“Just ‘Freelax!’

“A relaxed mind is a creative mind.” Yogi Teabag Tag

Once, many moons ago, when my son Alex was a little guy, we were running around doing some errands. I guess I seemed a bit anxious and even harried, because at one point he turned to me and said, “Just freelax, Mom. Just freelax!”

Freelax—I love this word Alex made up! It combines “free” and “relax,” and they seem perfect together, don’t they? When we’re relaxed we feel free and open, gently poised for action and to create.

By contrast, when we’re anxious or stressed, we shrink into ourselves. We contract and constrict ourselves—we’re anything but free.

How can we cultivate the kind of relaxed mind that welcomes creativity? This is a huge topic, I know, but let’s keep it simple. Let’s think of a few tools we can use in our writing life to spark it.

Getting enough rest: I remember a Broadway actress saying once that she needed lots of rest when she was doing a show, because without it, she couldn’t focus. I’ve found the same is true for me. When I’m tires, my mind tends to wander and focusing takes extra energy. Rest restores and enlivens us and making it a priority is a wise move.

Spending time in nature: There’s a boatload of research that supports the idea that walking in the woods or spending time among flowers and plants not only nourishes the soul, it calms the body. The Japanese even have a term for this: “forest bathing.” It’s a way of enjoying trees and greenery by absorbing the experience with all the senses. Just taking a nature break—a short walk, working in a graded, admiring indoor plants, or even gazing at a beautiful woodland picture can be calming.

Playing around: When we approach our work as play, magic often happens. We find ourselves loosening up and leveling up, don’t we? We can be angsty about our writing, or playful and curious. When we bring a sense of play to the page—experimenting with this or that plot point, dreaming up a new character or interviewing one—without being too attached to the outcome, we can often be surprised at what emerges.

Creativity—as writers, we’re all chasing it. But sometimes it’s closer than we think. If you’ve found some ways to spark creativity that really work well for you, I’d love to hear about them as we all write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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