Celebrating Summer: Rest & Ritual
Summer is officially here. I know…crazy. I remember as a little kid and hearing “old people” talk back and forth about how time flies and they can hardly believe it’s already July or December or what have you. Well, here I am now, talking that same kind of talk (with a gentler perception of “old.” ).
Summer looks a lot different than it once did. Save for a glorious week away somewhere sunny with sand if I’m lucky; now it’s the same as any other time of the year, just with blistering Tennessee temperatures and less motivation to do the stuff I deep down want to do. The tendency is to get lazy while waiting for the hustle and bustle of a more scheduled fall routine to kick in and a pumpkin spice latte to prove it. At least that’s the way it goes for me. The problem is, I really love productivity and I tend to fall behind on projects I want to see take flight right around this time. Depending on how you look at it, I suppose most “problems” actually signal great opportunity.
July 4th is right around the corner, and many of you are enjoying some well deserved R&R with friends and family. Rest is such an integral part of life and productivity, allowing us to slow down, listen to our bodies, and get perspective of what is most important in our journey. Incidentally, it also provides fresh vision for the season ahead, and in our case, the second half of 2016.
Creativity is a habit and the best creativity is the result of good work habits. -Twyla Tharp
With this in mind, I want to share one of my favorite creative living resources with you as practical support for the coming days and months. I have been a huge fan of Todd Henry’s work for many years now. I specifically enjoy his podcast, The Accidental Creative. It has inspired me to dream big and not shy away from the work and follow-through necessary to make my creative dreams a reality.
One of his many applications I’ve taken advantage of is The Dailies. Quite simply, The Dailies are a set of daily , holistic practices that move us closer to a professional, creative, and/or personal goal we desire to meet. (I use the word “goal” hesitantly as it has a cumbersome and obligatory feel to it. Think of something that gives you great excitement and energy as opposed to something you are supposed to accomplish).
You can download The Dailies here. What Todd has done for us is: a) take out the foggy guesswork of exactly what needs to get done each day, and b) create that lovely routine that sometimes gets lost in the shiny shuffle of our action-challenged, scattered brain mass. It’s like reverse engineering and a brilliant approach to creative work; hell, any work! This may seem incredibly logical—and it is. Those larger than life aspirations are really quite simple to achieve when broken down in an intentional, systematic way.
In my experience, big picture thinking/dreaming is far easier (and more fun) than knowing and executing the loads of decisions that must be be made in order to achieve our desired outcome. By using Henry’s template for The Dailies, we are able to suss out those baby steps that build over time to create a daily ritual, eventually closing the “aspiration gap.” You know that gap, right? Another one of Henry’s terms defining the daunting distance between where we are now and where we intend on going. Good stuff!!
That’s it. I’m capping this thing. Go refuel and recharge, remembering the beautiful blessing of freedom we share as a nation and as individuals. May this season usher in greater creative, physical, spiritual, and emotional freedom than anything you have ever tasted.