Mindfulness and Creativity

I’m sitting here writing this without any clear path in mind for where it goes. I’m attempting to write ‘in the moment’. On the one hand, this is perfectly in tune with how I’ve always written; my best moments have always come when in a state of ‘flow’.

When I was a stand-up comedian, the moments that elicited the biggest reaction were the off-the-cuff responses to an unexpected moment or heckle. Where did that response come from? You could never really say, it was just a matter of being ‘in the moment’.

So I get the power of mindfulness. And I understand the dangers, both mental and physical, of endlessly cogitating over the ‘what ifs’ of the past and the ‘what ifs’ of the future, alike.

But at the same time, although those best moments came from being mindful, they were also rarer. The rest of what I’ve achieved either in the comedy world or more recently in the marketing world have come from pulling apart a remembered past and an imagined future and ransacking them for insights and information.

So I don’t really know where that leaves me. I don’t really know what I’m meant to do for the best. What leads to the most productive me. What leads to the healthiest me. Are those two things even the same?

As I sit here, tapping away, I see an analogy pop into my head. It’s that of a pearl diver. Their productive moments come from diving into the water and emerging triumphant with a pearl. So a logical notion might be to spend longer down there. Except that’s not really a logical notion, as to do so would kill them.

So perhaps that’s where I need to strike the balance between living in the past, the future and the present moment. To spend as much time in each as benefits me, without killing me.

How am I going to find that balance? Well, if I don’t spend enough time in the past or future, then I’ll starve. And if I don’t spend enough time in the present moment, then I’ll drown. So I guess I just need to experiment and be aware of when I’m close to starving or when I’m close to drowning.

So what’s this article? A pearl? Probably not. Just an experiment that will help me work out how the optimum way to avoid the death of my creative abilities.

Oh, and Happy New Year.