Relaxation from things like meditation, naps, and massage enhances creativity. There are no ifs, and, or buts about it. Why should there be when even your butt itself gets massaged? And relaxation stimulates inspiration: a relaxed mind in a rested body is more receptive to the creative impulses than a worried mind in a tense body.
Many of the world’s great scientific insights and artistic conceptions occured in a restful state rather than a restless one? The famed “a ha” experience of eureka that can make you laugh in a delightful “ha-ha,” happens when you’re most relaxed, not when you’re most worried.
German chemist Friedrich Kekule discovered the benzene ring in a “waking dream” while riding in a London bus. Isaac Newton’s discovery of the Law of Gravitation came while relaxing under a tree and observing an apple falling to the ground. Albert Einstein intuited vital parts of his Relativity Theory while sitting patiently on a non-moving train as a nearby train left the station.
For Romantic poet William Wordsworth calmness was the means. The former Poet Laureate of England wrote that, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” Calmness, tranquility, relaxation are keys to enhancing your creative output.
While receiving an Indonesian massage on a luxury yacht off the coast of Thailand, this non-scientist gained inspiration for this column. During other massages and meditation sessions, I’ve received ideas for other columns, for new workshops, and for new books that I would write.
Bob Hope, one of the greatest comedians ever, used to get a massage every single day. No doubt, it kept his body rested and his comic mind sharp and able to ad-lib in his inimitable way.
The next time you get creatively stuck, try lathering up your face or legs with shaving cream, as Einstein did. A nick in your skin may be a small price to pay if it comes in the nick of time to stimulate your creative juices. Or better yet, call a massage therapist and have her lather you up with oil. Creative inspiration may be just a phone call away.