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Welcome to your Creative Oasis™!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

High Octane Serendipity & Napping! Creative Oasis™ Permission to Pause Manifesto Part Two

Welcome to my 
Creative Oasis™ Permission to Pause Manifesto (Part Two) 
in which I continue to receive rather in-my-face messages from the universe in the form of high-octane serendipity that 
taking the time to do nothing is something we all need to be doing! 
(If you missed it - you can read Part One here.)

A reflective sunrise pause beautifully shared by Twyla Smith.
When last we met, I was cocooned in the restorative energy of Ten Thousand Waves. As synchronicity would have it, a coaching client of mine, Twyla Smith, happened to be in Santa Fe that same weekend. She suggested we meet for lunch on the patio of The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Café, which was lovely. Things turned interesting when Twyla introduced us to her friend Pat Webb. Why? Well… Pat happens to be one of the founders of The Silence Foundation. Here is their mission:

“To practice and teach silence. 
Through the creative use of silence we aim to 
gently guide individuals into new lifestyle choices…
choices that reduce the stress, allow reflection, 
broaden vision, and provide tools for positive change, 
especially in times of transition.”

Ah-ha! Another blatant and beautiful reminder that it’s a good thing to practice not filling every waking moment with doing. (talking, reading, writing, eating, shopping, watching media, worrying, planning, etc…) Here was an entire foundation devoted to it!

Santuario de Chimayo by Jill Allison Bryan
After a leisurely drive on the beautiful back-roads from Santa Fe to Chimayo to Taos, we reached our next destination – the Mabel Dodge Luhan House for a creativity retreat held by Jill Badonsky. (author, founder of Kaizen–Muse® Creativity Coaching, my mentor and friend)

The Jills
Doug and I arrived in time to enjoy the first of many delicious meals, meet the other attendees and receive a card that Badonsky had randomly chosen for each of us from Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack.

When I flipped over my card to read and share with the group, I felt as if the universe had slapped me upside the head! “Are you getting the message yet?!?!” For on it was an illustration of a woman’s face which looked eerily like my own sitting on a rocking chair with the title “Pause for a Bit” across the top.  Hello.

Check out the text!

Poet Doug King on the value of incubating: 
“Learn to Pause…or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.” Allow the Muse to whisper in your ear. What problem are you working on that would benefit from a pause?”

Okey–dokey then. Message received…loud and clear. I would definitely be spending some more time playing with this idea of pause. The week-long retreat dedicated to sparking creativity (and encouraging nap-taking) would be the ideal setting to do just that. But wait…it gets better.

Just in case I wasn’t 100% certain that the whole concept of  “pausing” was something that deserved my exploration, after Doug and I ambled back to our casita I decided to do a quick e-mail check before unpacking. That’s when I received a message from my friend, Bob Munro of Sacred Pause (his beautiful business which shares his serene, inspiring photographic images from around the world.) He asked if I would like to contribute a little something during the coming week to his facebook page focused on the idea of…you guessed it…PAUSE. Pardon my French…but what the…..?!?!?!?! This was some high-octane serendipity! (my favorite kind)  

So between quiet morning runs in the sunrise solitude of Taos, gourmet meals at Mabel’s, convening with other creative spirits on retreat and rejuvenating afternoon naps, I pondered the importance of “pausing” and The Creative Oasis ™ Permission to Pause Manifesto was born.

Gertrude Stein by Andy Warhol.

Gertrude Stein, one of the greatest creative instigators and supporters of all time in my humble opinion, nailed it when she said,

“It takes a lot of time to be a genius. 
You have to sit around a lot doing nothing…really nothing.”

I’ve always loved that quote and upon further inspection and reflection I know why. This is a message we receive far too infrequently in our face-paced, do-more-faster-better-now society.

We hold those whose schedules are so jam-packed they barely have time to sleep or eat in high esteem. We equate busyness with importance. As a nation we take less vacation days than any other and often don’t even use all we’ve earned. Or we plan vacations so chock full of experiences that we come home feeling more exhausted than the day we left.

So here’s a question to consider. 
If we’re always so busy doing, making, talking, 
watching, reading, planning, moving – 
when do we have time to experience 
the peace of simply being…
to let new creative thoughts bubble to the surface? 
(Perhaps this is why so many wonderful ideas come to us in the shower…it’s one of the very few times and places when we’re not multi-tasking. God help us all if they ever invent water-proof cell phones!)

My morning meditation (which I’ve been practicing for six or seven years now) has become a sacred time that I look forward to every day. The mornings when I don’t allow myself the time to meditate, rolling out of bed and barreling into my day like a freight train, the difference is palatable and not pretty. (Think Wylie Coyote falling off a cliff, being blown up or run over by said train in his futile attempts to catch the Road Runner.) 

But, when I allow myself even five or ten minutes to sit in silence and breathe, I feel centered, in touch with myself and balanced – a preferable way to start off the day in my book.

My next step will be to look for new ways to create time and space in my life for “pausing” in addition to my morning meditation. Yet, as intrigued and excited by this notion as I am, I’m guessing it will be a challenge. The idea of taking the time to “just be” flies in the face of society’s norms and a lifetime of conditioning that busy is better.

Luckily I have the techniques of Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coaching to help me – in this case using small steps and lowering pressure for myself, knowing that it’s okay if I’m not perfect at this “sacred pause” stuff right off the bate because it’s pretty new and foreign to me.

What about you? Are you willing to give it a go? I’d love to hear your desired method of “pausing.”  Do you have one? Do you wish you did? Can you see the benefits of allowing time and space in our busy lives to simply be?

Perhaps we can support each other as we venture into this new exotic landscape where sitting and staring out the window at the trees blowing in the breeze is considered time well spent. In fact, that’s what I’m about to do right now…a little bit of nothing. Care to join me?


Three Yellow Feathers said...

Thank you so much, Jill, for this beautiful piece of wisdom and reflection. Isn't it crazy that we have to work so hard to carve out time for something so important to our well-being? Thanks for the invitation to "pause" together. Sign me up.

(creativeoasiscoach) said...

No matter how good our intentions or solid our practice of self-care, I truly believe this is a message that deserves repeating again and again. We're up against decades of "faster, better, more, now!" Reminders that it's okay to slow down are necessary - at least for me. :)

LauraX said...

Jill I love this post...the way the universe kept whispering hints hear and there about the value of slowing down and silence...a combination that nourishes me continuously in my life.
blessings upon you dear one.

(creativeoasiscoach) said...

Thank you, Laura! I would encourage anyone wanting to add a sacred pause to their day to visit your Shine the Devine blog. Your photographs, poems and posts always leave me feeling grateful and peaceful.

Molly's Serenity House Quilting said...

Thank you for this - I love the connections as well to the Muse, the year of Silence and to Sacred Pause - Next time I come to Dallas/Plano to see my son and granddaughter - I'm going to plan my trip around one of your creativity events and
Bob's workshops!

Jill Allison Bryan said...

Hi Molly -
Thanks so much for your comments. How wonderful it will be to meet you in person when you make it to Dallas!
Until then, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,