How To Be Mindful In Nature

IMG_0445 IMG_0446Nature calls and I don’t mean going to the bathroom. Fall is turning into winter and nature calls to us everyday if we are open to experiencing it’s wonders.

When I am out in nature I try to be very mindful of my surroundings. This means that I don’t have headphones on so I can actually hear the birds singing and calling to one another this time of year. It also means not bringing my phone so there are no technical distractions. I can totally be with myself in nature and experience all of my senses.

I find that when I am in the present moment, I am more aware of my surroundings and truly enjoy what I am experiencing. I really see and notice the shapes, colors, shades and hues of the trees, the leaves, the ground, and the mountains. I can hear and listen to different sounds: the melodies of the birds, coyotes howling, the wind in the trees, or the rain falling gently on the ground. I smell different scents of flowers, the earth after it rains, and grass after being mowed. These are just a few examples of what I notice when I am not checked out either in my thoughts or with technology devices.

I feel a deeper connection to the natural world when I am mindful, present, and when I am not distracted. This connection is one my inspirations for creativity and it comes from that depth of experience. In Mother Nature, spring is a time for growth, cleansing, renewal and new beginnings. Let yourself enjoy the spring season and all that it has to offer.

But before you go outdoors, I invite you to ponder five questions to help facilitate mindfulness when you are in nature:

  • How does everything come alive for you in nature when you are in the present moment, and just experiencing what is happening around you?
  • What happens creatively when you tap into that feeling when you are open and full of wonder, awe, and non- judgment?
  • How does being mindful in nature inform or influence your work as an artist?
  • Do you pay attention to what each season has to offer as inspiration?
  • How do you observe, sense and feel nature in your being for creative inspiration?

Nature calls-free yourself from being indoors! Get out in nature, be inspired and release the creative in you!

31 Day Mindfully Creative Challenge

Hi Everyone,

It’s that time of year again! I am hosting the October 31 Day Mindfully Creative Challenge for the second year! This is a simple challenge but sometimes simple can be profound. I hope you join me in being mindfully creative this October. Details below. Thanks! Dolly

Purpose

To develop the habit of a mindful creativity practice. This means bringing mindfulness (awareness and attention) to your creative practice.

Your Commitment

By joining this Challenge you are agreeing to:

Spend a small amount of time (approximately 15-30 minutes) every day or more if you are inspired 🙂

To practice mindfulness (awareness and attention) and to create something daily this can be something new or working on an existing creative project daily-Halloween costume comes to mind…

My Commitment

By running this challenge I agree to:

Creating, promoting and coordinating the challenge

Sharing your daily tasks via Facebook group

Support and guidance via the Facebook group

Cost

Your time and commitment!

How It Works

Connect with me on the Facebook link http://on.fb.me/1qoFYi0

NOTE: You need to have a Facebook account and be signed in to Facebook to access this link to the challenge.

To ensure that you don’t miss any updates I would suggest you select Get Notifications from my Page.

Just hover over the “like” button on my page, select Get Notifications and you won’t miss a single update!

Check back daily on my Facebook page to get your daily task and support

Stay consistent and have fun!

Join Me Now!

Get Your Friends Involved

Send them to this link (cut and paste this in an email) http://bit.ly/Creativepioneer where they can read about the challenge and then they can sign up with Facebook from here or with this link: http://on.fb.me/1qoFYi0

NOTE: You need to have a Facebook account and be signed in to Facebook to access this link to the challenge.

Facebook: Using the buttons either on the right or at the end of the page, share it with your friends who want some help with their creativity practice!

Why should I join?

If you have been curious about bringing more attention and awareness into your daily life and your creative practice this is a great way to take that first step!

What does mindfulness mean?

In this context mindfulness means bringing awareness and attention to what you are doing in the present moment. (Basically that you are focused on what is happening and you are fully engaged and not thinking or doing twenty other things at the same time. IE: When you eat you are eating NOT eating, watching tv and texting on the phone at the same time.)

Mindfulness is practiced in various forms. Many people cultivate mindfulness through meditation, yoga, prayer, mindful walking, and mantras just to name a few examples. It can be practiced in whatever way that helps someone pay attention, become aware and bring them back into what is occurring in the present moment. There is no magic formula. Do what works best and makes sense to you!

What does creative practice mean?

Creative practice is whatever it means to you. For some people it may be painting, drawing, writing or sculpting. For others it may mean cooking food or gardening. It can be arranging your room a certain way or how you dress yourself. It does not have to be complicated. We all create every day! This is a way to bring more attention and awareness to that activity.

