Thursday, January 30, 2014

Be Still

by Judy

I need to start today by saying that it's good to be back here!  Thank you, Terri, from the bottom of my heart, for stepping in for me last time.  Being sick for so long is no fun, and with a couple of setbacks along the way, it's seemed like forever since I've really felt well.  Things are beginning to look up now and I am grateful for that. 

Which brings me to "down time."  What a wonderful word - especially to all of us very busy women. It seems our schedules never let up and we find ourselves dreaming of down time.  But what happens when down time is forced upon you, as it was with me?  

At first, I kept thinking of the many things that I should be doing - the never ending list of things to do. I felt frustrated that I wasn't well enough to do those things.  But something wonderful happened a few days into my rest.  As I lay in bed, the house all to myself - not a sound to be heard - ideas for projects and photo shoots were spinning in my head.

The more days I was quiet, the more ideas came to me and the more creative I felt.  I began writing everything down in a notebook beside my bed.  Some days I would write feverishly for pages, ideas just flowing out of me.  Some days it would just be one or two ideas.  When I glance through those pages now I am surprised at all that is there.  It is amazing how freeing that quiet time was for me.  My creative thought process was at full speed, even though I was not moving at all!

I did some quick research on this and found several articles showing studies proving that, indeed, downtime, or quiet time, "unleashes" ones creativity. 

So, I ask you. Are you running around today?  Errands to be completed? Appointments? Meetings? Cleaning?  Why don't we all vow to take a little time each day - OK, OK, maybe even just a little time each week, to sit and be still.  To really let our minds be clear and our creativity flow. Keep a journal nearby to write down anything, and everything, that comes to your mind.  Let's take the time we need to be all that we can be.  

A quick reminder - our January theme, Beginnings, continues for one more week.  Upload your photos depicting "beginnings" to our flickr stream, and be sure to tag them with the word "beginnings."  Your photo may be chosen for our weekly Focus On You feature.  


Viv@within the Frame said...

So glad you are on the mend , it can be so rewarding when lying or sitting quietly can bring such great results

Jeanne said...

Downtime can be wonderful. That is what I am able to enjoy at my cabin, and yes the creativity can be very fulfilling. So glad though that you are feeling better. Now you can put that journal and all the ideas to work. Glad to see you back!

terriporter said...

First of all, soooo glad you're back and are feeling better! Secondly, I was happy that I could fill in for you. I'm sure downtime would do wonders for my creativity, if only I could find some! So hard to get everything done let along find time to be still and do nothing. That usually has to be forced on me via a vacation or even a short weekend away. But I know you're right about the creativity that comes about when we free up our minds from the daily activities and just let them roam. Writing down all your thoughts during the time you were in bed was a great idea. I will have fleeting ideas at times and then they're gone by the time I need them! I will try to do better and will remember to write things down when I do think of them so they're recorded for future reference. Great advice, Judy!

Deanna said...

yes, we are all glad you are back and mending well...I relish my down-time, I need it to re-energize my thoughts, to recognize my blessings, and to spur ideas...yes, we all need that time. I think it is wonderful that you took this time to re-energize new ideas and plans.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Judy. I'm a big believer in having enough time to be still and listen to my muse. I know when I was going full speed ahead in past years, down time was usually forced on me by a cold or flu. Even on vacation, I sometimes could not slow down enough...These days my pace is slower and the creative ideas and impulses are closer to the surface. And so is my sense of serenity. I'm so very glad you're better and that you experienced such a joyful burst of creativity!

Linda/patchwork said...

Glad you're all better.
It is amazing, what our minds can do, when we 'be still'. It's a good idea to write those creative thought down. I tend to forget, if I don't.
By the way...great photo!

Dotti said...

Yay! Judy's feeling better! That is good news. Down time is hard to come by in today's world. I'm constantly amazed at how busy I have been in the past 2+ years since I retired from a full-time job. I often find downtime when I'm riding in the car {my husband always wants to drive and that's okay with me}. As I look at the scenery, I often frame photos in my mind and sometimes even think of blog ideas or other creative ideas. Since I always have my iPhone or iPad with me, I use those to put notes down as soon as I think of them. Otherwise, as Terri said, they're gone in a flash. Keep getting stronger, Judy ... I can't wait for some of your new ideas to see daylight!

CarolHart said...

Welcome back Judy! And such a wonderful post and reminder of the importance of taking time to simply be with ourselves quietly so that we may hear the voice of our muse. Fabulous photo too my friend. Take care.

Kim Stevens said...

"learn to be quiet, still and solitary," (from my quote last week), "and the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked." This is just so so true, and is something I do daily and get a little grumpy when I don't get it. I feel so much better when I've had quiet time and hear so many things that I'm not willing to give it up for busy, busy, busy anymore. My house is proof of that, lol! Glad your feeling better, and I'm sure your being still had something to do with that!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear your feeling better! I totally agree with you about the "down time" allowing your creative juices to flow! "Silence is Golden" and just a little bit of that silence along with just being still can make a person so much more productive with a clear mind. Great photo and post, thanks for sharing:)

kelly said...

well first off judy i am so glad to hear you are feeling. and i just kept nodding yes, yes,yes to this. quieting the noise in my head is key to plugging into my creativity. looking forward to seeing what your downtown produced! :)

Cathy H. said...

So glad you're feel better and back here! Missed you! I have incorporated down time in my life the last couple of years. The best time is when I walk in the woods! So many ideas, only I don't carry a pen and paper. Maybe I need a voice activated recorder!

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