What is Mindful Creativity?
Mindful Creativity is a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy creativity to enhance our sense of wellness. Think of it like yoga – but with a paintbrush! If you’re looking for a way to connect with your inner voice as you develop your own personal creative practice, and have fun with creative exercises such as doodling, sketching, and mixed media painting, Mindful Creativity might be just the thing for you!
My Four Pillars of Mindful Creativity
I’ve developed my Pillars of Mindful Creativity through reflecting on my own creative practice and applying them to my process, approach and ways of thinking and working.
1. Beginner’s Mind
Allowing ourselves to a beginner enables us to looks at things fresh; to ask new questions, embrace our curiosity and approach creative activities with no expectations of how things will turn out. Beginner’s mind is a key part of Mindful Creativity because it creates space for engaging with ideas, art practices and creative exercises no matter what kind of experience we have – or don’t have! It’s a friendly, accessible way to warm up our creative muscles and be free, whimsical and relaxed. Beginner’s Mind takes all the pressure off having to produce finished creative work and allows us to simply explore.
2. Gratitude and Awareness
Appreciation for the things we have in our lives can make all the difference to our sense of wellbeing, moment to moment. And our days are full of moments, micro – opportunities to enjoy and revel in the good things we have. Enjoying life can take practice. In my Mindful Creativity courses we focus on gratitude as a practice that enhances our awareness of the moment. Being in the moment can then help us be more observant, more joyful and can free us up to work creatively with whatever tools, inspiration and ideas come to us.
3. Play, Experimentation and Non Judgement
We are so hard on ourselves and our own creative abilities that once we learn how to take a break from our own judging patterns, it can be a massive, life-changing relief! Learning how to be less critical of our own work helps us to focus on disciplines such as showing up, developing solid routines and experimenting with new techniques or approaches. Learning how to invite conversation and commentary around our work can feel daunting at first, but once we reframe the conversation, it becomes far easier and more enjoyable. We move towards conversation that is based on genuine curiosity and lines of enquiry, rather than ‘ I like it / I don’t like it!’
Acceptance can take courage. It asks us to look at the situation and see it as it is. We don’t need to have any answers. We don’t need to kick into any kind of action. We are just observing and accepting things just as they are. A creative aspect of acceptance is being present with the highs and lows of being a creative practitioner, without being too effected by them. We remind ourselves that nothing is permanent. And the simple practice of turning up and doing something fun and creative, has its own unique rewards.
Courses and workshops
I have a range of Mindful Creativity courses – and you’ve also got options in how you take them!
1. Mindful Creativity 6-week course: Nourish your Heart, Soul and Imagination This is a great foundational course to introduce you to the practice of Mindful Creativity. In 2023, I’m offering this in Term 4 at Wellington Community College. This is an evening course, 2 hours per week on a Wednesday evening. This course is alo coming online soon – stay tuned! Find out more about this course.
2. Mindful Creativity 6-month course: 168 Days of Magic: This 6-month programme offers you the chance to really slow down and deepen into a lovely playful creative practice. In 2023, I’m offering this course online (there’s still time for my January intake!) and also offering an in-studio course experience, starting in March. If you can make it to the Kapiti Coast for one Saturday afternoon a month, this provides the chance to work in an artist’s studio and also spread out on my gardens for some quality time out with your ideas, imagination and with nature! Find out more about the online and in-studio options for this course.
3. Mindful Mandalas 90 minute studio workshop / facilitated workshop for teams: this is a great option if you’re looking to come and spend a relaxing afternoon on the Kapiti Coast, or if you’re keen to give your team at work a thoughtful, fun and relaxing workshop opportunity – either in my studio or at your work place. Find out more about Mindful Mandalas.
Mindful Creativity Musings
Yoga has always held a special place in my heart. It centres me, allowing me to slow down, tune into my body, and listen to its whispers of stress or strain. In yoga, we're often encouraged to maintain poses longer than what feels comfortable. This practice fosters...
A break from being on autopilot The great joy of travel is being out of your comfort zone. When we are going about our everyday lives, we know the scenery. We know the landscape. That’s good in some ways. It allows us to operate on autopilot and we don’t have to...
Making the most of movement, motion and transitions - do we need a reframe? Reframing is when we look at something from a new or different perspective, and in doing so, find new meaning or value. So, let’s do that now! If you were under the impression that mindful...
Experiencing Awe Has anyone told you ‘Don’t forget to look up?’ Experiencing awe is kind of like that moment when you’re walking along a bustling street, minding your business and doing your thing. Suddenly you remember to look up. Magic happens. You see the stunning...
Gemstones in the sand – how building a reflective practice can help you be a better creative practitioner
Reflection is an introspective, iterative process that transforms your self-knowledge: how and what you think. Reflection is an opportunity to slow down and consciously contemplate. You need to give your mind time to think through things and digest information. How...
Single Tasking your Creative Work A sense of overwhelm can happen anywhere and at any time, even when you’re immersed in the creative work that you love and enjoy. And multi-tasking can be just as much of drain in your creative sweet spot as in any other part of your...
Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen master, would ask his students questions such as “What is love? What is consciousness? Where did your life come from? What is going to happen tomorrow?” Each time, the students would answer, “I don’t know.” “Good,” Seung Sahn would reply....