6 Ideas for creating paths of flow and mindfulness
The state of flow
Most of us have heard about flow. Some of us have experienced it. A few of us know how to access it. It seems evasive, and just out of reach. But it is coveted. It is desired. Why? Because it's where the magic happens.Your attention is focused. Your mind is quiet. Time stands still. Flow is to our brain what a spa is to our body.
When time stops
Athletes, dancers, and runners know flow in the movements of their body, the power of their muscles, the force of their lungs, and the feel of the surface beneath their feet. They are living in the moment, utterly absorbed in the present activity. Time seems to fall away. Their tiredness is barely noticed.
The beauty of getting lost
Researchers know flow when they are lost on data. They are submerged in case studies and comparative statistics. Their minds are connecting theories and their hands are recording the typography of their explorations.
A space that links
Musicians, visual artists, and sculptors know flow when they are immersed in the space that links their conceptual ideas with their skills.
Our whole being
According to positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, what these people are experiencing in these moments is known as flow, a state of complete absorption into an activity, being involved in an activity for its own sake. It's here that the ego falls away. Time does not exist. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one moment they are experiencing. It's here, in flow, that our whole being is involved, and we use your abilities to the utmost.
Using our hands
There has been overwhelming evidence in the last decade that using our hands in some type of 'creating' or 'making' gets us into a state of flow. I'm using the term 'creating' loosely. It's not about painting some 'masterpiece.' But rather it's simply about just engaging in an activity of creating. It's here that we become aware only of what we're working on and less aware of our to-do list. It's here that we become more susceptible to having other creative thoughts and ideas spring up. It’s here that we create an escape hatch for our brain. So, in exercising our human capacity for creating has some truly incredible benefits. It trains us in mindfulness.
First, let’s define mindfulness: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of complete awareness of one’s emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.
Ideas for mindful spaces
There are so many flow-inducing creative practices that can serve as roads into mindfulness, a few of which you might consider might be gardening, sewing, woodworking, clay work, just to get started. Here's a few more ideas:
I’m super fond of paper crafts in general, and especially origami. Whether you’re mastering a new fold, or just cranking out a bunch of cranes, the process will engross your brain. Here's a great little tutorial for paper flowers. Strung together, they'd make a gorgeous party garland.
You probably already have acquired a few adult coloring books. It's no surprise that this industry has exploded. If you haven't stepped into the magic that their pages can bring, then you must! Give yourself permission to pull one out and go to town, it’s great for your mental well being. If you don't have a book, here's a super list of free printable coloring pages.
Grab some clay and use your hands to manipulate it. It’s fun to play around with coil pots or making small birds. Treat it with low commitment, You can always squish everything back together and re-start the fun. Here's a good resource for starter ideas.
You don’t even need a loom taking up half of your living room. Try weaving on a small scale, using a frame loom or even a cardboard loom.
5)CARVING (RELIEF PRINTING)
Carving lino for block printing is so satysfying. A good material to start with is an easy-carve block. The best part about this is knowing that the work you put into carving will be something you can use over and over again. There are endless ideas of things you could embellish once your block is carved.. Tote bags, table runners, pillow cases, tea towels, and scarves are just begin to list the possibilities! Here's even more!
Placing small colorful chips or tiles into intricate patterns – is there anything more satisfying? This simple idea would be awesome for your patio!
These are only just a tiny sampling of some of the myriad of flow-inducing projects you might want to try out. What things do you enjoy doing when you experience flow?
Want more creativity in your life?
Arts and Crafts 'Flow' Parties
Do you adore the idea of creating and making? Do you love the idea of creating with friends,? Then consider throwing an Arts and Crafts Party! There are so many fabulous possibilities. If you don't feel you have the time to do the legwork and prep, I understand. You're not alone. There are so many demands on our time. J Creating a fun space to craft and party is what I do! I've been throwing parties for over 8 years in Durham, NC.. Making an Arts and Crafts Party come alive is my specialty! Just send me an email and we can get started making your party a reality. With extensive experience in facilitating group projects, I love helping others discover the joy of making and creating.