Conscious Creativity, a practice that combines aspects of mindfulness with creative tasks, emerges as a way for New Zealanders to find a sense of calm in a permanent sea of challenges and uncertainties, says the artist and Creative practitioner of the Kāpiti coast, Jordan Harcourt-Hughes. “The summer break and the optimism that comes with the New Year is a positive thing for many of us,” says Jordan. “Now is the perfect time to incorporate new practices that help us stay grounded, positive and relaxed as we head into 2022, a year that will certainly leave us guessing.”
Jordan offers five Mindful Creativity tips to help New Zealanders thrive in the year ahead:
1. Focusing on a simple creative task can bring your attention and awareness of the world stage back to your own sense of yourself.
It is often difficult to “cut down” on the disturbing conversations that are unfolding around us without stopping. Over the past few years, most of us have been, in one way or another, on high alert and plugged into the pandemic numbers, the national dialogue and the politics of the day. It may be more trying for us than we might even realize. It doesn’t matter what creative task you choose; try something visual like drawing, doodling, taking pictures. Or pull out your pen and try a writing-based activity, like keeping a journal or trying your hand at writing news. Or find something more active like cooking, gardening, building, crafting. Put on some music, close the doors, and get on with the task at hand. If you can take five minutes, so much the better; if you can take an hour even better. If you can do this several times a week, then great. Engaging in simple creative activities allows our minds to rest and also to wander – this can be both restorative and nourishing, and allows us to do background “mental processing” which can also help. to reduce our feeling of overwhelm.
2. Creative play can be a useful reminder that there is joy in the action, not in the result.
The results in 2022 will be uncertain, difficult to predict and perhaps not always what we would like. Conscious creativity strengthens our muscles to “enjoy the moment”. The key thing to remember is that conscious creativity is about enjoying the process of creative work. It is not focused on the outcome, like creating something new or beautiful. It’s not about creating something for someone else. Rather, it is about creating a space for us to enjoy the process of creativity itself and to enjoy the benefits of what happens when we engage in creative work. These benefits can include a deeper state of relaxation and a feeling of joy that comes from just playing. And while we can find ways to enjoy, notice, or make sense of the journey, one moment at a time, we feel less compelled to control the outcome or determine the final destination.
3. Creativity can “wake up what’s in us” and move us from a continuous feeling of bewilderment to a sense of purpose.
Creative work triggers all kinds of neurons. And that goes for everyone. We don’t have to be an artist. We don’t even have to think of ourselves as creative. Creativity is part of our inherent human DNA – and it allows us to slowly withdraw from our logical and rational “thinking” brains. While we write, scribble, cook or work our magic in the garden, to “melt” into a slower, more restive, meditative state. In this state, we are better able to tap into the knowledge we have within and reclaim the nuggets of insight, awareness, wisdom, and self-understanding that we have accumulated over time – but which are not. maybe not yet fully recorded. in our consciousness.
4. Conscious creativity can help us feel more optimistic and ready for the future.
Tina Seelig, author of the book
INGENIUS: said, creativity produces ways of thinking that focus on what is possible rather than what is. “With increased creativity, instead of problems, we see potential, instead of obstacles, we see opportunities, and instead of challenges, we see a chance to create solutions. Combining creativity with active mindfulness, such as working on the breath, journaling, practicing gratitude, and being in the moment, can then help us connect that sense of optimism to our own lives and to our lives. which makes sense to us. It creates the mental space to prepare us for the days and weeks to come and chart a path that takes into account our own needs.
5. Conscious creativity is a great antidote to “activity”.
Our Covid lockdowns have actually done a useful thing – without the ability to run while being unusually busy, we’ve had more time to think. The result? Things like The Great Resignation are happening as people decide how to live more meaningful and meaningful lives. More time for thinking, on a more regular basis, can mean that we don’t need another lock to benefit from more time with our own thoughts. A simple work of creation can give us time to dream, to imagine, to think of nothing or everything, and to rediscover the wonder. To dive into our imaginations and start the thought process, ‘What if…?’
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