Creativity is one of those etherial, floating, uncaged things that come & go. It’s hard to harness it. It’s kind of like the idea of peace. We cannot manufacture it, we have to pray for it.
I do find in my own life that if we exercise our senses in other areas of our lives then we are able to recharge and get inspired. More work does not inspire. Moving away from the work and filling up does. Here are some areas that have helped me.
I think every great author and artist has had an encounter with nature. I often think about Walt Whitman and how he removed himself from his society to study and be around the natural world. I know that’s not realistic for us, but what if we take a moment to step outside during our day and take a look at the moving clouds? The changing trees? It’s easy for us to be filled up at the beach because of the great, swelling ocean. It is so big! We want to breathe it in. What about Monet? I’d say, yes.
I have a serious love of good food. I love going to new restaurants. I love cooking when I have the time. I love sitting down to dinner with people I love. It feels like a treat to eat something yummy at the end of a busy day. It IS a treat to order the flourless chocolate cake every once in a while for dessert.
My daughter Fiona was born with a really strong personality. I often envy it, actually. When she was a toddler she would get so over-stimulated that she would just spin. By spin I mean through a tantrum, scream and put herself in the down-dog position. I read an article about the pillow squeeze. It meant sandwiching your spirited child in the middle of two, down pillows and hugging really tight. I guess in their brain the child was meant to feel a sense of safety that would restore them. We did it often. Now that she is five-years-old she still gets outside of her window of tolerance and I have to bring her back down. We snuggle and hold each other tight. I tell her how much I love her and she feels me next to her. It is nourishing for both of us.
DH took me on a lovely vacation last year to the Inn at Perry Cabin. After enjoying the spa I bought a little bottle of room spray, Linden. It’s not a fragrence that I have smelled anywhere before. It’s not a smell that you can buy in a bottle at Target. It is special and reminds me of a special time. I spray it on my sheets every night before bedtime. I fill my lungs slowly and feel restful.
You don’t have to tell me twice to go to bed. If I try to plow through another project when I am tired and my eyes are stinging, my work suffers. There is no replacement for sleep. No amount of coffee or television will help. Your eyes need to close and you need to sleep until you are restored. My kids know that if they have an issue in the middle of the night they have to go wake up DH. I. NEED. SLEEP.
These are some of the things I try to do to take care of myself and fill my tank. If I get to check off a few of them a day then I am more mentally available for creativity to flow. I want to paint. I want to write. I want to meet new clients. If I am arrogant enough to think I can be creative without filling my sense then eventually I get burned out, uninspired and realize that there is a problem to fix.
We each have different things that make us feel whole. What fills your senses?