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Embrace Your Chaos Goblin
3 things you can do to break out of your stale routine
Children are little chaos goblins. I don’t say this as a demeaning term. I love that about my kids1. They can turn on a dime and pull me along for the ride into whatever mad scenario they’ve cooked up. Sure, sometimes chaos goblin mode is destruction on a scale I never could have conceived of in my twenties. It’s genuinely astonishing how many things can be destroyed, vandalized, or just generally mangled in a matter of minutes if three kids have set their sights on chaos goblin mode.
But on the other side, I’m inspired to embrace the chaos and see if I can’t harness this energy for myself and turn it into creative sessions. So let’s turn on chaos goblin mode.
Step 1: What If…?
What if daddy was a sick patient?
What if daddy had three eyes?
What if I have ice powers?
What if I was a chef?
My kids constantly play the what if game without playing it. It’s all in search of pretend play. But it also opens my mind up to a big question: What if I was (blank)? How do I set myself in the space of someone else, whether that was a different career, time period, age, etc? What might change about my approach?
Step 2: What about…?
What about’ing is fun2 because it opens you up to ‘yes, and’ in regards to improvisational creativity. You say YES to something, and then say ‘what if x but y’. Sure, I’m a doctor now, but what if I’m also a secret agent too? What if this car is a car and also a boat? The chaos of layering on multiple qualities, stories, and art on top of each other creates a delicious chaos that brings out so many more opportunities for learning and dialogue.
It works with my kids, but it also can open ourselves up as adults to paths we hadn’t considered before. Adding layers of fun to a project may not result in an end product. It may be a complete mess. But the exercise of layering can inform a final product. A, B, C, & D don’t work together, but C and A have a chemistry that works perfectly! Layering can reveal the perfect combinations for fun and creativity.
Step 3: When you aren’t thinking…
In the midst of chaos, thinking goes out the window. I don’t mean all thinking. Just the thinking you think you’re thinking when you think.
What I mean to say is: when we try to think about something, we are putting ourselves into a hyper-focused space that doesn’t actually lend itself to thinking clearly. It’s like staring at a paint daub two inches from our face, trying to see the whole painting.
Our best thoughts and epiphanies come when we aren’t thinking. This is the whitespace our mind craves to offload our problems somewhere else outside of our obsessive minds, where connections can be pieced together and the puzzle can be solved.
And chaotic play is a great distractor. Just run amok creatively. Pull out a piece of paper and draw whatever you want. Take a walk and take in the sights. I was on a walk home yesterday and watched a squirrel climb up the side of someone’s roof and thought: I wonder if this little guy even knows I’m watching him? It gave me the idea for the type of look a Chaos Goblin has when they don’t think anyone is looking.
What a goblin indeed. Blissfully doing his own thing.
How are you a chaos goblin?
Leave a comment or share it with me some other chaotic way!
okay… not always.