Pursing new experiences, even when they are subtle or part of your normal routines, will help disrupt mental ruts and open pathways for creative thinking. But don’t be afraid to push at your edges of comfort to allow yourself to grow in new ways. You may find it’s a lot of fun!
You’ll want to have paper and a set of markers, crayons, or watercolors ready for our final session next week.
Week Two: Personal Work
1. Mindfulness Meditation
I love this quote from James Baraz on mindfulness:
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).
Practicing sound and thought meditation helps train us to allow what is happening and being open to it, without resisting or arguing with reality. This openness that doesn’t try to hold on or push away not only helps us to be resilient but improves our ability to be creative, opening pathways for new ideas and innovations.
Try to practice mindfulness meditation every day during this course. Feel free to use this guided meditations or your favorite mindfulness app.
Opening to Sounds and Thoughts:
Approx. 14 minutes
2. Habit Releaser
This week you’re challenged to do something either new to you or differently than normal. Try to find something different each day. Some possibilities might be:
- Shop at a different grocery store
- Go to a locally-owned bakery and buy whatever takes your fancy
- Brush your teeth using your non-dominant hand
- Drive a different route to work
- Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while on the phone
- Listen to a different genre of music than you usually listen to. Even better, listen to it in a language you don’t speak or are not fluent in.
- Play an instrument that’s been neglected for a while or try playing an instrument that’s new to you. Remember, this isn’t about mastery—the goal is to let yourself play and be open to having fun with a heart-led experience.
- Walk for 30 minutes or more each day, or change out your exercise routine for something you’ve always wanted to try.
3. Daily Creativity Practice
Create a daily “intuitive” drawing. Remember, this is not about artistic skills or trying to make any particular thing. Some people may find this practice fun and easy; others may find this practice difficult. That’s okay! Do it anyway. This practice is intended to open up new pathways for stimulation in your brain. Here are some tips:
- Allow whatever arises to be there and simply respond to it.
- No judging or storytelling about what you’re creating. (When you’re finished, if you want to “interpret” your drawing, that’s fine. Just don’t do it while you’re in the thick of creation.)
- It doesn’t matter what colors you select, what shapes emerge, or what techniques you use.
- The goal is to have a friendly “beginner’s mind” that flows from your heart space.