How many of you know the experience of boredom? Like I need to ask!
In between taking that first step and reaching your desired destination are a whole bunch of steps, challenges, and unknowns. And as we know it is not always exciting, fun, filled with sparkles and joy. The path can be at times boring, or uneventful. Even difficult. But did you know that boredom is actually extremely healthy – and also very necessary for creativity?
Kierkegaard described boredom as a prequel to creation: “The gods were bored; therefore, they created human beings.”
The restless mind hunger for stimulation and our active, energetic, moving body loves to experience and express the energy flowing through it – to express the movement of being alive.
Two recent studies looked at the way the body and mind seek stimulation – concluding that periods of boredom give space for the body and mind to enter “seeking states” – leading to leaps in creativity.
“Boredom becomes a seeking state,” says Texas A&M University psychologist Heather Lench. “What you’re doing now is not satisfying. So, when you’re seeking, you’re engaged.”
Remember as a kid – before smartphones? For me, my mom needed a break from my high speed bounce off the wall energy, would send me out – saying run around the block and don’t come home for at least an hour. It was boring most of the time. We kids would find ourselves doing “nothing” but out of that “nothing” came fantastic leaps of creative thinking – role-playing, games invented, movement, exploration – and time would pass – and we rarely came home after an hour and usually mom would have to fight with us to come in.
But I also know states of boredom – that do not result in creativity. They result in emptiness, worry, self-doubt. There is even a name for it – lethargic boredom.
So what makes the difference between states of creative “seeking boredom” and that lethargic state that we also know so well…(hint; the physical state the word lethargy implies!)
When we were bored as kids – our mothers had the sense to know that movement, breathing, interaction, sense-full play, all were imperative to kicking lethargic boredom – which moved us – literally – into inspiring highly creative states.
Life Artists proposes it is our physical states of Energy that allows us to experience boredom as a state that leads to creativity – as opposed to bored lethargy.
Let’s examine it shortly – lethargic boredom as an experience tires us, makes us feel like we can’t be bothered to do anything. As a physical experience, we are heavy, there is little movement or change of environment because of lack of movement. Often there is a narrowing of our physical focus – our heads are down, eyes on little screens – we physically loose depth and width in our visual perspective. We breathe very little. From the perspective of the body, we are experiencing a low state of energy.
Now I am not saying that kicking boredom or highly creative states must be – run around – bounce off the wall – ideas of what “high States of energy” imply.
As I write this I am excited – I am deeply energetic – I am creatively engaged and I am sitting quietly at a desk looking at a screen.
The point I am focused on at Life Artists is – how to get you into states of experience that promote creative flow – and how to shift states of experience which block that flow. My focus is on the very clear connection to our physical states as directly enhancing and creating our experience. Most importantly how can we use our physicality to be present, engaged, interested, and allow our creativity to flow.
In the case of boredom – that experience of lethargy, low energy, and creative blahhhh – is the state we are looking to shift! Lethargy has very simply to do with a physical state of energy and what we are doing with our attention.
Shifting our states of energy and attention won’t kick boredom – and we don’t necessarily want them to – BUT it will give you the energy and attention to utilize and transform lethargic boredom into creative dreaming and engaged attention!
A bored mind moves into a “daydreaming” state, says Sandi Mann, one of the psychologists who researched boredom at the University of Central Lancashire. I will add – when that “dreaming state” is coupled with a conscious physical state of energy – breath, movement, activation of our bodily senses – this allows us to move out of that no man’s land of lethargy and I couldn’t care less – and back into daydreaming as an act of attention and creative exploration, the experience of creative flow and in this case – creative boredom!
Enjoyment IN SUMMARY
1. Boredom is a seeking state for the mind and is necessary for creativity.
2. The difference between lethargic boredom and creative boredom is your physical state of energy.
3. When the “dreaming” state of the mind is coupled with a conscious physical state of energy, daydreaming becomes an act of attention and creative exploration, enhancing creative flow.
And remember –
You are the Creator – when you embody your creativity – you manifest your dreams!
NOW JOIN US IN THE COLLECTIVE
The place where we talk it out as a community – get involved, share your truth, your struggles, thoughts, and wins!
Answer this questions to yourself and comment your answers below!
1. What is your experience of boredom in regard to creativity? Do you try to get rid of times of boredom?
2. How did focusing your attention on your physical experience and states of energy – spark your creative curiosity? How did you feel after training, and how do you plan to integrate this into your life?
COMMENT AND GET INVOLVED BELOW!
Creative D.R.I.V.E. in ACTION
Weekly implementation to deepen your practice! Simply do yourself a favor and while working with these questions – STAY PHYSICAL!
- Take a sheet of paper: write down whatever subjects or dreams came to your attention during the training, or bring your focus toward one area that you are interested in or an element of your creativity – now give yourself 5 minutes to explore this – could be online, could be through writing or just letting yourself wander, wonder and be curious about it.
- As you explore – allow your attention to include your bodily state, your senses you breathing and physical states.