Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Getting Pursued by Light-Bulb Moments

I've heard and read countless times of travellers finding themselves or what they lost or couldn't find somewhere else, in India or other parts of Asia. In my case, I believe I left a part of me there that I cannot retrieve.

 After eating, praying, and loving (as author Elizabeth Gilbert did), one must also experience some awakening. Or more profoundly, enlightenment. Otherwise, the carbon footprint all the way from America or Europe can't be justified.

 For the more economically privileged, poverty porn is cathartic that it reinforces abundance, and brings them to a realisation that the one important virtue they lack is gratitude. 

India, 2005.
But let's talk about enlightenment that happens on a daily basis. The one that comes in patches when you least expect it, at the most unexpected places. Enlightenment is such a big word though. Not everyone is an intellectual or in touch with their spiritual nature. So I'll call it using an Everyman's term, as I'm sure everyone, in their most switched off phase, has had a light-bulb moment,


In the loo. 
Or the toilet. 
Or, in the comfort room as our friends from across the pond would say.
I don't play candy crush or solitaire on my phone when sitting on my throne. It's handy for thoughts that flow freely when I rid myself of the stresses and excesses of the day. You can keep a pocket notebook and pen so you can jot down ideas while enjoying your 'me' time.

In the shower or bath.
This is where I recite monologues. As I can't reach for my phone or notebook, I have to rely on my memory when eureka moments wash over me at the same time that the shower head blasts me with warm water. So I memorise what passes through my head, and pats myself on the back (try it) if I retain it. Most thoughts and lines end up here. Some on the weekly shopping list. Or to-do list. Sometimes, between rinsing off the shampoo and applying the conditioner, important decisions are made. That explains the 40-minute shower and the hour-long bath.

Washing up in the kitchen.
Not as dramatic a scene as the first two, but scrubbing the grease off pots and pans forces me to concentrate. Soon after, I have the mathematical genius for any budgeting task.

In the park.
 Whose mind has not been decluttered while sitting in the park?

In the coffee shop.
In my pre-med course, I used to burn the candle at both ends studying at Dunkin' Donuts. Or any place where the constant footfall and comings and goings distract me from overly focusing. When I let my mind slightly wander, it comes back with a haul of ideas. It helps when the coffee's good.

Occasionally relegated to the sofa.
My best slumber is almost always in the front room, on the sofa. I wake up refreshed and with better ideas. I talked about this on the blog in April 2013. Click HERE.

Reading a book.
I was about 13 when my 15-year-old bestfriend wrote in one of her letters to me that she's not going to be the husband-and-children-white-picket-fence type when she grows up. She must have read that in one of her Mills and Boon. Hers was a conscious choice; mine was brought about by circumstances. How I do my best to live my life now though is through how I learned it from a book when I was 13. On 'Which Book Made You?', which I wrote last year, I discussed what inhibits us from making choices that contradicts what's expected of us. You can read it HERE.

Having deep and meaningful conversations.
 The one thing I learned when we talk about conversations, is that it doesn't have to happen with another individual. These are conversations happening in my head which are best laid out when written. I'm an introvert and have always preferred writing my thoughts rather than constantly discussing it with friends and family. They indulge me up to a certain extent, but it's quite a slight when my deepest thoughts are not taken seriously, as if the-mad-one-has-gone-haywire-again-we-need-to-temper-her-ideas-with-jokes kind of atmosphere. Have conversations with a diary. You can rant, analyse, act silly, repeat yourself, and be irrational, and you won't be judged. I find that when I leave what I wrote and get back to it after some time, I pick out a lesson or two, and I take them with me.

On holidays.
Setting aside the booze-fuelled ones, a break away from the prosaic demands of the daily grind either revives an old and dusty perspective or gives me a new one. That's why I'm off to one. Today. It can't wait any longer. I look forward to where a break in my routine takes me.

Tell me, where do your light-bulb moments find you?


  1. The most annoying for me is when they come when I am just in that phase of falling asleep. I don't keep a notebook beside my bed, neither a phone and I am quite lazy get out of the bed in that state so I try hard to remember them the next day, Thankfully I have a good memory.

    Lately, they come by while I am riding my bike. Not very handy either.

  2. In the comfort room? haha, nice one. Well, I think quite a lot of my light bulb moments come mostly when I fall asleep, but sometimes at a cafe staring away from where I am. I do keep a sketchbook in my bag and a notebook by my bedside. But, that has always been, since my designing days. Dreams would give me the most inspiration.
    Healthy Snacks: One of a KIND

  3. They can happen at any moment. I don't have any rituals or specific situations; they either happen or they don't...

  4. My light bulb moments are usually when I'm sleeping or in the bath or doing anything really. I have to keep a notebook and pen with me wherever I go because it happens at random times :))) But, the majority are when I sleep, so I have to wake up and quickly jot them down, which is why I am tired a lot, haha :)) xx

  5. It's an interesting question that has got me thinking.............do you know most of light bulb moments happen in the car, especially when there is traffic - it could be quite dangerous I guess but......it was sitting in traffic on the way to work when I decided to work for myself so I could decide my own hours - ironically I'm working longer, harder and travelling in the car more than ever. In places like the shower and toilet I tend to just think about what I'm going to do in the next 5 minutes. Have a great weekend and don't spend to much!! Xx

  6. As I was reading your post, I realised that most of my ideas come to me just as I am dozing off to sleep and then I'm wide awake! I rarley have any lightbulb moments in the shower as I'm generally rushing but long soaks in a bubble bath seem to generate plans as I suppose I'm relaxing and have time to think! An interesting post.

  7. I especially like my coffee breaks and if the cafè has got a big window that allow me to see people passing by... well, that is a perfect light-bulb moment!

    Thank you for your comment, I am feeling better now, and mr. Bangio started walking ( slowly )again!


Thank you for reading. Your turn; let me know your thoughts :)

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