Creative Focus is a SuperPower: How do we Harness it?
With great power comes great responsibility - to ourselves.
When the creative impulse is around, it can at times seem overwhelming. How do you let your mind sit still long enough to channel the spontaneity of ideas? How do you go about focusing creativity at work or even just for yourself? It's easy to fall into traps of distractions that only serve to generate more uncertainty.
Here are some thoughts on how one might approach the elusive creative process, with a focus on cultivating mindfulness and openness towards stressors. This is by no means a definitive guide, and it is entirely possible you will find we have missed something. This blog post is written with the intent to have provided value or simply some food for thought...
Orienting the Mind – This might be easier said than done. We sometimes find our minds racing but it’s important to bring it back and center ourselves. This begins with relinquishing control of any distracting thoughts. Let go of remaining attachment to distracting thoughts – 'let go' of one thing at a time! – just notice them come and go. The mind has a limitless capacity to generate thoughts, so there is no need to dwell on these or their effect on you or your creativity. Simply let go, and allow the thoughts to come and go.
Orienting the Body – This can be as simple as becoming aware of body sensations that take your attention away from mindfulness, pay attention to these sensations. Where do you feel them? What do they 'feel' like? Where are you feeling them now? See if you can sit with these sensations, allowing them to be exactly as they are. Or get up and incorporate movement, maybe a quick stretch once an hour to give your body a break from extended periods of being in the same position for hours. These sensations can serve as signals that your body is engaged, or that it wants your attention.
This simple observation of distractions with non-judgmental awareness will over time become automatic. The ability to let go will become natural and effortless.
As high performing individuals or creatives it can be easy to get distracted or tense up throughout our work day. It’s important to find balance in the process. As you notice thoughts or sensations that cause you to lose focus on mindfulness, acknowledge the thoughts with acceptance and compassion, then come back to mindfulness. This in turn allows you to more readily embrace the creative process or achieve a flow state.
Remember, one thing at a time!