Idea Journal: Ventures in the Mind and the Body

This week the weather has turned rainy here signaling the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  As the sky is turning gloomy, I am trying to thwart the melancholy that shorter and grayer days can bring.  So for the second week for Creativity, Innovation and Change, I have decided to start an experiment (I am the only participant) which involves some ventures designed to stretch me in both mind and body.  Those of us engaging in this activity are encouraged to keep the following very wise mantra in mind:


Living in Belgium ,where there are three official languages and English and other languages are spoken widely as well, I have chosen as one of my ventures to engage in daily French practice.   My other venture involves using my sock Poi that I bought over 6 months ago.  These seemingly random choices are partially inspired by my recent move back overseas and Asbjørn Skovsende’s inspiring post on Failure, Juggling and Dewey.

For this venture we are instructed to write in our Idea Journal 4 things that we failed at and what we learned.

At basic poi spinning, I have failed continuously at turns and spinning the sock poi in alternate directions.  I also have failed quite regularly at spinning the poi in split time.  Some things that I am learning are that closing my eyes, listening to music, and practicing frequently help me to get better at these basic moves. Like juggling, doing poi works both sides of the brain and promotes creativity which I think are helpful in both life and embarking on this course.

With French, I have failed quite regularly at getting the gender correct when working with nouns and possessives.  I also have had quite a bit of trouble with pronunciation.  However, I am finding that listening to to the sounds of French via music and conversations without thinking about the complexities of grammar, is useful in improving my pronunciation.  Also by simply memorizing the gender of nouns and possessives, I have improved my grammar.

We are also encouraged to share our experience with others as they may learn from us.  I can honestly say that for both of my ventures, what I am learning most is that by practicing religiously I make quite a bit of progress.


I have found numerous videos on youtube helpful for learning basic poi.  Here are just a few links:



A great mobile resource for language learning, in case you are deciding to venture in the area of learning a new language, is the Duolingo app or you can just go to the Duolingo website by pressing the icon below.


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3 Responses to Idea Journal: Ventures in the Mind and the Body

  1. danishbuddha says:

    Great to see, that my post inspired you to take up poi spinning again :), poi are tricky stuff, especial if you learn half a trick and need to relearn in, before you can work in another trick! I got 2½ point wave, and i need to think of a way to relearn it into a 3 point wave which can be upgraded to a 5 point wave.. I use poi spinning to relax and and medidate and also to get “high” then playing around with my firespins.

  2. Wow! I’m impressed that you are taking on 2 great challenges. I like the poi idea, because as you said, it’s like juggling – working both sides of the brain. Although I have never used an idea journal before, I appreciate how it helps us learn from our mistakes. The reflective practice, including writing up in a blog is essential to the learning process. Once you have primed the creative juices of your brain, learning French should be a snap. They say watching commercials and French movies with subtitles is the best training. Thanks for the new resource, DuoLingo. I plan to check it out. Cheers!

  3. feliciasullivan says:

    Maureen, as we work through these materials it is clear to me that creativity and enhancing creative endeavors has as much to do with reflecting on our process and things like failure as it does with actually “doing” creative things. Yet you bring to the table the idea of actually honing in and and focusing on specific areas which is where I feel I fall short so often.

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