learn to play as a way to gain creative insights. I like to do collage or storyboards. Other people find that doing something creative that they love – like cooking, hiking or fishing allows their minds to rest and new solutions pop in.


A perception persists that in order to solve a problem or find an answer we need to think and think very hard. This uses the left brain. But the right brain, which is the side that likes to play, can make intuitive leaps easily. The common level of analytical mind can only take us so far. By opening up and creating a place for new and creative ideas to come in naturally, original and interesting solutions may arise.

Einstein said, “We cannot find solutions at the same level of mind at which we created them.” Ways to move into other levels of mind include meditation, drawing inspiration from dreams, imagination and play or day dreams. Some places inspire creativity – like the way Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, was inspired by Assisi – the place where St. Francis of Assisi lived.


For today experiment with ways to move the mind from the narrow to the open and expansive place where new ideas become accessible. This may be while chopping veggies for a meal, while journaling, or while driving down the highway. By becoming aware of where your best ideas arise, you’ll know how to access your higher mind more readily whenever you need it.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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