What does “experience” have to do with increasing creativity and mojo? I don’t mean experience in the past-tense as a cumulative effort, but the present moment. Right now, fully feeling whatever experience you’re going through and being fully present when you’re experiencing that moment. Your mind isn’t back in your work day or fast-forwarded to your butt planted in front of the TV or worse, tomorrow’s to-do list (unless you are actively sitting and writing down said list.)
I’ve had the most creative two years of my life as I make small adjustments to my schedule and routine and carefully curate who, what and where my life goes. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wasn’t fully present to know (deeply knowing as a feeling) how to make those choices. In the last blog I talked about the importance of taking turns in life – and giving yourself permission to spend time with people and activities. But now I’m taking that a step ahead with HOW you are experiencing those turns.
- Enhancing your creativity
means being fully open to your surroundings – all five senses plus that important sixth sense (awareness of self having the experience, much like wakeful meditation.)
- Increasing mojo and learning
comes from allowing yourself to make the most out of every conversation and situation. Even “mundane” situations can provide very beneficial interactions and even enjoyment. Happiness can simply come from smiling at the mailman. Which I do. Every day. And you *will* miss a learning opportunity if you aren’t fully paying attention. Or miss that turn. Which I still do.
- Amplifying gratitude brings more fulfillment and peace. I used to think gratitude was being grateful AFTER the fact, but have found if I practice 24/7 gratitude, I have more meaningful interactions all the time and it’s circular. I’m a witness to the gratitude as well as a beneficiary and messenger for the gratitude.
- Mindful living decreases stress. When people say, “I don’t know how you do it,” when they see what I do in my personal and professional life, I can honestly say it’s because I try to be mindful in my actions, assess my mind/body/spirit space continuously so I know when to stop or slow down. I do know the more physically active I am the less stress I feel. (That’s science, not a breakthrough.) But it’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself to “get.” Being mindful also allows that sixth sense (the higher self) to diffuse an ugly situation and not internalize it. I make mistakes ALL THE TIME, but I normally hear about them quickly, don’t freak out, and create a FIX IT plan, whether that’s a revision or an entirely different plan b.
- You don’t have to be “zen” to embrace experiential mindful living. However, you WILL become less uptight naturally. Which is the best, right? We’re not forcing ourselves to chill by checking it off a long to-do list. We naturally chill. If you think I’m a hippie “go with the flowy” type, that’s a label that probably wouldn’t stick because I am still a Type A Doer who sees that a Type B mindset can be beneficial to the harmony that we need to not give ourselves heart disease.
- You end up attracting what you want in life. (That means actually asking for it, too.) See Thunder story below.
For some us, Seeing/Watching comes pretty natural, too, but we’re also talking about engaging when we can instead of just watching/being. Writers and many creative types are people watchers and can give you amazing details about what they just witnessed or experienced. But that frequency is available to all of us. Tune in instead of tuning out.
Last night my teen son and I were invited to the Thunder/Memphis NBA playoff in Oklahoma City with seats in the corner pocket just a few rows up from the floor. The seats were amazing, the excitement and energy of an NBA game is palpable, and I soaked it in. Now the Thunder puts t-shirts they would like players to wear during the game on the chairs as a sponsored freebie during playoff games.) I saw some Memphis fans in the section over and thought, “why not ask them for the shirts?” So I went up to the young guys, and they gladly handed them over. Then another Memphis fan two seats over gave me HIS shirt, too. And then when I told my friend about the three shirts I’d been given, he handed me his daughter’s shirt (it’s an XL, she’s 5.) So I asked for two shirts and ended up with four. I know that’s a small example of how the law of being mindful works. You often get even more than you ask for! You see an opportunity and have the confidence to go for it. I do the same thing when I’m pitching new client projects (which are valued in the thousands) and in taking risks which can have emotional and financial rewards.
I’ve mentioned before – and it’s worth repeating – that social media CAN enhance connection and mindfulness (such as taking a photo on Instagram to remember later and share your appreciation of it) as long as it doesn’t keep you from connecting with those IN REAL LIFE around you. I’m guilty of this and have to force myself to leave my phone or iPad in another room so I’m not tempted to see what’s happening online. But whatever works for you.
A small gallery from this week on moments I want to remember AND the covers for my upcoming summer books, TWIN FALLS and FAMILY CHARMS (click to see slideshow and captions).
Other Book News:
Get the young adult treasure hunt short story, TREASURE QUEST, by Cara Brookins, free in the Kindle store May 16-18th.
Will be announcing the summer “sisterhood” book tour (virtual and real life) soon! Stay tuned and thanks for reading. I’m also thrilled that my novel FIXER UPPER has overtaken LIFE’S A BEACH as my best seller. I love the story and am glad it’s being recommended and purchased more! I noticed it has only six reviews, so if you’ve read and loved it, I hope you’ll consider taking a moment to leave a review to tell other readers about it. I appreciate you!