How does one define "down time?" Why is it necessary? How can one maximize its benefits? Coming off an incredibly busy and intense school year, I am greatly looking forward to exploring these questions over my intentionally not-busy summer ahead... Sure, I have a couple of selected performances scheduled, but overall I am planning to take some time and genuinely REST for a change. For the artist, restfulness needs to happen if one is to remain creative. While we can (and often do) create art under pressure, our creativity lags when we are overly stressed, tired, burned out or generally overloaded for too many months/years at a time. Taking time to get away, ease the stress and place mental energies onto more creative pathways will nourish an overwhelmed artist.
What can I do this summer to recharge my creative batteries? For one, I long to creep back into my dedicated practice time untouched by other encroaching commitments. Giving myself two hours to lose myself in music is like a spa treatment for my creative mind! The never-ending to-do list must be placed aside if I am to truly experience the "zone" into which creativity pours like a fountain. For some reason, to-do lists and the "zone" are incompatible in my life. But when I grant myself permission to put the list aside, the "zone" is thankfully not far away.
Spending time with loved ones is another important re-charging activity to which I am looking forward! This means saying "no" to various entities that request (or demand) my sacred vacation time. This very powerful word may yet be the key to my sanity... I look forward to trying it out!
Prayer and meditation work wonders when needing a balm from the often traumatic events of everyday life. I look forward to dedicating more time each day to these spiritual practices and watching God transform my stress into peace...
Reading, gardening, jogging, singing, writing, swimming, hiking... whatever the activity may be, I challenge my artistic friends to join me in a summer of rejuvenation for art's sake!