“IN THE MOMENT”

CREATIVE EXPRESSION + MINDFULNESS WORKSHOP
Summary + Resources

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Let me begin by saying thank you for arriving at the workshop with such open minds and ready to play!

It was such a pleasure to have you in my space. I work with these ideas everyday in my work, but they come alive in a new way when people like you come and experience what they can mean for you.

Now that you’ve had a little time to digest, here is a summary of what we did, as well as some resources to keep exploring beyond the workshop experience.

A SUMMARY OF THE IDEAS WE EXPLORED:

  • Bringing in a sense expansive FLUIDITY into our day. Remember the feeling of delight and calm in your chest as your brush first touched the wet paper, how the ink slowly bloomed across the surface? 

  • PAUSE, NOTICE, BREATHE and from that quiet state, play with CREATING SOMETHING as an expression of that flow.

• Make a breath drawing, a blind contour, make a meal, write some words, snap a photo etc… 

• Use the creating as a way to slow down, as a meditation. 

• It is the feeling you get when you’re in the process of the creating that you’re trying to hang out in.

  • HEIGHTENING THE SENSES - Through a deliberate slowing down and bringing attention to taste, smell, touch, sight or hearing, especially with something pleasurable or beautiful, we can more easily connect to our physical body and a sense of openness & gratitude.

  • ANCHORS: Our minds will always wander and get busy, we need something to return to. 

    • Examples of anchors can be:

      • focusing on your breath,

      •  staring at a candle flame, 

      • tip of pencil, pen or brush on paper as you make marks on a surface.

  • MARK- MAKING: This is a beautiful way to connect internally/externally and when slowed down, it can regulate your nervous system and bring it to a state of calm.

    • Use a pencil, pen or brush to express your inner state (like an an internal body scan expressed visually)

    • Use sounds or different kinds of music to guide you in mark-making.

  • Embracing imperfection (the Japanese aesthetic and concept of WABI SABI as a way of seeing and appreciating the world.

  • BLIND CONTOUR: A practice of embracing imperfection as well as sharpening our noticing skills…

    • Find something interesting in your line of vision. 

    • Maintain focus, without looking at paper. 

    • SLOWLY trace its contours, notice and record as much detail as possible). 

    • IT WILL LOOK strange and wonky — find the WABI SABI (beauty of the imperfection) in it - 

    • See how it does capture the energy of the thing in an interesting way.  

    • Perhaps fill in some of the interesting shapes afterwards with another colour.

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Some of my favourite ‘Elevated Moments’ collected by workshop participants.

  • Fresh Sheets (esp. if they’ve just been hung outside)

  • Quiet at night after kids have gone to bed

  • First sips of wine/coffee

  • Firsts in general

  • Sleeping Children

  • Sweetness of Bedtime

  • Morning Dropoffs & Pickups

  • Emotional contrast in a piece of music

  • Warmth of Sun on your face

  • First sound of the cardinals early in the morning

  • The quiet after or during a heavy snowfall

  • Stepping out of an airport in a new city

  • The smell and feeling of coming Home

  • Bird Murmuration 

What would your week be like if you honed the skill of noticing MORE of these kinds of moments in your life? — Notice how it feels to really savour a moment like this and how it can immediately change your state.

(And now you have a perfectly imperfect little book to record them in) ;-)


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A SUGGESTION FOR BASIC SUPPLIES :

- Pencils (Palimino Blackwing was the fancy brand we used, but any pencil will do!)
- A black fine tipped pen - I’m a fan of ‘Le Pen’ or Pilot fine liners.
- Dry erase markers/board
- India Ink
- Watercolour paper
- Small notebook/sketchbook in your bag
- Larger sketchbook/paper (play with scale and how it feels in your body to work bigger or smaller)

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TRY WRITING A WORD FROM THIS LIST BELOW & PLACE IT AROUND YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE AS A VISUAL CUE

  • BEAUTY OF IMPERFECTION  (or simply WABI SABI)

  • JUST THIS 

  • SAVOUR

  • PAUSE

  • ALLOW

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BOOKS I LOVE:

  • Stop Look Breathe Create by Wendy Ann Greenhalgh 

  • The Art of Mindfulnesby Wendy Ann Greenhalgh 

  • The Zen of Creativity John Daido Loori

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Stay in Touch- Don’t let this be the last time I get to see you!

  • INSTAGRAM FEED: (I often first share my inspirations and behind the scenes studio practice there)

  • PRIVATE FB GROUP (A community of others who have taken this workshop — I’ll share occasional exercise prompts and other inspiring tidbits).

  • WEBSITE (View available art work and when I’m ready to launch them, a line of scarves & throw cushions inspired by my meditative mark-making. Yay!

  • And last, make sure you’re on my MAILING LIST  to catch announcements for new workshops, classes, art exhibitions and creative inspiration.

IF YOU LOVED THE WORKSHOP, I am now offering 1-1 Mindful Creative Expression sessions, where I can customize an experience specifically for you and guide you through a deeper dive.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT 1-1 MINDFUL-CREATIVE-EXPRESSION-SESSIONS


Phew!
If you made it this far, once again thank you.

PAUSE, DROP IN & CREATE SOMETHING and let me know how it goes…


With love,
Nicole