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Creativity and Mindfulness, is there a connection?

I know there is:

My artistic journey started when I was in my mid 50’s so everything was new to me.

When I practiced mindfulness I found I was able to stay more focused on my

painting. Mindfulness is a state of being present and fully engaged in the current

moment, without judgment or distraction. When I was mindful I found I was able to

pay attention to my thoughts, emotions, and surroundings in a non-reactive way

leaving space for my creativity to flow. The more mindfulness I practiced the more

I was able to tap into the power of my creativity unlocking my inner artist?

Here's how I did this:

1) Creativity needs a clear mind: To start I had constant chatter going on in my mind. Mindfulness helps to clear the mental clutter. This chatter is the biggest obstacle to connecting with our creativity. Constantly thinking about the past or worrying about the future makes it hard to stay focused on the present. In order to come up with fresh creative ideas we need to stay in the present. I took up acrylic painting in my mid fifties. At times I could paint non-stop for days at a time. Other times I couldn’t seem to even come up with ideas to paint. I would get everything ready to start painting and then stare at a blank page. It took me a few years to realize when this was happening, my mind was very actively chattering at me. Mindfulness helps to quiet the mind and bring us back to the present moment.

2) Creativity takes concentration and focus: To be creative I had to learn to concentrate and be focused on the job at hand, which wasn’t easy to do at my age. As a woman and a mother I was used to multi-tasking. My career demanded me to be aware of what was going on all around me. Mindfulness helped me improve my ability to focus and concentrate, making it easier to generate new ideas and creating beautiful works of art that even amazes me.

3) Let go of preconceptions and judgments: Believe me when I started painting in my 50’s I had lots of preconceptions and judgements. Mindfulness helped me to let go of past judgments and preconceptions and it increased my openness and curiosity. When I am mindful, I am more open to new experiences making me curious and open to exploring new creative ideas and perspectives. I found mindfulness essential for tapping into my creativity.

4) Mindfulness helped to develop beginner's mind: This concept of a "beginner's mind" was new to me. I discovered it refers to a state of openness and curiosity, free from preconceptions and assumptions. Cultivating a beginner's mind was a powerful way to stimulate my creativity, and mindfulness helped me cultivate this mindset by helping me to let go of our judgments and assumptions. In other words it freed me from the confinement of assuming and judging others and myself and to be honest it felt good!

5) Mindfulness can helped me break through my creative blocks: I discovered that I needed to think outside the box and come up with new and unconventional solutions to problems. Sometimes I got stuck in a rut and had to struggle coming up with new ideas. I found I needed a fresh perspective on things and mindfulness helped me break through these blocks helped me by letting go of any preconceived ideas I had cultivated over my many years.

How can you incorporate mindfulness into your creative practice? Here are a few simple steps to get you started:

1) Start Now: It is never too late to start, just get started, take a class or watch a video but start. I remember the first art class I took I was scared and felt very out of place. I looked at the picture the instructor had picked out for me and thought WOW if I can paint that I can paint anything. Guess what, I did paint that and it turned out beautifully. I knew right then and there I can paint, I am an artist. I am grateful for starting, each time I paint a picture I feel blessed.

2) Set aside time for mindfulness: Make sure to set aside some time each day to practice mindfulness, whether it's through meditation, yoga, or simply paying attention to your breath. The more you practice, the easier it will be to access your mindful state to keep you focused when you're working on creative projects.

3) Practice mindfulness during your creative process: Bring mindfulness into your creative process by focusing on your breath and the present moment as you work. Try to let go of judgment and any negative self-talk, and simply focus on the process of creating. Breathe.

4) Take breaks and step back: Creativity often requires taking breaks to allow the mind to rest and process information. During these breaks, try to focus on mindfulness techniques such as mindful breathing or check in to see if you are relaxed, if not recharge yourself.

5) Experiment with different mindfulness techniques: There are many different mindfulness techniques to choose from, so don't be afraid to try out different approaches and see what works best for you. Some people find that meditation is a helpful way to cultivate mindfulness, while others prefer yoga or mindful walking. I take a step outside and breathe in the fresh air, it clears my mind and resets my focus.

6) By incorporating mindfulness into your creative practice, you can tap into your full creative potential and unlock your inner artist. So why wait? Start incorporating mindfulness into your creative process today and see what magic unfolds. You will be thankful you did.

Wendy’s words for you….

It has been such a pleasure doing this blog for you. It has bought back many wonderful memories for me and given me encouragement to spend more time doing my artwork. I know how good I feel when I am in the zone of being mindful and creating and I want more of it in my life. It is my wish for you that you discover the wonderful world of being creative and painting beautiful pictures. There is such a feeling of pride and empowerment during the process and especially upon completion. I feel totally connected to the present moment and task.

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1 Comment

Brenda Barker
Brenda Barker
Jan 08, 2023

Thank you Wendy! I found your blog

very inspiring! Thank you for sharing

your experience of the power of mindfulness. Thank you for your encouragement.

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