The Wisdom in Finding Creative Rhythms for Rest
Rhythms of Growth
I am obsessed with fiddlehead ferns. Each year, without fail, the warmed earth coaxes their fronds to stretch and unfurl like banners that herald the end of frost and the coming of Spring. They quietly raise their arms to remind us of the sure and fixed ebb and flow of the seasons. Their message is so elegant - there is wisdom in their rhythms... Nature models for us a marvelous cadence of growth and dormancy. It is a constant cyclical facsimile of germination, blooming, dormancy Nature is an eloquent evangelist, graciously offering its timeless truths. Be still and know. Stretch and rest. Grow and lay fallow.
The Whirling Hamster Wheel
I wonder if our daily frenzied pace is due to the fact that most of our daily life is removed from nature, Our endless hours in offices and cubicles make it difficult to see, hear and heed the gentle inspiration that life is better when it also has rhythms. We often find ourselves on the ever-whirling hamster wheel of just trying to get through another week.
The Creativity Cure
I've been writing recently about a fabulous book I'm working through called, "'The Creativity Cure.' by Carrie and Alton Barron.. It's a superb 'workbook' that leads its reader in a journey toward wholeness through the habit of creative practices.Here, I'd like to add to that the importance of incorporating rhythms of rest. I don't think we're very good at resting. Is it just me that feels the push to produce more? Be more.. Do more. But I'm learning to rest. I'm learning to be still. I'm learning that times of rest, silence, meditation, and daydreaming are actually just as important as are the times of production. I'm noticing there is tremendous wisdom in rhythms.
Naps, Mditation and Walks
.Studies prove that naps, meditation, nature walks - simply letting the mind and body find repose increases productivity, replenishes attention, encourages greater creativity and solidifies memories.. The brain requires substantial downtime to generate its most innovative ideas and remain industrious.
Daniel Day - Lewis
My husband and I recently saw Daniel Day-Lewis' recent (and sadly his last) film, "The Phantom Thread." Widely acknowledged as the greatest actor of his generation, Day-Lewis has won three Academy Awards. It's no wonder. His method of preparing for a film has always been a complete immersion into the persona of his character. The upside of this harrowing practice has earned him his place in Hollywood's hall of fame. But the downside has often been mental exhaustion and overwhelming oppression. I thought it interesting, that he embraces this practice of honoring rhythm. He works. He loses himself inside his dedication. Afterward, he withdraws and mentally rests. In those seasons he employs creative hands-on habits such as woodworking and polishing his skills as a cobbler. Working with his hands grounds him, relaxes and centers him.
Let Things Settle
In my work as a visual artist, I take a month 'off' when I finish a particular body of work. I let it all settle. and involve myself with an unrelated creative project, like refinishing a piece of furniture or painting a room, before I begin the next series. I've come to see the value, though, I must confess, I do have to tame my 'gremlins' now and then that try to push and intimidate.
How about you? Are you on a dizzying gerbil wheel or are you finding a rhythm for rest? In your practice of pausing, do you have any creative habits that are your go-to? For me, it depends on the season. Now that it's spring, I love digging, planting and pruning. In the fall, it may be baking breads and pies. And, of course, any season is the right season for painting.! :)
Relax with Art
If you're a ''local' who loves painting too, then plan to grab some friends and come paint with me in my studio for an Art Party! some time.