Rest is Part of the Creative Process

I spent last week visiting friends and family in Missouri.  My only real intention was to create some space for my mind to wander.  I didn’t do much research into what there was to do and see.  I just wanted to see what the day would bring.

On Sunday, we met with Josh Bulloc and he really made me think about how I want to define my work.  I left that meeting full of ideas and hope that I can make it happen.

On Monday, We met with James and Julie Dibben for brunch and had a delightful conversation where I walked away even more hopeful.  I think we all left the table more inspired to make a difference in the world.  You can look forward to a revival of the Blue Collar Living Podcast after Christmas.  If you are interested in business, it’s probably worth your time to listen to the Blue Collar Business Podcast as well.

The rest of the week was spent with my sister and her family.  In the last 4 years, they have lived in Germany, Hawaii, and now in Missouri.  They have some worldly experience that I’ll never have.  I also got to spend some time with my 2 1/2 year old niece.  She’s older than my girl, Samantha, would be, but it was still cool to spend time with a little girl and imagine what it would be like if she was mine.

Me, my niece, and my sister at Maramec Spring Park in St. James, MO

Me, my niece, and my sister at Maramec Spring Park in St. James, MO

We had plenty of time to think and explore.  The results of this break from “normal” work was a huge boost in creativity.  I have several pages in my little notebook that I carry around full of new ideas.  That little break from my routine allowed me to look at similar circumstances in new and exciting ways.  The freedom I had during this week really made me realize how conformed my existence is.  This needs to change.  I need the freedom to spend time with people when the opportunity arises.  I need to build on creativity when it strikes.

Take time regularly to rest and the creativity will seep out of you.  It’s worth it!

When and where can you create space to rest your mind? Do you need to wake up a little bit earlier and read, pray, or just be?  Can you spend some of your lunch break in thought?  What if you took the long way home to decompress?  Try it and see how creative you really are!

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • Sutton Parks

    In the book, Copy This, by Paul Orfaela (founded Kinko’s) he said he takes 5 or 6 weeks of vacation per year because he gets his best ideas on the beach.  When I get out into the woods my mind seems to open up and relax.  I know how wound up I am by how far I have to walk before calm down and stop thinking about my problems.  Then I start to get ideas.

  • Barbra Lauterbach

    I absolutely agree with you, Raun.  Purposefully getting out the rut and taking the time to have new experiences is very important for creative work.  One thing I always remember from all the rooms I’ve painted over the years is how different the room looks from high on a ladder in the corner of the room.  It’s the very same room but a remarkably different perspective.  We need to get on the ladder of the interior rooms…..the places inside us and see if we have a different perspective on our lives.  Prayer is very helpful here as is just learning to meditate and blow away the debris…….also God comes in dreams.  As Him to do that……say that you’re open and see what happens! 

  • Raun Lauterbach

    That’s a really good metaphor.  I had a couple of ideas strike me today out of things I’ve been around for years.  I’m seeing doors opening up left and right and it’s very exciting!

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Sounds like an interesting book.  I might have to read that.  I know exactly what you mean about being in the woods.  It’s almost like being able to walk around in my own brain — a totally unique experience.

  • James Dibben

    Thanks for the mention and the show plugs!

    Julie and I had a great time visiting with you and Liz.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    My pleasure! Can’t wait for some new episodes!

  • Barbara Davis

    Great post!  Trying to force something creative doesn’t work.  Rest, play, unplugging from social media and getting out there to live life gives us creativity. 

    Thanks for stopping by The Bold Blend today!  :)

  • Raun Lauterbach

    You nailed it!  It’s harder to live it, though.  I think creating space has to be intentional or you’re bound to leave it out in favor of more urgent tasks.  Thanks for your comment!

  • Josh Bulloc

    Thanks for the mention. I also got some ideas talking with you guys. I really enjoyed getting to know both of you in person.

    I like to spend about 30 minutes every morning reading reflecting and learning. Then I try to have another 30 minutes in the day to just think about whatever problem I am trying to solve.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    I think your approach is a good one. I’m often amazed at the solutions I can come up with when I make space for them to develop.