April 19, 2010

I gained a fresh appreciation for slowing down this weekend. My husband and I had just returned home, and as I was heading up the stairs he called after me to let me know he'd locked the keys in the car. At first, we were both ticked off at this inconvenience. Since we don't have one of those handy metal things you can slide through the window to unlock cars, we had to rely on our Triple A membership. However, after getting over my initial irritation, it became rather pleasant to just sit on the steps, chat with our neighbor, and just chill out. And being forced to wait for a half hour with nothing to do definitely slowed me down internally - I could feel the difference when we finally got into the house...a very pleasant inner calm that I don't feel too often. My mind usually races through the day from one thing to the next, doing, planning, executing, etc. In a society where things move faster and faster and your attention is always being pulled from one thing to another, time where you do "nothing" becomes an extremely rare, if not totally non-existent commodity.

But the thing is, I feel like this kind of peaceful, non-rushed internal state flows right into creativity. It's like one ushers in the other and vice-versa. There seems to be a symbiotic relationship between the two. Because creativity isn't something that can be rushed or forced. Given this, it is amazing we create anything at all in today's frenetic paced society. And when I say it cannot be rushed, I don't mean that you create only on a whim, or only when you feel like it. To the contrary, creativity requires just as much, if not significantly more discipline than grand inspiration. But I find the only part you can discipline is showing up to create. Putting the time in to be present and do the things that help creativity come forth. The pace at which creativity flows out, however, is not necessarily in your control. Some creations take longer to be birthed than others, that's just how it is. Merging discipline with a relaxed internal state of mind seems to help facilitate this process well.

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