Over Easter I had a little holiday in Devon. I hadn't been away for a few years and so busy working on my ceramics business that I hadn't realised just how burnt out I was. It was a hastily booked holiday cottage on a farm in Devon, that was all I could remember as we set off. My main objective for the week was to chill out, go with the flow and reboot my energies. This all sounds good, but I am not terribly good at switching off and the free fall of not having a plan at all, sort of jars slightly with me. I'm not one of these that needs an itinerary or timetable, but I seldom start a day without a clear intention so I had to keep reminding myself that my intention was to CHILL OUT!
So, with no agenda I walked through the beautiful countryside, discovered craggy coves, slept and hung out with my family. Medicine like no other. One rainy afternoon, after I'd had a lovely walk, I lay on the sofa and read a magazine! .....IN THE AFTERNOON! - I know!! It wasn't even a ceramics magazine or glaze technology book! I can hear my father in my head - " Lady bloody muck!" but hey, this was the objective. My daughter even came in and gave me a hearty " Well done, Mum!" - for getting sufficiently relaxed, so that speaks volumes!
On another occasion, a balmy evening with a glass of wine, I think I stared at the sky for a good hour with literally nothing in my mind. That's a skill, right? A form of meditation? Well for me it was very beneficial.
It wasn't all relaxing though, I did have the opportunity to zip wire through a disused quarry which definitely raised the heart rate. It was thoroughly exhilarating and in it's way, also added to the 'switching off' as when you are flying through the air over a lake, you really are in the moment and can think of nothing else. I may have to find somewhere to do that again!
So, it worked! I have returned to my studio with renewed energy and am already working on developing ideas, as well as finishing commissions that are underway. I have promised myself though, that I will make time to stare at the sky more often and just be still. Try it yourself - I highly recommend it.