Five ways to quiet your mind to create better art
In my last post, “Practice mindfulness 10 minutes a day to change your life and your art,” I wrote about the benefits of quieting the mind for a few minutes each day in order to become more creative, clear, and present in our daily life. Naturally, doing this can have a great impact on the art we create, whether we’re writers, painters, photographers, dancers, musicians, or any other artist.
But you don’t have to sit in uncomfortable positions (I never could master the lotus pose) or burn incense (I’m allergic to most scented smoke) in order to benefit from meditation.
Here are some other forms of meditation that you can experiment with:
1. Walking meditation. Check out Meditation Oasis for how to do a walking meditation.
2. Practice a different art form. Sometimes, when I need a break from writing or I feel stuck, I’ll pick up my guitar and practice for ten to twenty minutes. Because I’m a beginner, doing this allows my mind to focus only on what I’m doing–learning the notes and strumming the strings. It’s a great break because I can’t think about anything else while playing.
3. Do an activity you’ve never done before. When your mind is focused on a new task it has to be present now. It’s engaged in the moment. You won’t have time to worry or think about anything else.
4. Try a sport. Years ago, when my first marriage was ending, my mind was stuck in a repetitive loop–repeating over and over again every little detail of our falling apart. It was exhausting. One day, I went snow skiing with friends and, because I’m not a good skier and rarely go skiing, I had to totally focus on what I was doing so I could make it down the hill without killing myself. Halfway through the day, I noticed that, because my mind was so focused, it couldn’t worry about anything. That day on the mountain helped me break that repetitive cycle.
5. Do something you love. When we’re immersed in something we absolutely and totally love, our minds are at ease. We’re playful, joyful, and in the flow. This activity varies for me–sometimes it’s experimenting in the kitchen with a new gourmet recipe. Other times, it’s going for a long walk.
Whatever we do, it’s important we take care of our most important asset–our mind.
Try silencing your mind for 10 minutes a day. See how more creative and clear you can become.