On summer mornings, as I have my coffee, I watch the chipmunks, robins, bunnies, and sometimes a groundhog as they eat grass, scurry around the yard, and keep careful watch for predators. They are busy. It seems like such a contrast to my stillness. Sometimes my only movement is blinking or bringing my coffee mug to my lips. They seem focused and always in action.
Then in the afternoons, they slow down. The bunny lies in the grass. Robin stands in the shade. Groundhog rests in a hole by the shed. The chipmunks disappear for a while. All engage in a continuous cycle of rest and action. Rest and action.
This summer I spent a week at home focused on my writing. It went the same way too. Rest and action. Rest and action. During a nap, I saw an image of the first scene in a new children's picture book. The more relaxed I became the more ideas moved to the surface. I could hear and see the stories. With adequate rest and quiet time each day, I am more creative and productive.
When I am feeling disconnected from my creative energy, one of the first things I do is consider how much quality rest is happening. Am I sleeping 8-10 hours a day? Is there time for some naps? How can I create space in my calendar for stillness? For doing nothing?
Years ago, I put a lot of effort into over the top calendar management, thinking that an organized calendar would increase my productivity. I scheduled time for writing and painting. Now, I look to add time for rest. And then, the creativity finds its way to me without all that big effort. Rest and action ignites creative energy.