We are living in challenging times and urgently need new ideas for systems and solutions to overcome the current crisis – from climate change to pandemics. It is therefore not surprising that creativity is regarded as one of the most important future skills. Creativity has many flavours — artistic or professional — and each has its specifics. Regardless of the type, creativity involves the active use of imagination and developing original ideas to create something new. Fortunately creativity is the natural order of life and part of being human. Everybody is creative, but some seem to be able to activate their innate creativity better than others.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order, John Burroughs

How to tap into the universal stream of creativity? My experience as an author and screenwriter is that spending time in nature is very helpful. For centuries, writers, poets, and philosophers intuitively drew inspiration from beautiful landscapes far from the distractions of the cities. Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Henry David Thoreau and Immanuel Kant are just a few examples of great minds that recognised the importance of nature for their work.

Recent research about the science of creation confirms that time spent in nature can improve innovative and holistic thinking. “Nature is the great visible engine of creativity and human creativity emerges out of that,” said scientist Terance McKenna. Nature was once our home and this seems to be embedded in our being. Returning to nature can feel like returning home. Our souls resonate with the natural world and are nourished by beautiful landscapes, serene forests and peaceful mountain treks.

To draw inspiration from nature, you need to be mindful. While taking a walk, observe flowers that are blooming around you or fluttering wings of butterflies. Quieting your mind surely improves your writing and creative practice with renewed clarity and calm. “You let the prefrontal cortex of the brain rest, and all of a sudden these flashes of insight come to you,” explains neuroscientist David Strayer. It supports creativity, positive well-being, reductions in stress. There are all kinds of reasons why it’s helpful to spend time in nature.

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Claudia will be Writer in Residence at the SONNENBURG in September 2021. During her stay she will hold several creativity workshops. In these introductory CREATIVE NATURE-seminars participants will learn through practical exercises how to (re-)connect with creativity through nature. Claudia, a certified systemic coach, will also offer individual coaching sessions. 

Please contact Annabell Weber at annabell.weber@sonnenburg.at for further information.

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