Connect with us

Success Advice

How to Find Creative Solutions by Emptying Your Mind

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

I’ve always been fascinated by how creative artists describe their process. Inevitably, they talk about being in a state of open mind where the download of core creativity can happen. I know painters who sit in front of a blank canvas staring at it and guitarists who will sit looking at the ocean, guitar at their side, waiting for an idea to appear.

Actor and writer Cody Fern says that for him, setting the state to be receptive to new creative ideas looks like “silence and clearing, getting really quiet, saving the reserves of energy.” He doesn’t let himself think too much about how he might approach his work, which would distract him from what his non-rational brain is communicating to him. 

James Taylor said in a 2015 Hemispheres magazine interview, “Given enough empty time, the songs show up. I’ve often said that it’s an unconscious and mysterious process, my type of songwriting. You really are just waiting to hear it, and you have to be in a place where you can receive the song, more than generate it. There’s just something about songwriting. It’s like a musical puzzle or a math problem. When you solve it, it’s like you’re being surprise by your own subconscious in a way. That’s an unparalleled delight.” 

Robbie Robertson of the Band said in the documentary Once We Were Brothers, “The creative process is a process catching you off guard. You write about what you know, where you have been, who you knew and know… Creativity comes from the womb of emptiness.” 

“Curiosity about life in all aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”- Leo Burnett

What are you surrendering to when you experience a downflow of core creativity? Many people believe that ideas can come from what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious. It’s here that the archetypes of stories, themes, and characters are said to reside, seeping into our conscious and unconscious and influencing our perceptions about ourselves and our lives. You can tap into your personal unconscious, but some would say that you can also access what’s in the collective unconscious, too. 

Mindfulness meditation — whether it’s sitting silently and clearing the mind, walking in nature, or shifting into “absorption” whereby you simply sit still and observe — can take you out of overthinking and into the mind state of receptivity. The stillness and focus involved in meditation alters your brainwaves, and therefore, your mind state. Distraction-free time can lead you to an open mind as you remain present in the moment. 

Both core creativity and intuitive wisdom and knowledge can be accessed in an open mind state — not because you have an open mind, or are trying to be open minded, but because you’re in a state of pure receptivity that evolves naturally after given yourself over to emptiness. 

Practice this “No-Self” Meditation to let go of your ego and become curious, receptive, and free to access your core creativity: 

  1. Begin by quieting your thoughts. Allow yourself to become receptive to something beyond the distracting chatter of your generating mind. Notice what you’re experiencing without generating thoughts. If thoughts do arise, let them float away like clouds. After your string of distracting thoughts has slowed or even stopped, remain present in a feeling of receptivity and absorption for at least a minute or two. 
  2. Allow yourself to experience “no self.” Here, your identity drops away as  you simply experience being present. Let yourself disappear, allowing all fixed and limited notions of who you are or how your creative project should unfold fall away. Let thoughts arise, exist, and fade away without intervening to hold onto them. You’ll find yourself not in your ego mind, fixated on what you think you know, but instead feeling curious and open to receiving and discovering. 
  3. Enter the pristine emptiness. Recognize that you have entered The Void. Remain here even if it’s somewhat uncomfortable because you’ll soon notice that this void is actually a fertile one, revealing itself to be filled with ideas, images, pictures, colors, textures, stillness, and possibility. Allow yourself to absorb and take in whatever you need, letting it download into you while knowing you can work with this energy of possibility to make it manifest into form. As you do, you’re downloading core creativity. Be fully present in this experience, observing it, noting what you’re feeling, understanding, hearing, and seeing in your mind’s eye. 

When you’re ready, end the meditation. You may want to write down any impressions, ideas, or insights that came to you. 

Use the No-Self Meditation to partake in a “clear the desk” experience that allows you to enhance your intuitive abilities and access core creativity.

Ronald A. Alexander, PhD, is a psychotherapist and mindfulness trainer, and a creativity, business, and leadership coach. He has a private psychotherapy and executive coaching practice in Santa Monica, California. He’s the executive director of the OpenMind® Training Program that offers personal and professional training programs in mindfulness-based mind-body therapies, transformational leadership, and meditation. He’s the author of the highly acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change (2008), and the new book, Core Creativity: The Mindful Way to Unlock Your Creative Self (Rowman & Littlefield, June 21, 2022). Learn more at www.CoreCreativity.com.

Success Advice

Can Organic Marketing on Facebook Be Effective in 2022?

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

As another cat video is served to me in my Reels on Facebook, I am beginning to wonder if this platform can still serve to attract clients to my coaching business. And as the wondering turns into worrying, I feel a pressing need to make some vital changes to what worked for my solopreneur business for half a decade. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Leverage Your Leadership Style for Business Success

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

When we hear that leaders should operate within their zone(s) of genius, it’s easy to think that this only applies to tasks that they excel at. Whilst this is true, the piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is the positive correlation between a leader’s zone of genius and their leadership style. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Simple Habits to Live A Less Chaotic, Happier Life

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Many of us spend our daily lives searching for happiness. We jump from one job to another, from one hobby to another, hoping to spark a sense of joy and purpose.