Where can I share my mindful creativity?

You can post it on the Facebook group page.

Create a blog for your creative work or post it on your existing blog.

Who runs the Mindful Creativity Challenge?

The Mindful Creativity Challenge will be curated by Dolly Muzer who runs The Creative Pioneer.

What is the intention behind the Mindful Creativity Challenge?

The intention behind the Mindful Creativity Challenge is to offer a way for people to become more mindful in their daily life and in particular how mindfulness can benefit one’s creative practice or outlet.

Mindfulness and creativity are available to all of us at any moment if we choose to access it!

Why October?

This seems like an ideal time for people to try this out. If you have kids they are back in school. The challenge ends on Halloween so if you do not feel like you are a “creative” or feel stuck on a creative outlet you can use making a Halloween costume as a potential creative endeavor or practice.

I am hoping by developing a mindfulness practice you will be able to go into the holiday season with less stress and more tools to deal with the stress. This includes potentially creating homemade gifts from your creativity practice instead of dealing with the crowds!

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

31 Day Mindful Creativity Challenge

This October 2014 Challenge is over and will happen again in October 2015!!!  Details as the date gets closer. 

Purpose

To develop the habit of a mindful creativity practice. This means bringing mindfulness (awareness and attention) to your creative practice.

Your Commitment

By joining this Challenge you are agreeing to:

Spend a small amount of time (approximately 15-30 minutes) every day or more if you are inspired 🙂

To practice mindfulness (awareness and attention) and to create something daily this can be something new or working on an existing creative project daily-Halloween costume comes to mind…

My Commitment

By running this challenge I agree to:

Creating, promoting and coordinating the challenge

Sharing your daily tasks via Facebook group

Support and guidance via the Facebook group

Cost

Your time and commitment!

How It Works

Connect with me on the Facebook link http://on.fb.me/1qoFYi0

NOTE: You need to have a Facebook account and be signed in to access this link to the challenge.

To ensure that you don’t miss any updates I would suggest you select Get Notifications from my Page.

Just hover over the “like” button on my page, select Get Notifications and you won’t miss a single update!

Check back daily on my Facebook page to get your daily task and support

Stay consistent and have fun!

Join Me Now!

Get Your Friends Involved

Send them to this link (cut and paste this in an email) http://bit.ly/Creativepioneer where they can read about the challenge and then they can sign up with Facebook  http://on.fb.me/1qoFYi0

NOTE: You need to have a Facebook account and be signed in to access this link to the challenge.

Facebook: Using the buttons either on the right or at the end of the page, share it with your friends who want some help with their creativity practice!

Why should I join?

If you have been curious about bringing more attention and awareness into your daily life and your creative practice this is a great way to take that first step!

What does mindfulness mean?

In this context mindfulness means bringing awareness and attention to what you are doing in the present moment. (Basically that you are focused on what is happening and you are fully engaged and not thinking or doing twenty other things at the same time. IE: When you eat you are eating NOT eating, watching tv and texting on the phone at the same time.)

Mindfulness is practiced in various forms. Many people cultivate mindfulness through meditation, yoga, prayer, mindful walking, and mantras just to name a few examples. It can be practiced in whatever way that helps someone pay attention, become aware and bring them back into what is occurring in the present moment. There is no magic formula. Do what works best and makes sense to you!

What does creative practice mean?

Creative practice is whatever it means to you. For some people it may be painting, drawing, writing or sculpting. For others it may mean cooking food or gardening. It can be arranging your room a certain way or how you dress yourself. It does not have to be complicated. We all create every day! This is a way to bring more attention and awareness to that activity.

Where can I share my mindful creativity?

You can post it on the Facebook group page.

Create a blog for your creative work or post it on your existing blog.

Who runs the Mindful Creativity Challenge?

The Mindful Creativity Challenge will be curated by Dolly Muzer who runs The Creative Pioneer.

What is the intention behind the Mindful Creativity Challenge?

The intention behind the Mindful Creativity Challenge is to offer a way for people to become more mindful in their daily life and in particular how mindfulness can benefit one’s creative practice or outlet.

Mindfulness and creativity are available to all of us at any moment if we choose to access it!

Why October?

This seems like an ideal time for people to try this out. If you have kids they are back in school. The challenge ends on Halloween so if you do not feel like you are a “creative” or feel stuck on a creative outlet you can use making a Halloween costume as a potential creative endeavor or practice.

I am hoping by developing a mindfulness practice you will be able to go into the holiday season with less stress and more tools to deal with the stress. This includes potentially creating homemade gifts from your creativity practice instead of dealing with the crowds!