By Sarah Jolk
Creativity seems to be an illusive notion to many. Thoughts prevail that people are simply born creative or not. While we each have our own bents and interests, the simple truth is that creativity is like a muscle that will atrophy if not used. We see this in children all the time; play and boredom-bred discovery are one of the healthiest things for the mind. When given the pieces but not forced to use them a particular way the mind must build new neural-pathways to connect. When working with children, questions and observations will be your best friend. Resist the urge to do it for them; rather join them in the discovery. Wonder about things with them, ask them what they see and observe. And then, do this for yourself.
For adults who may not feel like we have time to play or are so stressed that we’re stuck in survival mode all the time we often default to the minimum “rest” available-we distract ourselves. Distraction feels better in the meantime but it’s a recipe for build up; like that one dessert of many strange layers that always shows up at the holidays but no one really knows why. In the end we think we’re doing ok because of the momentary distraction but the dessert ends up tasting like the mixed up layered dish Rachel made in Friends rather than the relief we were hoping for.
To deal with stress we have to face it; however the human psyche can only handle so much at one time. There are many resources such as counseling, coaching, venting with friends and more that help with stress but our physical bodies need times of chill where our subconscious has time to breathe and process information. We need true rest.
Did you know observation inspires creativity? And both are great forms of rest? On the next page you’ll see an outline example that we encourage you to take with you on a walk through the trails. Connecting with your senses, breathing the fresh air, moving around and connecting back to your soul is an exponentially giving form of rest.
Resist the urge to video or take pictures; let the phone have a break too and reconnect with what is living and breathing. It will be ready for you when you return.