Pause… and do nothing

While in the shower this morning, I had a sudden realisation. Shut away in our tiny cupboard-sized bathroom, I was all alone. I could actually hear myself think, in rhythm with the stream of water gently plip-plopping onto the shower tray. I was switched off from work and family, it’s just the shower spray and I.  What an unusual respite from the normal hustle and bustle of my day, I thought. Almost a luxury. The children’s voices sounded so far away – they were in the living room – and, thankfully, not fighting. Then, almost subconsciously, ideas that were swimming around in my head started to gel and make sense. Somehow, whilst in the showery mist, the dots joined up.

My 20 minutes in the shower has become a place of sanctuary, somewhere I can go to for some peace and quiet. I was reminded of an interview I did with the legendary art director Leonard Koren for The Independent. While he was in the bath, he came up with the idea for his avant garde 1970s creation, WET magazine. I wrote in the piece, “A naturally energetic person, Koren would take a hot bath at 3pm everyday to slow things down. It was during one of these baths that he experienced an epiphany that he should create a magazine to encapsulate his bathing experiences: “I didn’t precisely know what ‘gourmet bathing’ was, but the word ‘wet’ had a zing to it. It felt good on the tongue”.”

This moment of where your mind can rest, and sort itself out, is what Behance‘s Scott Belsky described as the creative pause.

This phenomenon is the seed of the break-through “a-ha!” moments that people so frequently report having in the shower. In these moments, you are completely isolated, and your mind is able to wander and churn big questions without interruption.

My creative pause is that 20 minutes in the shower. What’s yours?

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