Monthly Archives

January 2016

Meditations Productivity

Ten Ways to Practice Mindfulness without Meditating

January 29, 2016

It’s been a long time, blog world. Drie and I like to make things, and that’s the problem with being a Maker: you always want to make something new. We made a blog, but then we wanted to make other super sweet stuff. I’ve been busy making art and a school, and Drie’s been cooking up lyra routines and a Kickstarter campaign to launch her and Blue’s physical location for all the other stuff they make and collect. You kind of need to set priorities as a creative, and unfortunately, blogging hasn’t made the cut as of recently.

I grew up thinking that the key to super-charged creative productivity was multi-tasking, but now I’m finding that to be productivity’s antagonist. The opposite— being completely present in the moment— is the key to productivity. Yet, being present, as we all know, is one of the most challenging thing for humans to do. It takes a lot of practice! Practice like meditation!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried and tried to love meditating, but it is just such a drag! I’ve made resolutions and tried to impose rules to force myself to meditate, but nothing has worked. I’d much rather be doing something that gets me excited! That makes me jump out of bed and gets my fingers tingling! The thought of meditating— that scary peaceful place of total presence and mastery of the mind— makes me fabricate all sorts of excuses to the point where I’ll stay in bed all morning to avoid it.

I have practiced meditation for weeks at a time, and it was cool. I encouraged everyone I encountered to meditate. It centered me and made me really pleasant to be around, so I know the benefits and how it can change your life. But I’ve also done a lot of other things that are sort of like meditating, they are a lot more FUN, and they seem to have a similar effect on my life. Lately I’ve returned to “using” several of these methods in my daily life, and I’ve been seeing that the practice of mindfulness necessary to engage in these activities has been seeping into the other areas of my life as well. My overall happiness has increased: I treat my body better, feel more confident and capable, and of course, I feel more productive.

So, I made a list of ten of those things for all of you and here they are:

Get tattooed

Getting tattooed can be a great practice in mindfulness, as you bring your awareness to the specific source of pain to relieve the other parts of your body of tension.

Snowboard

Taking the risk to endanger your physical body to snowboard with grace requires deliberant trust in yourself and the natural forces. The body and mind need to loosen and relax, as you commit to the process, breathing out any fear, and offering up true vulnerability to the mountain.

Rock climb 

Rock climbing subjects you to the real, physical sensations of fear and stress to remind you of the power of breath and the present moment.

Walk

The simple experience of taking alternating steps with your left and right feet helps create a meditative state that allows you to easily be present in your body and the present moment, which can be just as profound of an experience as seated meditation.

Chant

The act of vocal repetition removes you from the physical state into the ether, in a much more present, non-judgemental place of sound.

Dance

Dancing is one of the most natural, instinctual, and easily-obtainable ways to Be Here Now. Plus, you can do it with anybody who can stand on their legs, including your dog.

Journal

Writing can curb your restless mind and cultivate awareness of your overall experience. It simultaneously provides an archive or your mindfulness practice while sharpening your ability to attend to the present moment.

Play an instrument

Regardless of ability or experience, any musician can use music practice as a meditation of completely absorbed yet relaxed concentration. The act of play not only increases your ability on your instrument, but you are also creating a sanctuary within yourself which is away from your normal active state of mind.

Draw from life

By pencil/pen drawing the things around us, we move past looking (labeling of objects) to seeing (becoming part of the experience of being). Drawing is an extraordinary practice that emphasizes the wonder of “ordinary” existence.

Eat

Eating mindfully is one of the easiest and most convenient practices to remind yourself of the miracle of life.

What things do you do to bring the practice of mindfulness into your everyday life?

 

* photo of the incredible Tasha Rayburn by Chris Black of Black Shot Photography