mindfulness and creativity
in this age of constant distraction, I would love for my art students to be mindful when they create in my classroom. wendy ann greenhaigh, from the uk, hosted this event and has written two books on the subject. She shares her definition of mindfulness as “…a process of noticing what our experience is whist we’re actually experiencing it.’
this really resonates with me on a personal level within my art making and biking. i know that this combination might seem strange, but wendy reinforced my experience of finding mindfulness through movement while mountain biking as not only possible, but very likely. while i’m biking, especially in my 50 mile races, i’m hyper aware of what’s happening inside me and around me. do I need more water, ‘fuel’, is the bike function properly or do i need to make adjustments? what is coming up on the trail and do i need to downshift, etc. the same happens when i’m really lost in the creative process where there is an ongoing conversation between the image and the medium.
in this age of constant distractions, I would love for my art students to be mindful when they create in my classroom. not on their phone, not distracted by conversations on teen topics, not mentally ‘drooling’ as they stare blankly into deep abyss of indifference.
“this noticing is infused with a quality of warmth, kindliness and curiosity-it is not a cold, detached or disconnected noticing.” wow, isn’t this the ideal state for our students to attain in order to make work with a deeply personal voice that has the potential to touch others through their art? i fear that too many students are on autopilot and the very structure of our schools can encourage detachment and disassociation.
“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”
― Mohali Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
this next week is the being of a new semester, not students who I want to nudge away for zoning-out and finding ways to help them focus and feel the ‘flow’ of being mindful in what they do in my class. wish me luck. please share what do you do to help students tune into their own creative experiences and really focus? how do you keep from getting distracted in your own art making?