We just got to the end of a 21 day intensive called “Creative Flow”. There were people from all over the world joining together: writers, inventors, artists, musicians. In teaching this course, I had to really stop and find out: what is the process that allows a creative spark, a flickering across the screen of your mind, to germinate and sprout and finally become a book, or a painting, or an invention?
We discovered many things in this 21-day intensive about what allows creativity to flourish. I’m going to share with you today one of the simplest, and one of the most pleasurable. It’s called the Creation Vacation.
If you feel that you’ve got a creative project wanting to take birth, and if you’re feeling stuck, or a little uninspired, plan a little vacation for the two of you: you and your creative project going away together for a hot and steamy weekend.
The best way to do this is to go away in the afternoon on Friday, and don’t come back until the end of the day on Sunday. When you arrive at your romantic vacation destination, take the first evening just to relax. Don’t even think about your project at all. And remember, this is a vacation, so switch of your cell phone, and the internet, and leave all your cares behind. The first night you’re going to eat and relax. If they have a hot tub, use it and go to bed early.
On Saturday morning, wake up, stretch your body, and enjoy your favorite form of exercise. Have a nice breakfast and maybe take a walk.
You may be wondering at this point, “What about the ‘creation’ part of ‘creation vacation?’ Aren’t I supposed to be creating?” Relax, just wait. That’s the key to the whole exercise, just wait. If you keep relaxing, if you stay undistracted, and if you keep the energy flowing in your body, sooner or later I have discovered that the juices start to flow. But you’ve got to remember all of these components: get plenty of rest, get plenty of exercise, but also make sure that you don’t get distracted with other things. I particularly refrain from movies, books, and in fact using the computer for anything except the masterpiece you came to download. By Saturday afternoon, things should have started to loosen up a bit. You could take a walk with a voice recorder and just see what flows. As soon as you feel tired, or stuck, just lay down and take another nap.
One of the blessings that I’m grateful for in my life is that I’ve got to know lots and lots of very creative people. Through being a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, twice a year I get to go on vacation with some of the most prolific and creative people in the world: John Gray, Lynne McTaggart, Gay Hendricks… Ah, enough name dropping, you get the point. All of the people I know who are very creative and don’t seem to suffer from writers block too much take lots of vacations, I mean lots. One weekend a month minimum: to slow down, unplug and let the juices flow.
In July I’m going to be teaming up with one of the most creative people I know; Luis Diaz, who founded the Change Agent University. It has 45,000 members in Spanish speaking countries now, and almost 20,000 in English speaking countries.
Luis and I will be leading a “Creative Vacation” in Greece this summer. If you’d like to hear more about it, we’re going to be having a meeting with the registered participants this Thursday Morning, June 6th.
If you’d like to join us and hear more about the Creative Vacation Retreat you’re welcome to do so.