But it’s hard pursuing happiness. After all, life is full of frustration and can put a stopper to our feel-good days.

And it’s challenging to be happy when we are juggling the responsibilities of everyday life like work and relationships. While achieving happiness is arduous, it’s not impossible. Try out these 5 habits to enjoy life more and be happier.

1. Walk in Nature

Spending time in nature has always improved my mood. Taking a walk around my neighborhood park, surrounded by trees and vegetation, I enter a peaceful state of mind.

The worries previously weighing on my mind are suddenly lifted, and I feel an indescribable sense of joy.

Taking just 20 minutes out of my day to get a fresh breath of air is extremely relaxing. 

In our work culture that favors busyness, there is little room for calmness. We associate a busy schedule with how successful we are, which isn’t entirely true at all.

In fact, it might be a disaster in the making. All that stress and anxiety bottled up without an outlet—the outcome is obvious.

So getting in touch with nature is my go-to way of maintaining a proper work-life balance. It makes me energized and ready to blast through the rest of my day with optimism.

2. Smile More Often

I make it a habit to smile every day; they aren’t fake smiles but genuine ones. And they have become a regular part of my life.

What am I smiling at, exactly? It can be the night sky covered with shining stars, like fine quicksand. Or, it can be the flowers sprouting new leaves in spring.

I embrace everything with open arms. Even when I have a rainy day, I don’t let it ruin my momentum.

Regardless of what happens, a simple smile can brighten my day; and best yet, it’s completely free.

At some point, everyone can have a stressful day and feel burned out. So put up a smile. Even if you’re not a positive person, take a firm stance against negativity. Your daily life will surely burst with joy.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

3. Find Your Passion

Many people dive headfirst into a day job that doesn’t interest them. They do it just for the money, which only makes them more miserable.

People who aren’t attached to their work will find difficulty achieving happiness. They live in a gray and stale world devoid of positivity.

Listen to your heart. Ask yourself: What makes me feel enthusiastic and excited? This is a time to discover your hopes and dreams.

You have endless opportunities in this world. Start a business. Volunteer at a charity drive. Figure out your reason why.

Personally, I used to turn to real estate to earn dependable rental income. But there was no sense of fulfillment. That feeling soon reached a tipping point, which pushed me to re-prioritize everything.

I wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Combining my interest in business and self-improvement, I pursued my passion for blogging. And I can’t be any happier about it.

Everyone needs something that keeps their life meaningful. It can be a source of light that helps us walk in the right direction.

So having goals and dreams makes us genuinely happy. Without them, it will be a long, treacherous journey.

4. Practice Gratitude

Some days we may not feel a shred of gratitude. We are overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of life where we seek perfection, one that is only full of success and wins.

However, that will only put you further away from happiness.

Take the time every day to pause and appreciate something in your life. What I find helpful is sitting down with a pen and paper.

I start with “I am grateful for…” It can be the appreciation for my afternoon cup of herbal tea. It can be the clear blue sky on a sunny day.

This routine sets up a support system that reinforces positive emotions. It reminds me that there are many things I’ve experienced in life and even more things that I’m grateful for.

Even if I have a bad day, I try my best to be grateful and encourage lasting joy.

So appreciate everything that enters your life—all the good and bad. You will see your mood elevate to an entirely new level.

5. Create Memories With Loved Ones

It can be tempting to focus all our time and energy on reaching valued goals. We say, “I’ll take it easy and spend time with loved ones after I’m successful.”

But what if that time never comes? What if, at some point, your loved ones are suddenly gone?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Prioritize your loved ones today, not next year. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave any room for regret.

The cherished memories you make now will be a spark of joy. They can even be a source of motivation when shooting for goals.

As social creatures, sharing stories, feelings, and dreams can make us happy and fulfilled.

Living a solitary life is not for everyone. Although having some alone time is perfectly fine, you should still make memorable experiences with those close to you. They will be cherished within your heart for as long as you live.

The quest for lasting happiness can be daunting at times. We spend much of our time searching for it, almost giving up along the way.

But you need to see the bright side. Living a better and happier life isn’t a far-fetched dream; it’s within reach. Remember that happiness can come from the small habits and things you do daily.

If you want to lead the life you truly want, practice these 5 habits and be consistent every day. Don’t give up halfway. Once you do so, there will be nothing stopping you from enjoying life to the fullest.

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Avoid These 12 Mistakes on the Way to Success

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

One day when I was writing an interesting article my wife asked me, “Why did you achieve success so late, during the late forties?  Did you ever find out the reasons for your late success?” The question was an interesting one as I seldom thought about why I achieved success so late in my life until then. I thought about this for a while; here are the reasons that come to my mind: (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending