If you're human, when you try to meditate, your mind wanders. If you're creative, sometimes you're distracted. Here are some mindfulness suggestions to allay concern about these things.
‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

 

Begin Again and more...



Begin Again

Just begin again

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the
strange pull of what you really love. 
It will not lead you astray.” ~ Rumi

 

If you're human, when you try to meditate, your mind wanders.

After years of instruction, daily practice, silent retreats, and the best meditation apps available .... the mind still wanders. 

Maybe after dedicated practice it wanders a little less, you may feel more tuned in to joy, and when the person next door is using a leaf blower on a Sunday morning, an intercepting daydream may want you to dismantle said blower and reassemble the parts in a piece you eventually call "Birds in Flight" to place in the front yard of the offender, but because you meditate, you might just  say to yourself, "Let it be, this too shall pass" or sometimes more effectively, "Well, bless their heart." Breathe.

The mind also promenades with distractions during the creative process to the expense of an idea that would like to shed its many layers, take you deep into its rich possibility, inspire your genius, then reward you with an aha-moment that guides you to a glorious fruition-that requires faithful concentration.   I confess, I have high velocity distractibility exacerbated by irresistible pets soliciting constant attention.

What I know for sure is I'm not alone but I am in charge, so I'd like to share some simple tricks that keep my clients and me coming back for more, both in the meditation and creative spheres; all made possible by the intersection of mindfulness and creativity:

1.The Welcome Back

Rather than berate myself, I welcome myself back to focusing on breathing or my creative pursuit. The discovery of a distracted mind can be reframed as a triumph not a reason to berate myself.

When I notice the habitual trance intercepting my preferred concentration, I choose relief rather than torment to return me to breathing, well-being, and the resting void of a smiling existence. Catching myself fall off-track then becomes a pleasant experience and helps me look forward to starting again with warmth and welcoming. Since perseverance is vital to success in just about everything, making it a more desirable experience to show-up is just smart. Why would I show up to someone who's constantly disappointed in me? I'm done with that. 

2. Applied Rumi

I remind myself what I love about both meditation and creativity: The freedom, transcendence, otherworldly experience, depth of living, calm, timelessness, and undescribable wonder of creation.  

I am silently drawn by the strange pull of what I really love. It will not lead me astray. Like Rumi said. This makes showing up effortless versus a struggle.

3. The Sanity Choice

Both meditation and creativity keep me sane and content in an insane world... and sanity often comes in handy. It helps me begin again. 

Distracted? Begin again. 

The 12-week Nine Modern Day Muse Facilitator training begins again Wednesday, September 1 on Zoom. Come traverse the creative journey with ten creative principles in the guise of nine Mindfulness Muses and a Bodyguard, and learn how to run your own creativity workshops, step-by-step, for joy and another stream of income. Three spots open. More info here

Jill

Podcast News

 I carried out a vow to stay focused for a year on my A Muse's Daydream podcast. No small feat with the fickle nature of my attention span. The podcast is celebrating  its first year anniversary.  The Anniversary episode, The Underwhelm Reloaded, has a drawing you might be interested in to celebrate; New, out of print Awe-manacs, $35 gift certificate to Bookshop.org, original artwork. Listen to the episode for details.

Join the A Muse's Daydream subscriber club at your favorite Podcast platform: Apple Stitcher, Spotify, etc. Here are all of the episodes at The Muse is In website. Write a review, share with a friend, write me a note. xoxo

All podcast episodes are based on principles, tools, and liberating thoughts from the the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification training. In its seventeenth year. Next training is January 2022.  More about KMCC here.

          
 

Mindfulness and Creativity

 

Creative expression and mindfulness are cousins, maybe even siblings that get along really well.

  • Both cultivate an inner world that welcomes all aspects of who we are without expecting perfection.
  • Both take us on an adventure fueled on an elixir of curiosity, courage, and rebelliousness.
  • Both awaken us to a different way of thinking that moves us beyond fear to a more liberating way of life.

How we talk to ourselves results either in despair or joy, creative paralysis or unfettered creative expression. Creativity is a relationship with ourselves. That relationship will either result in resistance, pressure, and judgment in the creative process, or curiosity, willingness, and the kind of perseverance that leads to confidence, freedom, and delivery.

Here's a book I recommend if you really want to pursue the kind of self-talk that benefits your creativity. Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters by Ethan Kross 


Creativity serves the mindfulness because being in that process is like having an affair with the present moment.

This is what I teach in the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification training. It combines mindfulness, psychology, intuition and imagination. It's both for people who want to liberate the creativity of other and/or themselves. It starts in two weeks (Aug 2)

 

 

          
 

Compassion and Creativity

Graphic for July 1 blog post

I’ve been listening to and reading Kristin Neff, the leading expert currently on compassion. My little creative association-maker installed in my intuition found a relationship to how important both gentle and  “fierce” compassion is to our creativity.

