Mindfulness is both an action and an attitude, you could think of it as a state of both doing and being. When we choose to practice mindfulness – the doing part – we pay close attention to what we are experiencing in the present moment, concentrating on the breath, the body or perhaps a creative activity to help us stay focused and aware. When we are being mindful, not just in meditation, but also when we paint, draw, write, walk, talk to friends, drive the car – we are in the here and now, in touch with our bodies, senses, thoughts, emotions – and these are the perfect conditions in which creativity and wellbeing can flourish.
In mindfulness meditation we actively pay attention to the thoughts, feelings and physical sensations that we’re experiencing, with an attitude of interest and warmth towards them. When we are practising the art of mindful creativity, the marks we make on the paper, the landscapes we photograph, the poems we write – become an experience of discovery and creation, with the emphasis on connection, attention, lightness and playfulness.
Mindful creativity is all about process and becoming aware of the process – it isn’t focused on product or perfection. What a relief to not have to worry about end results, to engage with a creative activity as children do, free from judgements or self-criticism, fully immersed in the present moment.
If you’re trying to get started with your writing, art or photography, creative mindfulness is a great jumping off point for rediscovering your creativity, or overcoming the doubts that stop you.
For experienced writers and artists, adding mindfulness to an existing creative practice can make it feel more like play again – instead of work; helps prevent burn-out by supporting sustainable working patterns and above all will bring a greater clarity and insight to your creative ideas.
Those who have an existing mindfulness practice, will find that introducing a creative element to it will allow them to deepen their insights and awareness. Many meditators have told me that they find it far easier to stay present and be mindful when they are doing a creative activity, than they do sitting on a cushion.
“Learning mindfulness meditation was a wonderful experience and something completely new to me at the time. Since participating in Wendy’s workshops I have gone on to bring the practice into my own creative work and the work I do with children. I was taught the value in stillness and presence and I came away feeling uplifted and very connected to myself and the environment we had been exploring. Wendy has a wealth of knowledge which she creatively weaves into all her sessions. Her sessions are well planned and engaging and she manages to deliver them in a way that inspires and motivates participants to continue with their creative and meditation practice.” Holly