Welcome to the latest Weekly Creativity Thread.
This week, in a number of places on CCS, discussions have come around to the still and quiet times of our creative lives.
Whether they are lulls and peaks over a project, a day, a season, or the whole year, it's a subject that I think has plenty of potential for further exploration here.
So, three questions to start your mind pondering...
1. Do you set aside specific times for stillness? This can include mediation, contemplation, daydreaming, and anything else where you're not highly engaged in a task, and can let your mind relax and wander.
2. Have you experienced a seasonal kind of stillness? This might be connected with nature's seasons (a winter hibernation, a spring awakening and so on) or your own body and mind's natural cycles. Do you let the stillness come, go with it, and enjoy the experience, or do you try to resist and fight it?
3. In your experience, what kind of creativity has emerged from stillness? How is this different to the ideas and work that arises from trying to create in the midst of busyness?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the creativity in stillness...
1) I make 1 or 2 times per day (total approx 1,5-2 hours) walks in the wood by myself
2) Absolutely. I feel seasons very much and I need stillness. It brings (for me) things to the surface.
It gives depth. Makes me more whole and I can grow then.
It's more important to me now then lots of chatting. I do not always consider
stillness easy as it brings also sometimes unpleasant things/ feelings to surface like doubts and fears
(but I do realize it is more important then to ignore it)
3) Well I started creating actually quite out of the blue when I quit my high demanding job and suddenly
had nothing to do, as everybody around me was still busy and running around.
It was like an unexpected pleasant surprise: like others said: i didn't know that that was in you..
actually me neither: it was like finding another side of myself: which could apparently only happen
(in my case) in stillness and with lots of time by myself to hang out, wonder about things, play a bit,
experiment a bit, do what I felt like doing instead of had to do. I guess I could then connect more
deeply to what I was feeling (before I didn't have & take enough time for that) and bring this from inside
-> out. Now i try to protect "privacy and stillness" time (as essential to remain connected to myself).
The creating I did when beeing very busy (as I always kind of came up with "new things" and "new ways" of
doing things was more practical, more rational as reaction to the situation or solving something: not
necessarily coming out from what I feel deep inside)
Thanks for your thoughts.
I definitely relate to your reply to no1, having just returned from a two hours+ wander in the woods myself! Maybe I had this thread in the back of mind, as I stopped on a few occasions just to listen. It was mostly birds - never an intrusion on the wood's silence.
Do your seasons follow nature, some other pattern or seem to just come at go more unpredictably?
I wonder if many people spend their whole lives running and chasing and never take the time to just listen to and learn who they really are?
Has the media you use to create changed as you've become more still and created more from what you feel inside?
Hey Dan, happy you enjoyed a good nature-walk!
Well as I did have the feeling, I needed a kind of natural routine + out of my curiosity how people closer to nature live (like old farmers). I looked for info on the subject: and started reading a book about it (title translated from Dutch: "living and working in the rythm of the seasons" - by Jaap Voigt: he followed for >10 years people regarding this + an ancient Chinese book: the I-Ting or something). Anyway by experiment I kind of follow it since last year spring: and I find it trully amazing how much I recognize. It really gives me a lot so far.
I do think most people run around (unfortunately also the kids here nowadays) - until they are retired or get ill or something.
For the medium. Actually I did write already long time in diary and in 2003 for a local newspaper for fun. I met many different people, learnt a lot, but thought that the writing itself was not particularly my thing. I guess I was not ready at that time. Same with drawing: I drew a lot as a kid, which was not encouraged, did much later some courses, but missed a kind of “goal”. Now I write visible stories (or maybe more accurate put my ideas out in dialogue form, describing what the characters do as well) and also I see the “purpose” of drawing: supporting the stories. But don’t want to do the drawing myself (I rather concentrate on other things: contents-research-writing-organizing). It’s just that the several elements come together now. BUT the thing is I couldn’t write the stories I write now 20 years ago, as I lacked experiences and ideas, it’s also because of all the other stuff I did in between, which is also part of me, I can make them. I wonder therefore also if you ever really know yourself – or if it is a process. I do believe that silence, time and privacy help to connect with yourself and what you need at a particular time in your life.
Wish I could walk in the woods with you Tessa and Dan. we have "the bush" here as our woods are called in australia.
I celebrate stillness and quiet throughout my day. I always make time for it to replenish my energy and spirit. I often lie down on the guest bed reflecting.
lots of love from susan in australia
Susan, thanks for your thoughts in other threads that inspired this one.
Just laying down and reflecting - even for a short time, is really beneficial! I've long had this idea that once you're up and out of bed in the morning, that's it until you're ready to sleep again that night. The only reason you would return in the day is if you were ill.
But I'm coming round to the idea that a short lie down now and again in the day can be really refreshing. I do it sometimes on my yoga mat in the day - just a 10 or 20 minute meditation, and sometimes on the sofa with chilled music. I do find it helps (like with many things) to have a timer. Then I can relax into it. Otherwise, I keep wondering what the time is and how long I've been laying down.
I like using the guest room bed to lie down as it ceremonialises my quiet times lying down and reflecting. I find I think differently lying down than sitting in a chair.
Yes, I also lie down on the lounge (sofa). I love the times on the yoga mat meditating or having quiet time. No need for a timer with me. I just do it as long as I want. I must admit I have clocks in most rooms so I don't lose track of time if I don't want to.
If I have free time I just take as long as I want . this is rare but I love it when I have open ended time
"open ended time".....I need to look into this idea
lots of love from susan in australia
E-J, my guest room has my vision boards, my exercise bike and mimimal furniture. i like it because I don't take lots of things into the room except the occasional book to read. most of the other rooms in the house are very lived in whereas the guest room has a calmness about it. it is a lovely room.
I prefer to lie down where it is calm. the TV room is OK when the Tv is off so I can lie in peace. the lounge room has a shorter lounge (sofa) so not as comfortable
lots of love from susan in australia
Susan, love these two phrases -
"it ceremonialises my quiet times..."
"open ended time..."
Much to ponder on. The first I relate to with yoga - the unrolling of the mat is a trigger for the ceremony or ritual to begin.
Yes, good point - that we're constantly evolving. You can't just have stillness on a one off occasion, it's something that needs to be embedded in daily life, if we're to get the most from it. Like creating!
I do like to get away from everyone, and enjoy private time, just alone. I think it rejuvenates me and means I enjoy company again all the more when I have it again.
The last two things you said E-J were "I'm not sure how...", followed by "I know that... would help..."
I'm wondering if you do know how, you just don't know you know! If I said - "Ok, so you say you don't know how to find time for stillness every day. What if a part of you did know? What would that part of you say? How could it help you?"
I've been amazed in recent weeks of experimenting with and without a morning meditation what difference it makes.
I think there are two elements in cultivating stillness -
1. We need to find periods where we can focus on connecting with an inner calm - through meditation, creating, contemplating, walking and so on. They don't have to be hours at a time, maybe 10, 15, 20 minutes. During these times we nurture and evolve the depth of connection we have with the stillness. Each time we find where we got to in the forest before, and try to go a step or two deeper in.
2. We need to be more conscious and active in finding ways to return to this stillness throughout the day to day, even in (maybe especially in) times of surrounding chaos. These can be literally 10 seconds to a minute. One of my three guiding words this year is stillness, and as often as possible I try to ask myself "how can I find stillness in this moment" or even "where is the stillness in this moment". With this approach we can nurture and evolve the frequency of connection we have with the stillness.
Both aspects improve with practice I think.