I have not posted for some time because I have been trying to rewire my thinking.
Mindful living is a buzzword from the very heart of Buddism. It is a beautiful way to exist if you can master it. In our world it is very difficult. It speaks to the very meaning of holistic attachment theories., however. That is, nothing is left unresolved.
For people with a career and family it is almost impossible.
The world demands multi-tasking of sorts and rewards those who can maintain it. This is detrimental however, to creativity, optimum health and a nourishing relationship with the self.
To be mindful a person must reduce themselves to a sensation of only noticing a small detail of the moment at hand. It is very difficult to be mindful if you are a multi-tasker for your mind is chasing the next thought. It is taking your body - and soul - away from what you are actually trying to do, as you call in every idea that attaches to the activity. There is a paradox to being creative, in that a mind that darts about is gathering all the ingredients for a beautiful work, collection of elements and composition, but thus can fail to complete each stage of the process finely. 'More haste less speed' is a wonderful adage for an artist, but can be near impossible for some creative types, whose very essence is to respond to the tumbling ideas that cause a frenzy of activity in their painting, drawing, stitching, carving or writing practice.
The idea of writing from your gut - letting an avalanche of words pour forth onto a page is wonderful, for you can edit. You can rewrite, self-correct and build on the original framework.
However for an artist, it can mean that the materials are flung together before the brain can make its decisions resulting in an unsatisfactory mess that requires hours of rearranging.
Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's allowed this to be the outcome as well as the process.
I spent a year of my Arts Degree making paintings where I poured, dribbled, spilled, hosed, sprayed and squirted an assortment of colours onto canvas, before sanding, scraping and scratching it off until I was happy with the visual result. It was fun, freeing and exciting. I was unaware at the time that I was being mindful.
To teach mindful art practice is to teach that each part of the process deserves its own complete focus.
We have taught the present emerging generation to create art like a child at an Easter egg hunt. The result is emotional emptiness, lack of engagement, boredom and no joy in creating. The plan is to end the process only. To tick the box. To have tried and exited. They have little memory of doing it.
Or it is done to please an audience with a product, rather than savouring the personal act.
Thus mindfulness is sacrificed.
How to address this?
Enjoy every tiny act. Focus on your senses. Breathe evenly, engage your tactile senses and the effect of colour, texture and shape. Watch it grow. Just try complete each step of the task with reverence.
Each physical act in creating, each line drawn, each paint dribble dribbled, each collage element glued and colour applied must have its own glrious second, moment or hour of attention.
Then the work is secure - a relationship network that will resonate with joy for its creator.