Last week I ran a series of articles that all focused on Out Of The Box Thinking. It wasn’t planned that they all ended up that way, at least not consciously. I published them before I left on vacation, and their significance is coming to me now.
The fact was that I was on a week long “retreat” last week (suusi.org) whose theme was “To Live Fully”. Almost a thousand of us descended on the campus of Virginia Tech, and moved into the dorms. From there we took classes and workshops; everything from kayaking to rock climbing to beer tasting to a course on Spinoza. We attended concerts, community time, and theme talks. We talked in the hallways during childcare duty; we talked in the cafeteria and at the children’s programs and the coffee house and the services. It was wonderful.
I personally spent the week learning the basics of West African Drumming. I had my computer along, and one of my suitemates is also “in the industry” but we determinedly tried to not talk shop. I also didn’t do any of the things I normally would do: reading email, reading websites, or writing online. I avoided my regular reading and instead picked up a murder mystery in the bookshop, along with a huge book of Sudoku and a book on gardening.
The interesting part of this to me is that today, instead of being absolutely panicked that I do not have the week’s posts queued, I am actually buoyed by the renewed energy I feel flowing through me. I am ready to tackle my life again, making space for the creativity and productivity to well from within me. Nothing seems to be taking much effort today, and in spite of the list of chores waiting for me, I am calm and extremely productive.
I am beginning to believe that there is a need in everyone’s lives where they need to step back, move outside their normal realm of activities and re-create. Recreation, is, after all, simply re-creating ourselves. While most people can’t take a week and spend it meditating on top of a mountain as I did, there is room in everyone’s lives for a few minutes of those activities which allow us to be still. From that stillness the creativity and productivity will come.
I had recently started re-implementing a no-technology day once a week. Now I see the absolute importance of that time as a bedrock of my productivity the rest of the week. I will pursue, with great enthusiasm, a day where I will not be on my computer, or even at my desk.
Can you create that space as well to re-create? I ask you to think about this.
Note: this week will be some more republishing from the old blog over to the new. I am trying to find the articles that are still relevant and helpful as I do this, editing as I go. Next week we’ll be back to original content.