Why everyone in the creative industry needs mindfulness
Wherever you are right now, close your eyes and take five deep breaths – inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Feel the soles of your feet on the floor, the arms on the legs and imagine a brush gently running down your body, filling each curve and dipping into each joint.
Allow your breath to return to normal and clear your mind of every thought for a few minutes. Now, start taking note of the physical senses surrounding you and slowly open your eyes.
This is a simple act of meditation. A few moments of clarity, locked in your own headspace.
Some days you’re being chased through a safari, some days you’re floating above white sands whilst looking over clear seas, and sometimes you’re not sure where you are – little light flashes are leading you into unknown places. But, the more time you dedicate to exploring your mind, the more incredible your journeys become.
Meditative practice falls under the ever-growing umbrella of ‘Mindfulness’, which refers to the mental state of being conscious, open and aware of the present. Whilst it stems from traditional Buddhist practices, its popularity grew with non-religious roots, sparked from its potential to alleviate psychological and physical conditions, namely anxiety, depression and addictions.
In recent years, it’s regarded as an essential practice for everyone. We all experience our own trials and tribulations at some point, after all.
I was introduced to Mindfulness at work. My company are one of the thousands of businesses encouraging their employees to practice meditation, including Google, Facebook and Instagram.
I’ll admit I was sceptical. I spent the majority of the ten minutes with one eye open, making sure it wasn’t a ploy to make me look foolish. Once I’d assured myself that they were serious, I let myself go.
When I felt the imaginary brush run down the hooks in my spine for the first time, I was sold.
As a creative, more specifically a songwriter, musician and writer, and a digital marketer for the day job, my thoughts are often chaotic. Meditation and Yoga, another form of Mindfulness, are helping me to collect these thoughts into blocks. Some days I can organise them by colours, resize them and create gaps in between them. It sounds like voodoo until you try it, but visually controlling your thoughts cuts through the noise and enhances your focus on what really matters.
This industry invites a lot of negativity. Every artist, no matter the discipline, has failed more times than they have succeeded. You face rejection and criticism on your greatest pieces of work. Mental health is frequently in question. The only force that can help you to stand up is you, or more specifically, your mind.
Your mind is your greatest weapon. It’s your breadwinner, your closest companion and the secret to reaching your potential. Exploring the intertwining paths of my mind is changing the way I deal with my anxieties and has unlocked creative skills I didn’t know I had. Imagine the difference it could make to you.
This was my entry post for Hiive’s ‘The Columnist’ writing competition, for which I made the shortlist. I may not have won, but it’s an incredible honour to get down to the top 10 with some of the best young writers in the country.