A good friend of mine, Greek and an artist, could easily sit for hours on his own, in a café or at home, apparently doing nothing. I labeled it as one of the qualities of the Greek culture, in contrast to my own upbringing where doing nothing was regarded as almost synonymous with being sick. I was astonished to notice after a couple of days that this ‘doing nothing’ had led him to insights, new ideas and creative solutions.
In my own life I gradually learned the value of waiting, doing nothing as a necessary and beautiful step in a creative process. To be brave enough of not knowing what the next step would be, taking time for an answer, a direction to come. And it was not me who decided when that time had come. You can imagine that I often thought that it took far too long before ‘the new’ arrived on the horizon. It didn’t matter if it was a painting I was creating, a project I was running, a seminar I was leading or a fundamental decision that had to be taken, the process was the same.
First you explore with your talent, skill and knowledge what you can do, investigate the issue etc, you plant the seed and then you wait, don’t interfere and let come what wants to come.
As Robert Heinlein, an American science fiction writer said: ‘Never force an idea; you’ll abort it if you do. Be patient and you’ll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait.’
Nowadays the ‘Art of Waiting’ is being lost on us as we expect immediate results, are constantly occupied with flows of information and we become more and more impatient with processes that just take time. If we start worrying about the outcome it will not help the process, but merely exhaust our energy. The inclination to control and plan the outcome is also counterproductive.
As we all know: a pregnancy lasts 9 months no matter how many people you put at work on the project.
Creativity and renewal cannot be scheduled. You can only create the conditions. And one condition is that you give yourself the space for an incubation time. This incubation time is not a desperately waiting time, where you want to give up, but a waiting, knowing that growth and the birth of new creations will take place.
ARTISA Academic & Art Retreat provides these conditions for creative processes to happen. It is a unique place for artists, scientists and other professionals to take time out from their daily life, to get inspired, create and practice the art of waiting if that is what is needed… Feel invited to join this place on a very beautiful location by the sea in Greece, in Epidavros.