Rest is something that we take for granted. We might feel the need to push through because of deadlines (self-imposed or not). We run the risk of burnout if we do not build in rest into our weekly and even daily routine. Think of taking time to refuel your body with eating and rest your body with sleeping. These are natural rhythms that we do every day. Intentional rest (making time and planning out our chosen activity of rest) from our creative practice is the same. We need energy and fuel to create. In this post I am going to explore the how and why you need rest as an artist.
Importance of Building in Rest
Rest is ceasing to work towards a monetary end, taking a break from producing something external while feeding something internal. Connecting to our soul; that which cannot be bought or measured should be given regular time. We may not “feel” the need to stop and refuel as with eating, but we still need this intentional stopping. Rest is not merely stopping but incorporating restful activities into our routine.
So what are some rest filled activities? There are quiet ones just as there are playful ones. Make a list of both for yourself. I will give you some examples to incorporate into your weekly rhythm.
In the devotional, The Daily Office, Lynne Baab reminds us of bigger perspective and key to rest,
“As long as we are working hard, using our gifts to serve others, experiencing joy in our work along with the toil, we are always in danger of believing that our actions trigger God’s love for us. Only in stopping, really stopping do we teach our hearts and souls that we are love apart from what we do… Without time to stop, we cannot notice God’s hand in our lives, practice thankfulness, step outside our culture’s values or explore our deepest longings. Without time to rest, we will seriously undermine our ability to experience God’s unconditional love and acceptance.”
As a creative, do you struggle with confidence?
Even though I share a lot of freebies and tutorials, I held back for years sharing my creations because I feared failure. As creatives, you and I can be held back due to negative thinking. It might look like comparing your ability to others or not having the confidence to pursue your creative talent or putting your creations out into the world.
Is that you? Have you ever found it difficult to cope with imposter syndrome, your inner critic, fear of failure, perfectionistic tendencies, and being hesitant to share your work?
If your answer is yes, I have a Free resource for you. It’s just a click away!
HONOR YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS
Listen to Your Body
First and foremost, don’t sacrifice your health for the sake of your dream. You are the only one who can look after you. No one else will step in and do that for you. Only you know how much time you have for your creative dream. The more important it becomes, the more time you will give to it.
It is important to create sacred, uninterrupted time to create and learn where you turn off distractions and block off time in your schedule. You may have to say no to being involved in other activities and booking outside appointments. Guilt may set in but remember that if you deem it important and act as such, then others will respect what you are asking for.
Listen to Your Spirit
This is an area that we should never be out of tune with. It is important to give time to “input” just as it is to “output” as a creative. What do you need to do to feed your soul? You might need to get out into nature and enjoy the sights and sounds. Or you may need to read from a favorite inspirational author.
I must make the choice daily to prepare my heart; stepping back and honoring the One who holds the universe and my heart. Coming to the Lord in prayer with silence, confession, thanksgiving, and requests allows me to remember who is in control.
As human beings, we are not solely human “doings”. We have to honor all the parts of ourselves. Remember, only you can take care of you. You are valuable and not dispensable. In The Daily Office, Wayne Mueller puts it so well, “We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms. To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself.”
Take this opportunity to learn how to recognize your inner critic with this FREE Workbook – “How to Make Over Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence” so, you can confidently show up and share your work!
Listen to Your Mind
Importance of Affirmations
Affirmations offer rest for our minds, an antidote (or rest) to from the inner critic which leads to worry, fear and anxiety. Affirmation work is a key step towards accepting who we are created to be, what we are creating and our needs. When we start or continue our creative work, we need fuel to start and stay motivated.
Affirmations are the key tool that will help us achieve truth about ourselves as creative to draw from. If we practice affirmation building regularly, we set in motion the automatic response when we face situations where our inner critic pops up and tries to sabotage our creative process. When practiced, it is evident that affirmations create truth which produce a mindful “rest”. Check out the post, “Why it is Important to Practice Artist Affirmations” to learn more.
Reminder: Don’t let any more time go by, get a start right now on recognizing your inner critic with this FREE step by step guide called, “How to Make Over Your Inner Critic: Recognize Fear & Step Into Confidence”
Marking success is making a tangible way of recording our creative story. This is important as we need to look back at our accomplishments (as you would define them). Marking success gives us the fuel to keep going with our creative work. If we do not look back and celebrate where we have been, we do not move forward with confidence.
In addition to marking your success, you need to celebrate it as well. The way that you choose to celebrate markers along your creative journey is up to you, just as long as you do it.
There are ways you can daily support your success with self care routines; enjoying a special tea, reading a new book or taking a walk to gather inspiration. Marking and celebrating success is a tangible way to feed your mind’s need for rest.
So, in conclusion, your needs for rest need to be honored and nurtured for your creative process to thrive. You are the only one responsible for you and your rest and it is up to you to create the environment where you thrive and succeed.
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