I suck at meditation. I know it’s the best way to achieve mindfulness and calm my mind, but honestly every time I try it, I just get bored. My thoughts wander and soon I’m thinking about anything but my breathing. Then I stumbled upon Bill Keaggy’s Noticing Workout (he called it Attention Adventure when working with kids, and I like that title better). It’s a method to achieve mindfulness that won’t bore you to pieces. Plus it’s fun.
In the pursuit of creativity, we often rush from one idea to another, fearing the dreaded void of boredom. However, according to the wisdom of Wu Wei, allowing yourself to experience moments of stillness and boredom can open up a portal to creative insights. So take a break from the constant bombardment of stimuli, let your mind wander, and boost your creativity by employing this ancient Chinese philosophy.
In this hyperconnected, hyperproductive world, we often find ourselves caught in the clutches of endless to-do lists. But fear not, dear creatives, for Niksen offers a momentary escape. Niksen is a Dutch concept translating to “doing nothing”. We need to embrace the art of idleness! Take a break from the warp-speed of life and allow your mind to wander freely. Sit back, relax, and let the celestial winds of inspiration gently caress your weary soul.
Can you weaponize your writing? Perhaps sharpen your skills as a painter or musician? And what exactly are we combating in this metaphorical artistic battle? Writer and comic genius, Alan Moore, relates his creative process to making magic. And the same advice given to magicians can work equally well for writers and artists. He calls these the four weapons of art and relates them to the four suits of the Tarot deck. We’ll focus on the first weapon, Earth, and how it helps the artist understand the physical world.
We’re told to hustle, grind, and maximize every moment. We’re like soldiers in a battle, preoccupied with objectives rather than why the fight is happening. Perhaps we’re missing something important by rushing all the time? Maybe we need to waste time.
We all yearn for that flash of inspiration that pilots us through the next difficult chapter or short story. Yet our Muse is not the kind of creature to clock in at a regular schedule. Nor will it perform on an empty stomach. The care and feeding of your muse is essential if you want to cultivate your creative side.
Memory aids and brain boosts are available by the truckload. Apps advertise how to retain more and keep your brain fit. However, it turns out that your brain is built to forget. In fact, the natural state of many animals is to forget.
The world is so jammed packed with details and input, it can lead to information overload. Nature, it turns out, has designed our bodies to cope with this flood of data.
Werner Herzog once walked 515 miles to visit a dying friend because he knew that his friend wouldn’t dare expire before he got there.
Everyone can be an artist so long as we defeat obstacles like anxiety and procrastination.