“What’s your ideal day?” he asks me as we take a leadership development course together.
I personally don’t believe that we can learn leadership by attending courses and hiring a coach. But what these courses do teach you is to take stock of where you’re at so you can better plan where you want to go and what you want to achieve. They make you pause, reflect and take stock.
What is my ideal day?
Like all innocuous questions, it was easy to ask and difficult to answer. I think of all the things I love doing – like travelling, eating out and hiking – all of which are not possible right now because of the Coronavirus.
“You still have the power of your imagination,” he reminds me.
I smile. I am a fiction writer after all. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I release the limitations of the life I’m currently leading and imagine one that is significantly different and in line with who I truly am deep inside.
I close my eyes and I see it.
A tall Americano with a dash of milk that’s just waiting for me when I wake up. The scent tickles my nostrils as I immediately throw my blanket aside and get up with glee. I see the Sun shining through the glass panes as the ocean crashes on the shore.
I am One with the elements of Mother Nature.
Breakfast is waiting for me on the balcony. There’s toast — the brown hearty multigrain kind — and perhaps even a bagel. Eggs – sunny side up or poached. There’s a variety of cheeses and an array of freshly cut fruit. There’s a glass of orange juice.
It’s my version of a happy meal.
I see a beautiful house that’s close to nature. I see myself living someplace high up. A place with a view. Most writers are introverts by nature and believe me when I say that conversation is the last thing on my mind that early in the morning. I can barely even handle the fact that I am awake.
I like the idea of waking up next to someone — but don’t mind having breakfast alone. That’s the thing about your imagination, reality isn’t a factor.
After I’m done eating, I have a second cup of coffee as I gaze as the ocean and imagine my life as a wave that will eventually wind up where it needs to be. Time doesn’t exist. It is just me as I am, in the flow of life.
In that first hour and a half in the mornings — when I am in between the worlds of waking and dreaming — my mind conjures up ideas on my next novel, my next adventure and my next steps. ‘Work’ is the last thing on my mind.
My life and my time is the only thing that matters.
Once I am done with that second cup of coffee, I brew myself a pot of mint tea. It’s a habit I developed when I was a teacher, and it kept my vocal cords strong. Even though I am drifting away in my imagination, I realise that it’s been a long time since I did that — had a hot cup of mint tea.
Whilst the mint tea brews, I head to my meditation corner where I close my eyes and centre my soul. I’ve been doing that for close to eleven years now. My best ideas and inspiration always strike when I am in that space. As an artist, my thoughts can be all over the place and meditation is the time when I finally feel that stillness that I need to differentiate the ones that I should execute from the ones that I don’t.
Once I’m done with meditation, I head to the balcony and pour my tea in a beautiful cup. I open my laptop and gaze at the ocean.
It is time to start work. A new adventure awaits.