The following is a re-post from a website called The Mindful Artist
Michele (the writer) is an artist and also runs a mentor program for other artists. She writes very thoughtful posts about the creative process and “bumps in the road” that we all might hit sooner or later. I thought this post was enlightening and helpful, so I am re-posting it. Hope you like it too.
The other day in the studio I was reminded of how important it is for me to have what I like to call “meander time”.
Meander time is that unstructured, unproductive, unhurried envelope in which there are no goals, no urgency towards completion, only a free and easy flow of listening to and following our quiet inclinations.
When I work in my studio, I generally jump in where I left off the day before. I settle easily into a humming rhythm of focus and productivity. But this time, something didn’t feel right. The process felt forced.
I paused and found a comfy place, got quiet, closed my eyes and went inward. It became clear to me that I hadn’t been allowing time recently in the studio for exploration, for browsing in books, for lying and looking at the ceiling, for staring out the window or just being.
This is pure right brain territory.
This is when we are in a receptive state.
This is when fresh, new ideas are able to flow in.
Most of us were told when young and apt to daydream that we were “wasting” time. Wasting time is frowned upon severely in a society full of people who feel so busy and strapped for time. We feel more virtuous when we are productive.
Some of my most rich and fruitful ideas come from meander time. Sometimes this means getting outside the studio – going on a walk or just sitting and being in nature. Sometimes it involves going on the studio with no particular plan and allowing myself to rest, nap, stare at the works in progress, peruse art books or leaf through boxes of old drawings or supplies. It’s really about letting go of a particular objective and following what feels right in the moment.
There’s a delicate balance we artists ride between doing and being.
Too much “being” can be a disguised form of avoidance. Too much “doing” and our creative well dries up because it is never replenished.
What about you? Have you noticed this rhythm within yourself? When have you opened up to meandering and allowed new ideas to flow in?
For the original post go here http://www.themindfulartist.com/2011/03/meander-time/