In a climactic scene, the wife (played by Shelley Duvall), grabbed the paper from her husband’s typewriter only to discover line after line after line of the same sentence.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
That’s all he’d written that whole winter of terror.
Big leap now to your life. Don’t do what Jack did.
All work and no play will suck the life out of you, zap your creativity, and put a damper on your big picture thinking.
Sometimes an idea or concept can GRAB you like no other sensation. It fills you with euphoria and adrenaline, each moment getting you higher and higher. But then the high flying feeling becomes a ball and chain. You become obsessed, working hard to force creativity out of your tired self.
Your inner voice is trying hard to get a message to you, but you’re too drunk on pseudo-endorphins to take heed! The minute your life starts to take you hostage, it’s time to get out and get your mind on other things.
We all need days where we do nothing more than be spontaneous, curious, and in the moment; where we are tied to no result greater than seeing what each moment brings. Julia Cameron, in The Artists Way, suggests we schedule a weekly Artist’s Date with ourselves. This is time where we unhook from our to-do lists and open ourselves up to new possibilities (even if that possibility is catching the scent of wisteria while swinging in a hammock).
Different phases of our lives will allow us different interpretations of this step. Before I had a child I could be so spontaneous and do what I wanted when I wanted. Now my life is different and I have to plan ahead. I also have to accept that sometimes all I can get is a 30 minute break. Just work with what you have available to you now and go from there.
Whether you take a 15 minute, 60 minute, or full day off, there is something you can do at any given time.
15 minutes or less:
- Write a gratitude list. It only takes 5 minutes and can make you feel rejuvenated and positive.
- Pay attention to the smells and sensations that you’re experiencing right this moment. Savor it. Stay in the moment.
- Mindfulness: Sit quietly and focus on your scalp or some other isolated part of your body. What does it feel like? What happens when you turn your head? What happens when you touch your head? Move your hand slowly in front of you, staying in each moment.
- Breathe in for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 8. Do this ten times.
- Take a moving meditation walk. Just relax your mind and walk. Don’t focus on fitness or goals, just move and relax.
- Take a yoga class. Or get a video if you don’t have a class nearby. Or try Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or relaxation.
- Meditate. If you have trouble sustaining your focus during a long period, get a meditation CD from the library or online. This one is really good: http://www.centerpointe.com/
- Keep a fun box handy. Your fun box has stuff in it that you can make things out of- papers, embellishments, beads, stamps, old photos, fabric, clay… whatever you can play with for an hour. Creating a finished product is optional.
- Take a drive. Go somewhere new and explore.
- Hike. Pack a lunch, fill up your water bottle, bring a sketch pad and journey out!
- Discover an unknown (to you) place: a museum, a shopping district, a neighborhood, park, trail… the choices are endless.
- Play tourist. Have you ever seen your town from a tourist’s point of view? You can learn a lot about local history and little known trivia when you change your perspectives.
- Spa! Go ahead and splurge. Get the massage, the body scrub, the manicure and pedicure… if you want it, go for it!
Disconnecting from the daily grind is essential to keep your creative flow operating at full capacity. It will help you stay on the cutting edge, ready to receive new ideas, and remain in the big picture thinker cycle.
For your business and your life, take time to let your mind wander.
(If you are a creative woman entrepreneur with an appreciation for sabor Latino, check out the new Inner Circle Program at Comadre Coaching.)