The only way creativity thrives is with practice and persistence. Practice and persistence takes quite a bit of strength when we are dealing with the distractions currently buzzing around in our world.  Compassion might mean understanding, without harsh scolding, it's easy to give into those distractions, but more importantly we are compassionate with ourselves when we prioritize those things that make bring us more happiest than distractions.  

When we have compassion and understanding for our desire to be creative and then use fierce compassion to create boundaries and defeat our urges to be distracted, there’s a respect that emerges and activates our devotion to our creative passions as evidence we are operating in our own best interest.

I don’t know about you, but I’m better in every area of my life when I’m immersed in creative pursuits that feed my soul.

In the same way we stand up to others when we feel boundaries have been crossed or something is out of line, we can stand up to the detractors to the creative process – mostly the ones we habitually give into.

In Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching this means to:

  • Start by simply asking the question:

What would it feel to direct fierce compassion toward prioritizing time for my creativity?

                        The simple asking of the question is enough to begin to make KNOWING how it would feel a reality.

  • Spend just five minutes on your creative passion when you might feel like giving into a distraction.

                                See where it takes you. 

 

 

Check-out Kristin Neff’s books on compassion to empower your creativity.

 

          
 

Thinking Differently


Cone with sun

I challenged myself to create a different version of an ice cream cone as part of a 20-day creative workout. So far I have 16 cones and a relentless craving for ice cream. Next time I think I'll do celery. What would you chose?

You can find my ice cream cone work so far here on Facebook and here on Instagram.

 

Thinking differently is the realm of the Modern Day Muse, Albert. Practice in this area hones our ability to generate ideas, be resourceful, and impress friends and relatives at dinner parties.

 

20 days was enough of a workout for me. I'm in awe of people who go for 100 days and in the next issue will share with you a few KMCC coaches who went the whole course and more. 

  Download Ice cream cone coloring

 

Creative prompt: Think differently about scribbling and see how many different versions you can come up with in 3 minutes. Set a timer. 

          
 

Hanging with Our Creativity

Dress digital collage  I noticed that when I hang out with my creativity, it wants to hang out with me. Just thinking about it can be enough for me to break through resistance to a tiny step which then leads to a momentum.  Writing and reading about creativity does the same thing, so I thought I'd share these ideas, in case reading them helps you.

Five Ways to Hang with Our Creativity

  1. First: Wash out distractions 
    They may be lodged deep in the fabric of our habits so we shouldn't fret if they don't come out immediately. Rather than trying to move away from distractions, it works better if we entice ourselves by co-oping the pleasure centers of our brain. Let's make it fun and remember why we are doing it.

  2. Hang in Originality
    Let's hang our creativeness outside our rut, our tired-out routines. Best way to do this is simply by asking the question: How can I make this different? Immediate answers may arrive, but more often simply asking will begin a series of connections and percolations, and the answer will come gradually.

  3. Hang with Your Breath and with Mindfulness
    Let's allow the breeze to wash over the tapestry of who we are. Judgments, fears, and other unhelpful thoughts don't go away completely, so just allow them to be there, but give more attention to small helpful thoughts like "I can do this."

  4. And then Listen.
    OVER HERE... our wondering minds need to settle on the voice inside that's been trying to get through. If we take most the distractions off the line every now and then, originality has a chance to light our mind. Be patient.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and stay focused during that time. If we are aware of the steps we have taken and acknowledge each step we do take, we are more likely to show up over and over.

For Optional Genius-inducing Sheen:
Ask questions and don't expect an immediate answer. Questions start the creative spin cycle both consciously and sub-consciously. Here are some examples:

  • What small fresh twist can I add to this idea?
  • What if my idea could talk to me?
  • What would I say if I was telling the world about my idea?
  • How can I make showing up for my creativity easier?

What if I approached my idea:

  • With really big gestures of action?
  • With unfettered courage?
  • From a really narrow point of view?
  • With reckless abandon?
  • With sympathy and tenderness?
  • Pretending I'm the foremost world expert?
  • As if I didn't care so much about it?
  • As if my mission was to save the world with each tiny step I took?
  • As if I was extremely confident?
  • With as much love as possible
  • As if I were a  gypsy, boat captain, a goof-ball, superhero or 5 year old child?

 Hang with the possibilities. Entertain the absurd because absurd often associates to  genius. Keep your creative passion in your mind in between activities, while driving, walking, downloading, showering, and/or staring at your lampshade. The more you hang with your creativity, the deeper the colors.

 Or just maybe your mind is on overwhelm, in static oblivion, on the multitasking freeway of focuslessness, beating yourself up, or expecting waaaay too much. I know what you mean. Relax, lower the pressure, start with five minutes.