Gathering Treasures On The Shoreline

photography by dan james
photography by dan james

As artists we’re always keen to find new ideas that feel special, original, and that fill us with inspiration to take up our tools and create furiously.

More often than not these kind of ideas are found on the shoreline of our consciousness.

Let me explain –

Imagine your conscious waking mind as the land. And your unconscious mind – the place where all these ideas are gently forming and evolving – as a vast ocean.

Where the ocean meets the land, it leaves tiny treasures – these ideas that excite us and light us up.

But if we never visit the shore – if we’re always far inland – we’ll never reap the benefits of these gifts.

In practice, the shoreline is that space and time between when we’re fully awake, and when we’re asleep. And there are two ways we can spend more time there.

1. Entering and exiting sleep. You know that feeling as you’re drifting off to sleep, where your thoughts start to become a little abstract and fractured, and you can’t really tell if you’re half awake or half asleep? This is the time when these kinds of fruitful ideas arrive.

Similarly, when you wake, if you spend a little extra time just laying quietly, with your body still, letting these thoughts take shape and evolve before you wake fully and get up, it can reap rich rewards.

Yes, you may well need to go to bed a little earlier, and wake a little later to allow these shoreline explorations, so you might need to reprioritise a couple of things to give that extra time. It will be well worth it.

2. Daydreaming. As we go through the formalised structures of school and then work, we’re not usually encouraged to daydream, and in fact it might even be looked down upon or punished.

But daydreaming – and more importantly setting time aside specifically for this purpose – will again help you spend more time gathering beautiful treasures on that fertile shoreline.

Even a ten minute daydreaming break once or twice a day can bring great benefits.

Again it’s just about relaxing and letting your mind drift and explore as it wants to, seeing what ideas and thoughts form.

You might find it helpful to visualise the shoreline, and the ocean gently drifting in and out, leaving objects on the beach.

For both of these types of “gathering treasures” you might want to have something with you to put them in.

So they don’t get washed out to sea again.

A small notebook by your bed or chair will suffice, to jot down those most sparkling gems.

Once you start collecting these rich ideas, you’ll find more and more arrive.

At which point you might want to think about how you’re going to choose the best ones and get focused on creating something beautiful from them.

How much time do you spend currently on the shoreline of your subconscious, open and waiting for the best of your ideas to arrive? Maybe you’d benefit from increasing this, using the simple techniques above.

Head over to the join the conversation and let us know how you get on…


Thank you for reading. Please share these words. Subscribe for free updates.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s