Mindfulness Wexford Supporting Mindfulness & Creativity
Mindfulness Wexford is a resource for all those who want to develop a mindfulness practice. It is also for those who would like to explore the positive effects mindfulness can have on their creativity. It explores the fundamental links between mindfulness & creativity and offers courses which teach mindfulness and creativity through art and meditation.
Mindfulness Wexford is a unique educational resource, set up to design and deliver high quality workshops, courses, retreats and educational programs. The creative programmes are designed to bring together and integrate the fields of Mindfulness and Creativity. Programmes are designed to introduce participants to the practice of mindfulness, with a unique emphasis on its ability to enhance creativity. Creativity is explored, not just in an artistic sense, but most importantly as a life skill. Workshops are experiential with practical applications. This ethos is clearly expressed in Mindfulness Wexford’s motto, “Approach Mindfully and Respond Creatively”.
Previous Participants on Mindfulness Wexfords creative courses include:
Meditators from all backgrounds, Primary / Secondary Teachers, Visual Artists, Musicians, Poets, Yoga Instructors, Business Owners, Architects, Designers, Chefs, Restaurant owners, Web Designers, Photographers, Art Therapists, Sound Therapists, Housewives /Househusbands, Parents, and Closet-Creatives from all walks of life.
Mindfulness Wexford, designs and delivers courses for Wellness Centres, Arts Institutions, Educational Centres, Retreat Centres and Small & Medium Enterprises. If you would like to explore how a workshop or course could be designed for your specific situation, please email us or contact us by phone and we will explore with you, what is possible.
Mindfulness practice trains us to pay attention to the flow of our moment-to-moment experience with a non-judgmental open curiosity. We learn the art of ‘Mindful Approach’ ie. how to gently embrace experience as opposed to resisting it or fleeing from it. We recognise our tendency to react habitually, and learn instead to respond with more awareness. This in turn has a powerful transformative effect, opening up new opportunities to respond in ever more creative ways.
The ability to creatively respond reveals to us new ways of relating to others, of relating to situations and relating to circumstances. This can create new opportunities for growth and understanding in both our personal lives and work lives. Mindfulness develops the capacity to respond clearly, calmly and creatively when faced with challenges. It is a powerful skill to be able to draw upon and can radically change our daily experiences.
A Mindful approach to creativity is where we fully embody a creative experience with all the five senses. The focus is on a playful spontaneity, acknowledging internal judgement and self-criticism as it arises, and practicing releasing it. Our attention is given fully to the process we are engaged in. We observe our tendency to fixate on finished products, perfectionism and end results. We continuously practice the art of letting go and develop self compassion, as we re-enter again and again into the creative flow. This approach promotes authentic expression and self-awareness. It reconnects us to our innate creativity and re-ignites inspiration.
When we practice mindfulness, we practice paying attention on purpose to what is happening moment by moment. Our awareness of all the details of our experience increases, as we observe and sense non-judgmentally and with curiosity. ‘Playful Presence’ moves beyond purely observing, witnessing, noticing and sensing. It is a dynamic form of Presence. It is when we begin to creatively engage with what we find, as we are observing and sensing. By letting go of outcomes, staying open and curios and learning to approach with a ‘beginners mind’, we find opportunities to creatively engage, moment by moment by moment.
Why Mindful Attention Matters
Attention is the energy we use to engage with the world. How we use our attention affects everything we do. Attention is fundamental to our lives, to our relationships, to our quality of work. What we attend to creates our lives. Whether it’s spreadsheets or Shakespeare, we are what we give our attention to. (Jeremy Hunter PHD)
In addition to what we give attention to, how we apply our attention is important. Mindfulness develops our capacity to stay open, curious and present with ‘What is.’ Through mindful attention, we learn to notice the minds habitual tendencies. We notice how the thinking mind automatically creates story-lines, judgments, projections and compelling narratives. These pull our attention away from direct experience, and into the story-lines. Mindfulness helps us notice this and return our attention again and again to direct experience.
What is a Mindfulness Wexford Creative Workshops Like?
Each Course is designed as a gentle Introduction to the practice of Mindfulness. No previous experience of Mindfulness or meditation is necessary. Courses suit both beginners to Mindfulness and participants who have an established Mindfulness practice.
Hands on Experience
Creative exercises are used extensively in each workshop, both to illustrate and to deepen our understanding of Mindfulness. Participants use a wide variety of creative techniques and materials, in order to explore creatively, different aspects of mindfulness. No previous arts experience is necessary.
Participants learn to:
- Recognize states of mind that inhibit mindfulness & creativity
- Develop those states of mind that enhance mindfulness & creativity
Participants also learn:
- How to meditate (Using MBSR Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Meditation Techniques)
- How to develop their own personal mindfulness practice
- How to recognize stress building within the body and mind and develop ways of reducing it
- How to apply mindfulness and draw on their creativity when responding to challenges and stress
- How to reconnect and strengthen their relationship with their own innate creativity
- How to nurture and champion their creativity mindfully
- How to replace habitual reactions with creative responses
- How to develop the mindful attribute of “Beginners Mind”
The focus is on full creative engagement, embodying each experience with all the senses. We learn to become fully present in our bodies, using it as an anchor for mindfulness. Our usual preoccupation with product, perfection and end results is suspended. This approach develops authentic expression, self-awareness and creative insight.
Creativity and a State of Flow … The Optimal State of Mind
Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” He notes that money cannot ultimately make us happy, and looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.” His research is celebrated throughout the world. He has studied thousands of artists, musicians, poets and scientists to understand how to access a state of flow.
Mindfulness and a State of Flow … When time, space and self no longer disrupt the present moment
Dr. Judson Brewer MD, PhD, is a thought leader in the “science of self-mastery,” and an associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, where he is director of research at the Center for Mindfulness. In this TEDx he talks about “flow state”: a mental state in which one becomes so immersed in an experience that time and space and self no longer disrupt the present moment.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Your Elusive Creative Genius)
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk. The author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some big topics. Her fascinations: genius, creativity and how we get in our own way when it comes to both.
Sir Ken Robinson (Do Schools Kill our Creativity ?)
Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
9 Attitudes of Mindfulness, Jon Kabat Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, talks about the 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness, how to use them in our Mindfulness practice and daily life. Jon is the founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founder of it’s renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. He teaches mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in various venues around the world.