Bringing Mindfulness into Your Creative Practice

Being present to the moments of life can encourage thankfulness, exercise our minds, increase productivity, and even inspire beauty and creativity.

With so much stress being a part of our regular state of being lately, the practice of mindfulness has never been more important. When you think about why we have the concerns we do as of late, it is no wonder depression is on the rise.

Mindfulness reduces anxiety, increases feelings of well being, improves memory, increases self-control, regulates emotions, improves brain function and improves relationships. The benefits of this activity are too many to list here, but know that this is something that anyone can incorporate into their days, and almost a MUST DO for creatives.

5 Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Your Creative Practice

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is simply the state of being aware of the present moment. Try this:

1. Take a walk in a park, through the woods, or even down the street before sitting down to work on something creative. Breathe deeply (fresh air in) and notice any scents that may be present. How do they make you feel, or what do they make you think of? (fresh air out) Repeat this deep breathing with each of the 5 senses, paying close attention. Using your senses while you walk can get your brain thinking outside the box and increase inspiration and motivation. Write these reactions down in a journal or even sketch them out….no rules here

2. Do a Brain Dump. Often we are so consumed with ideas, thoughts, reactions, and feelings that we are incapable of fitting anything else in. Sometimes I have so many ideas that come at me all at once that I am frozen in my ability to take any action what-so-ever. Write them all down. Create a list, journal them all in one long no punctuation paragraph, or fill little bubbles with the general idea. This serves to get it all out in front of you so that individual attention can be given to each piece, at the appropriate time. Creating a grocery list is similar in that you don’t want to forget to pick up things you need and a reminder is necessary. *If you’d like to make them pretty, Code them with color in order of importance so you know which to deal with first.

3. Stretch before, during and after your creative time. Pay attention to each part you are stretching. Notice how it feels: tight? pain? does your spine crack or align during the stretch? Loosening up is great for your body and your mind, especially if you will be spending a lot of time in a chair. Most of my studio practice is spent behind a computer or sitting at an easel. I can focus much more if I have gotten all the stiffs and aches out.

4. Get out in the Garden. Gardening is a huge part of my creative practice because I draw and paint flowers & herbs, vegetables & trees, as well as insects & birds. Incorporating plant materials through print making as well as dyeing drying and arranging for my home is other ways I like to get out into Nature. Even if you don’t use the garden in your creative expression, the garden itself can promote feelings of peace & tranquility and is an awesome place to set up a table or bench to engage in whatever it is that you do. I like to create garden rooms that give various spaces to different focuses. For instance a small table surrounded by a hedge and set next to a pond with a trickling waterfall can serve as great setting for a short story, or poem in the making. I’ve even set up easels in the midst of the flowering lettuce to capture the beauty up close and personal

5. Listening to music. This is one of my favorite mindfulness tools while I am creating. I’m particularly found of instrumentals because they don’t clash with the thought processes that occur during creating endeavors, but sometimes I am inspired by other forms of music. A word or phrase, or even a certain melody will conjure images in my mind that become some of my favorite pieces of art. Choose something that inspires you…everyone is different. But try to avoid things that get you really worked up or angry. Peace is the goal here, so that the inner you can come out to play for a while.

I hope this has inspired you to incorporate some mindfulness into your life today.

Till next time!

Peace and love my friends ~lisa

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