Updated: May 19, 2021
If there's one thing we do well in contemporary society, it's work hard. We put in long hours, meet deadlines, and burn the midnight oil in service of our goals.
Trouble is, the mindset that contributes to a hardcore work ethic can hinder us when it comes creativity.
Why might that be? Why wouldn't what gets results at school or in the office also work creatively?
In short, because the creative process, especially in its early stages, is often a different sort of pursuit altogether. Creativity isn't interested in how hard you push or how tired you're willing to make yourself.
It's interested in far more life-giving things. It shows up when you're relaxed. When you're delighted. When you're having fun.
So that's where rest comes in to nourish and protect you from burnout. Rest not only replenishes you, but it also lays the foundation for the conditions that allow creativity to thrive.
1. Rest rejuvenates you.
When you're resting---and by that I mean really resting---you're gathering energy. True rest means that you're savoring it. You're not telling yourself what else you should be doing or deriding yourself for not being productive.
Instead, you're letting yourself feel the softness of the blanket on your lap. You're enjoying the crunchiness of the popcorn you're munching. You're fully immersing yourself in the fictional world Netflix is offering up. Whatever you're doing as you rest, you are in it for the whole experience. That's what makes renewal possible.
2. Rest inspires you.
Have you ever noticed how fresh ideas pop up when you're in the shower? Or when you're waiting on line somewhere without looking at your phone?
When the mind is at rest, it notices things. And noticing, with a bit of space around it, is fuel for creativity. Colors become more compelling, sounds meld together in interesting ways, and ideas suddenly begin to merge into something cohesive and new.
Letting yourself do nothing opens up the space in your mind and your experience to allow for new, unusual connections. And those are exactly what you want.
3. What's restful is fun.
And creativity loves fun. In fact, there's very little it likes more. Creativity is a playful creature, and it's drawn to enjoyment.
When you're doing something you love, creativity is more likely to come out and play as well. It's not interested in how hard you work. It's interested in how connected and inspired you feel. Rest is one of the best ways to give that gift to yourself, and let what grows from it inspire you.
So what ways are you inspired to find rest today? How might you savor and enjoy the restorative space in your life, and let it replenish you? I'd love to hear what you think.
And, as always, if you enjoyed this post, please like, comment, and share!
Looking for a relaxing, fun way to encourage your creativity and get some work done on a project? Weekly Co-Creation Time sessions are designed to help with exactly that. These free meetings occur twice a week, and give you the time and space to dive into your work in a friendly, encouraging environment. Learn more and check out the schedule here.
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