Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Essential Time Out: Walking Away

It seems a contradiction, but focusing on something does not necessarily mean giving it all of our attention all of the time. Focusing on something sometimes means we have to walk away from it.

For me this happens often, both when writing and recording music and when writing in the blog. Sometimes what I am creating comes in a beautiful and miraculous flow, finished primarily in one session with some editing to complete the process. That, however, is not the norm. The norm for me is to get something started, get excited about it, work on it until the initial inspiration is spent, and then walk away from it for a while. The next step is to go back to what I am working on, act on whatever new inspiration has arisen in me, and then give it another rest. I keep on in this way until the essential parts of the creation are done.

The only way to see things clearly, once the initial inspiration is spent, is to allow time for new inspiration to arise.  If we don’t take time for this, we lose the gifts that our inner guidance can give us. The spark of creativity that comes from seeing something fresh comes when we stand back and make space for it.

When we focus inwardly for inspiration, we are tapping into something deep within ourselves. When we are not working from that inward flow, when we push and force creation, we are using the mind to create something that is actually not quite ready to flow into being. The mind is a wonderful tool but it is not, in and of itself, the source of inspiration; it works with the inspiration, which comes from a deeper place within us.

If we want inspiration to flow, we sometimes have to stand back and give the resources deep within us time and space to move. We have to wait, holding ourselves in readiness to act when the creative inspiration again rises to the surface. Holding ourselves ready is the way we maintain focus; allowing time out is the way we make space. 

The creative process is a flow.  We focus inward for inspiration, we focus outward to create. We wait (a minute, a day, a week. . .) until the next creative inspiration arises. As we move back and forth between these two states, we find that we are dancing with the creative process. And that dance is truly joyful.

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