Refueling our Creative Spirit Through Deep Rejuvination
Part of the natural course of creative evolution is to begin again or begin anew. Work in the creative professional realm calls on us to constantly create and recreate—sometimes for us, mostly for others. There is truth to this regardless of what title or profession we hold, especially if we are in a service or creative industry, or both, as I am. The demands over serving our clients, our team, the meeting of deadlines, deliverables and project after project keep us constantly churning out new and ever greater work. And that’s if we’re lucky enough to have that constant stream of work.
With the near-constant demands refueling is not just centered on fun, but critical for our long-tern success as professionals. Having strong habits, ferocious discipline and commitment to self aimed to engage in recreational activities that ignite our inner flame and vital energy is essential. Nurturing our self-creative-self is as much a job for the professional as is the creative aspects to being vitally human. Our fundamental state, as humans, is to be creative.
The outer ring of the creative process is like breathing. An ongoing, cyclical act of giving and receiving; of exhalation and regeneration; of destroying and creating; of expressing and recoiling. Too much of one side of breathing or doing so too hastily, leaves us breathless, literally and figuratively. To fully harvest rest and recreation we must fully embrace a slowing of action, thought and emotion. And, like healthy breathing, doing so with a mindful presence to the act, we infuse ourselves in it and create natural pauses when we shift from creating mode to rejuvenation mode.
The word “recreation” has its roots in both creation and renewal. It also has playful, mental, psychological and spiritual foundations. The stimulation of recreation creates a curing and refreshing of the self. Inspiration can typically only be found with fresh eyes and an open mind. Thus, rejuvenating ourselves is necessary for growth, personally and professionally. When we grow as individuals, as makers, as creators, as professionals and as leaders our work deepens and the effects amplify.
To recreate ourselves to claim a new space, outside the demands of our professional worlds. Recreation is inhabiting the intersection between what we love to do and who we love to be. Recreation is the essence of giving and receiving to ourselves. It is a higher-form self-gift that gives in return.
Deep recreation required a fierce commitment to fully in habit the rejuvenation space, doing so without the distraction of screen devices, news or social feeds. The deeper our commitment and immersion into our recreational habits and doings, the deeper the rewards and returns.
When you’re feeling breathless, exhausted or burnt out, here are some questions on recreation to explore:
- How do we refuel, re-energize and get re-inspired?
- Are we fully inviting and permitting ourselves to completely embrace our rejuvenation when upon us?
- Are we unplugging from the screens and feeds that seduce us in our daily lives?
- As we’re consistently amplifying the quality of our work, where do we find evolved inspiration, time for constant learning or experimental play?
- How do we nurture our own creative spirit today, so we can show up tomorrow better, brighter and more engaged?
- How do we foster a cultivating a friendship with the unknown, the path in our work or our personal lives yet explored?
- How do we rise to the challenges of reinvention, recreation and evolution—personally and professionally?
- Is the best part of ourselves being invited forward? What is that invitation?
- In the reinvention process, what are we needing to say “no” to?
- What are the conversations we need to stop having in order to deeply create or recreate?
I shared a poem by David Whyte called Sweet Darkness during the event noted below. I’m sharing that poem here and a SoundCloud link to David reciting it.
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A version of this post was originally written as an invitation and introduction to outline a topic for AIGA Creative Sphere; a gathering of like-minded creative professionals to openly discuss the center and edges of our work as creative professionals. I host and moderate these sessions on a regular basis in San Diego.