Saturday, May 05, 2007

How do you recharge?

One of the elements in our workplace culture, or our culture in general, that seems to have just about disappeared is the idea of rest and relaxation. We seem just about convinced that "productivity" is all that matters. Think of how often you hear people talk about needing to be "productive members of society" or about how they "need to go do something productive." I certainly hear this a lot, and even remember hearing it back in college as something people would say as they broke away early from a dinner conversation. Because conversation was not perceived as productive.

Often spirituality is linked to productivity as a means to the end: go and be spiritual, so it increases your productivity. I'm wondering if some of this language that likens our bodies to machines is from the Industrial Revolution. Because as absolutely brilliant as our bodies are, I'm not sure that likening them to machines with constant capacities for work is a helpful idea.

I'm not usually on the computer on Saturdays, because away time allows me to recharge, but I felt compelled to write this in terms of how people recharge. One way people recharge is by doing nothing; another way they recharge is by doing a different kind of work; and another way is by doing somethin that is pure fun. These, of course, overlap.

The idea I've come in contact with recent is that of the Artist's Date, though I think that semantics may be getting in the way. Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way intends that artist's dates are for everyone, not just those who perceive themselves as artists. The important idea that if our energy and ideas are really drawn from a well, we cannot continue to draw from the well without allowing it to recharge. And hence the idea of doing something that is fun, or a different kind of work, or nothing at all. That allows the well to recharge.

So how do you recharge? What do you do that is nothing, or a different kind of work, or complete fun?