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Articles on Artistic Creativity
Mindfulness and Creativity: The Wow of Wonder
You are so creative.
Don't deny it. Whether or not you consider yourself a creative type, the truth is that you are constantly creating ideas.
Mindfulness invites you to be aware of this constantly flowing river, and offers an opportunity to choose to sit beside it instead of swimming in it. By watching the ideas from that calm riverbank, you can more clearly see the ones that float to the top and sparkle in the sun.
But mindfulness is more than just mind watching mind. When we are engaged in the process of creating--whether that's words, numbers, music, art, or movement--without getting swept up in the concept of where it might be leading, that is a very pure form of mindfulness.
If creating is mindfulness in action, the little push that gets things moving is the thrill of discovery. As humans, we are fascinated by novelty, and we are pulled by our joy of seeing something in a new light.
Mindfulness allows us to approach the world with childlike wonder, to play with new concepts, and to see things from a shifted perspective. You can't always engage in new activities, but through mindfulness, you can look at the same-old same-old with fresh eyes.
The Wow of Wonder is what stimulates us to be creative. Without it, we are likely to come down with our culture's most prevalent malady--mindlessness. Mindlessness causes us to move through life without really connecting to any of it. It's living on auto-pilot. It's living without wonder--or fun.
Here's a helpful reminder: fun is good. We don't have to make mindfulness HARD. There is nothing hard about it. We were incredibly mindful and creative as children, and guess what? We had a lot more fun then, too!
The things that captivated you as a child were objects and ideas that triggered your sense of wonder. You noticed something new, and jumped right into the Wow of Wonder. And there were plenty of things that elicited that response every single day.
A bug you'd never seen. A card trick. Something under a microscope. A new musical instrument. A dance move. A song. An animal. A poem. A historical fact. A new flavor of candy.
Mindfulness is a catalyst for wonder. You notice something. An idea is sparked. A distinction is made. A perspective shifts. There is a fullness in that moment, ripe with possibilities but unburdened by expectations.
The Wow of Wonder is what allows us to transcend what we "know" and float in that river of ideas without sinking under the weight of evaluation. In our most mindful moments, it is wonder that saves us from overthinking and keeps things light.
There's no need to work at making mindfulness a part of your life. It's already there, and you can glimpse it in all of your favorite memories. Being right there in the moment, full of wonder, and playing with discovery--this is you being a creative person!
Pay attention to your moments of fun, and you'll see that there's a hefty dose of mindfulness in there. You are smiling. You are fully present. You are creating ideas and responses. You feel alive.
Becoming mindful is simply getting reconnected to wonder about the world and your place in it. Look for the Wow of Wonder, and you'll find yourself immersed in mindfulness.
Isn't it wonder-ful?
Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches fun and effective eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, please visit http://www.MassageYourMind.com
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