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Seven Minute Creative Nudge

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Do you need a low stress free way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

Last month we activated our sense of touch. This week’s TPS creative nudge is all about the natural world. It is easy to forget we are creatures of nature in this man-made city. Birds can help here. They too live in this man-made grid. Yet they find ways to express themselves, even thrive in our concrete jungles. I was inspired to use birds this week because of a pair of Bewick’s Wren building a home in a back yard pomegranate tree. My inconsistent gardening gives them plenty of material, my passive way to give back.

Riverside is a city of trees. “Where trees are planted, birds will follow,” is not a famous quote (I googled it) but it is true (not googled). Riverside’s vast tracts of irrigated lawns, shrubs, trees, and literal acres of protected wildscapes attract them and sustain them. It’s not Eden, but it’s green today, which means it’s time to play.

Your Nudge

Enter any outdoor space within earshot of birds. Remain still. Eavesdrop for seven minutes. Let your ears guide you to each new voice. If you like more focus, count the distinct calls you hear, and note the ones that repeat. How does it feel to listen without any need to respond?

What to do after this “budgie nudgie”?

  • Nelly Furtado wrote “I’m like a bird, I always fly away.” Complete your own sentence, “I’m like a bird…”.
  • Journal a few sentences about where they called from -trees or fenceposts or somewhere deep in a hedgerow. What about these places are welcoming to birds?
  • Add your own addition to the soundscape! Sing a verse in the shower. Whistle your order at the drive thru. And eat whatever comes your way.

Whatever you do next, do it in that unique voice that tells the world: You are here.