Mindfully Creative

IMG_0388I have been thinking about these two words and what they mean to me. How does mindfulness inform my creative practice?

When I am mindfully creative I feel awake and feel that anything is possible. There is an intention to be fully present moment to moment with the creative process. I feel alive! I don’t want to miss out on anything! Through mindfulness I am able to become aware of my habitual patterns. When I shift my attention out of habit, I can make different choices and move forward with creative projects or creating the life I want to live. Being mindful can help me become “un-stuck” or “un-blocked” in my life. It empowers me to have the ability to make different choices for myself rather than be stuck in my mind, my habits or my life.

The following are some specific ways that mindfulness has helped my creative process and life:

Slowing Down

Mindfulness helps me slow down. I am not doing five things at once, not paying attention, and probably not doing any of them very well. I am able to pay attention and really notice what is happening moment to moment when I slow down. I am able to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel better when I slow down. When I slow down I am able to go deeper into my process instead of skimming the surface.

Clarity

Mindfulness helps me to be centered and fosters clarity. Clarity about what I would like to create, what I am envisioning for a project or my life. There is less noise and clutter in my mind and my thoughts. There is space for something to arise organically. I am clear about the where, when, how and why of creating. I am in tune with my intuition.

Focus

Mindfulness helps me focus my energy. I am not distracted by the world around me and I am able to engage fully with the task at hand. I can make choices on purpose and with intention rather than haphazardly creating. I space out less and I am able to notice when I do and come back to the present moment.

Acceptance

Mindfulness has helped me to be less disconnected. I am able to be present with myself in a different way and be with the experience. Sometimes the experience can be peaceful, frustrating or maddening. However, I do not push the feelings away, they become a part of the experience that is unfolding in the present moment. If something turns out completely different than I envisioned or if it is a complete failure I am able to accept either scenario (and the many others that can present themselves) as part of the creative journey.

Appreciation and Joy

Mindfulness helps cultivate appreciation and joy for me. Since I feel more engaged and awake moment to moment there is an appreciation of being alive and that brings me great joy.

There are numerous ways to practice and bring mindfulness into our daily lives. There are two specific practices I use to help me cultivate mindfulness. One is sitting meditation. The other is walking mediation or mindfulness walks. When I am out in nature, I am able to clear my head of distractions (especially the computer). This enables me to pay attention to the small and large wonders of the natural world. It reminds me of how we are all inter-connected. This has been a great centering practice for me especially when I am in a rut and need a fresh perspective.

Again, there are many ways to bring mindfulness into our lives and our creative practices. What does mindfulness mean for you and how you can incorporate mindfulness into your life?

A version of this article appeared in the February newsletter Creativity Calling on the Creativity Coaching Association website at http://www.creativitycoachingassociation.com

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