Mindfulness is no stranger to us, the richest, deepest moments of our lives have all been moments of mindfulness.
[Christina Feldman, Buddhist Path to Simplicity, 2001: 167]
A Moment of Being Present: Find a positive memory where you felt truly present. What made you remember that moment? How do you feel in your body? What emotions are around for you? What do you feel connected to?
Art Exercise: Use art materials to make an image of this moment and notice any judgements that might arise during the art making process.
Kindness, curiosity and a willingness to stay present.
[Crane 2009, p4]
Dealing with Creative Blocks: “PEACE” Pause, Exhale, Accept, Choose, Engage.
The intention is to allow us to be fully present with less judgement and expectation – facing our experiences as they actually are, rather than coloured by historical ways of thinking of past and future experiences.
Impact of Different Environments: Explore the impact of different environments upon you by making art images of a challenging environment, then an environment which feels like a comfortable, safe place.
Reflections: What did you notice about the art making? Was it easy or difficult? What feelings did you notice? Were you anxious? Bored? Immersed? In the flow? Self conscious? Spontaneous? Playful? Any judgements? What were they? How did you feel in your body? Did your experience change during the exercise? How? What did you find helped you engage with the art making?
The challenge for us is that when we are in front of the perfect sunset it is easy to drop our other preoccupations and become truly present. When we are in a more challenging environment, such as the workplace, creativity can be blocked by judgements, fears, frustrations, the everyday stuff of life. We are working in changing environments all the time. We are being triggered in many different ways all the time. What can help and support us make choices to respond rather than react to stress?
Mindfulness means developing an accepting, inclusive, curious, open, compassionate stance towards every aspect of experience.
[Exeter Uni mindfulness course]