When’s the last time you got swept up completely by a creative project? A painting, a photography session, something mentally and emotionally hands-on that made you lose your physical hunger and thirst, and captivated every part of you, even your usual uncanny awareness of the passage of time?
In order to get there, something inside of you got on board with the moment.
Not all moments are this effortless. But you can train yourself to be open and persuaded to give in to this wealth of creative momentum.
Living in this state of readiness is what I call Creative Mindfulness. You can train yourself to be swept up by any project that inspires you (rather than putting it off for another time, or giving up on it all together). Here’s how:
Gratitude: Practicing thankfulness to the specific elements around you is an easy way to raise your state of receptivity and awareness to the level of artistic readiness. Gratitude means that you are experiencing peace and patience of all that is and are not resisting all that wishes to be born. Start with what is in the room with you. “I am thankful for the fan and AC that are keeping the air in my apartment circulating. I am thankful for this little kitty of mine, who is perched so peacefully in the window, staring out at the trees, not eager to be anywhere else. I am thankful for the fitness hula hoop I bought that feels so good when I take a few moments in my day to spin it around my waist. I am thankful for the energy that it brings when I get up to move my body. I am thankful for being able to write this from home on my own website; at one point, I was not able to focus anywhere except a coffee shop. At one point, I did not have a website in which to communicate my truth and musings in. I am thankful for the music that’s playing; this station keeps me positive and moving my foot and body to the rhythm, reminding me that I am free and in tune with beauty and sound.”
Gratitude is meditation. It’s a grounding mechanism for being aware of what is, and that you are connected to it.
Inspiration and Excitement: We become “lost” in projects because we are moving to the rhythms of inspiration. Inspiration comes when we are EXCITED by something. What excites you? Have you connected to that part of yourself lately? If walks in the park are what excite you, have you given yourself permission to take a break from your work and roam outside? If disconnection excites you, have you turned off your cell phone and computer today? If dancing excites you, have you cranked up the music and let your body move freely to a song? If it’s a concept, like freedom, that excites you, have you done or thought the things that make you feel remarkably unbound? Your adrenaline gets going when you are excited, producing those sweet, happy chemicals in your brain that says, “Yes, more of this, please!” Getting in tune with this ecstatic electricity in you, and doing so OFTEN, is exactly the recipe for creative mindfulness.
Meditation: Be still and let your thoughts come to a rest. Your thoughts are usually the barrier between you and what you want to do. You say, “Ooh, I want to paint today!” and your mind comes in and says, “Ooh, great idea, but what about those dishes in the sink? And the dinner you have to make for your family in a few hours?” It’s just the way our brains work. We are trained to be mindful of our obligations and sense of “duty” as opposed to our passions. We often associate passion with lust and desire, carelessness, something we don’t “need”—as if it’s an added bonus to life, rather than an everyday right. By meditating, you give yourself the time and mental space to let those “should” thoughts go dark, while simultaneously re-connecting to the essence of you, which is a creative, passionate, miraculous and magnetic thing. In meditation, even if it’s for a few minutes, you become in tune with the music of your soul, and groove and groove.
Practice these, and see how your readiness for creative projects improve.
Love and Listening,