how to bring more calm and focus into your life through creative projects
I always feel like I need to be accomplishing something. Ring a bell? When I try to relax, I can only do that for so long, and then I've got pinballs bouncing around in my brain again with all the ideas of things I could or should do. It's like a nonstop current of thinking that drowns any hope of just sitting and turning off for a moment. Realizing this about my personality has given me a new way of looking at mindfulness. If I try to just sit and turn my brain off, I'm pushing against who I am. That just won't fly. Releasing tension and being mindful about the present moment requires more effort for me...At least in the beginning. It means appeasing my requirement for accomplishment all while savoring the moment. Now, that's a tough ask, but through creative projects it's actually possible to manage both, and I'll show you how.
there's no right or wrong way to create
First of all, creating something with our hands that comes from our thoughts and our unique perspective is extremely cathartic. There's a purity to the fact that whatever comes out is neither right nor wrong becomes it's how we interpret the world, our surroundings, and our emotions. I mean, how freeing is that notion? We can create something just for ourselves or for others. Either way, it is neither right nor wrong because your perspective is valuable and important.
Give yourself some time to just sit down and create something that's important to you. You have a strong voice and aspirations, so you can let all of that come out in your creative work without worrying about anyone's opinion. This is your time to really stretch your imagination, try new things, and let loose. I'm giving you permission to not follow any rules here and to make something completely crazy and off the wall if you'd like. It's freeing and also so empowering to remove all of the restraints and requirements we always put on ourselves and actually just enjoy what we're doing. Let this exercise serve as inspiration for you in moving forward with your day and enjoying each moment.
art teaches flexibility
No matter what medium we choose or what type of project appeals to us, it takes shape based on the needs of that project. When I was in architecture school some of my professors would look at our building concepts and ask, "what does it want to become?" That question was supposed to guide us in finishing the design for what it was truly meant to be. It becomes what it needs to become, and in the creation of that, we must somehow be flexible enough to let that be. We can shape and reshape our art, but it will always turn out the way the project needs to turn out. If we pour ourselves into our creations and then let go of our preconceived notions of what should come out, we may find something truly inspirational results.
Putting this into practice, open yourself up to new possibilities when you work or create something. We tend to overcomplicate things with always specifying each detail when what we should be doing is letting go a little bit. I know, it's hard to loosen your grip on what you're working on. But in reality, it may actually help you to see things a bit more clearly and actually find the best way forward. Try taking a step back from whatever you're working on and asking yourself if what you thought was a necessary component really is. You might just discover a much more interesting and even better way of putting it all together.
hone your focus
One of the greatest things that a creative project can teach you is focus. You can let go of everything else in the world and center your attention on the subject of your creative work. It's as if the rest of the world has stopped and the present moment with the subject of your work is all that matters. The textures, colors, movement or stillness, and any other attributes that are drawn out by our senses give a calm to those moments. Your muse can speak to you like nothing else and is something to delve deeper into as a way to release tension from all else to just be in those creative moments.
The next time you're working on a creative project remove all other distractions from your space. Focus on what you want to make and actually think through the steps in your mind before you do your project. Then, as you go through the motions, observe yourself doing them in a systematic way. It will become a sort of creative meditation as you touch your materials, see the colors and items you're working with, and bring them all together through your own process. Think about the Buddhist monks who meticulously create beautiful mandalas as a meditative practice. Now, that's the epitome of creative focus, but we're just trying to achieve a small fraction of that in our endeavor.
Try incorporating some of these ideas the next time you work on your products and services or even a DIY project for your home. It's a great start to being more purposeful with everything we do, especially for those of us who actually need a little more help in turning off our brains. These small steps will really get you moving forward with creating a life of meaning and intention in all you do.