How letting go can help you be more creative

Have we lost the ability to be quiet?

Theres so much noise, not just from other people, but from sources like the TV, mobile, laptop, social media, we always seem to be feeling like we have to be doing something, otherwise we aren't succeeding, aren't winning, so we keep on doing.

Is it hard to be still?

When out in the landscape, many of us love to take photos of flowers, butterflies, birds, in their natural habitat, the stillness of a butterfly as it sits on a leaf, the grace of a cow parsley , of a meadow of flowers, a bird that sits on a wall, waiting peacefully. They seem to have this stillness thing down to a tee! Why haven't we?

With our lives being so full of stuff and full of doing, our mind is busy. Our thoughts chatter away.

Believe it or not, our minds natural default is to be peaceful and calm. We have forgotten how to achieve this as we, yet again, check our emails, Facebook, Instagram, have the TV on in the background...

Being peaceful though doesn't mean stopping all of that, as its part of our lives now. Being still means to have an awareness of thoughts, not attaching to them, creating a sense of space, letting go of thoughts.

Sounds hard, as we have thousands of thoughts a day. However, its not meant to be that we don't have any more thoughts, ever, just that we can have a sense of stillness when we need it, so we don't become consumed by the craziness that surrounds us in our everyday life.

An awareness of how conditioned we are to stay attached to the noise becomes apparent when we start to slow down and be still.

How to start being still?

Quieten down. Often. A practice of a daily sitting comfortably, closing our eyes, 5 - 10 minutes, to just listen to the breath. The body and mind becomes still, even though, the mind will be still chattering on. Through practice, I'm not going to say it becomes easier, but that you become more aware of what you label, the noises around you, what you call them, how bored you feel, the running commentary inside your head. As you become more aware, you start to let go, see the thought, let it go, start back at the breath again, without agitation.

It takes practice. The power, though, of this is immense. The focus the concentration it can bring, is without doubt, amazing.

However, we allow boredom and noise to stop the practice. Dismissing it as rubbish, not realising the power it has, the power we have.

Next time, you feel stuck, not sure which direction your creativity is heading, take 10 minutes to slow down, stop, be quiet.

1. Sit comfortably, somewhere you wont be disturbed, best not to lie down as you may fall asleep.
2. Imagine you are pressing the ceiling away with the crown of the head to allow the neck to be long.
3. Count - count the number 1 as you breathe in, count number 2 as you breathe out. Keep going until you get to 10 then start at 1 again.
4. Your mind will wander. When you realise its gone off on some story, acknowledge it and return to the breathe and start counting at number 1 again. Practice this simple routine daily, as consistency is the key.

We are influenced from a young age that failure means we are useless at doing certain things, so we avoid doing them because we think failure is a bad thing. However, it stops us from trying new things and discovering layers of us we didn't know existed.

Failure is a way of learning. A baby learns to walk by falling over and getting back up again, thats how the motor control centre works.

Fail at stillness.  It's a good thing. The reaction to how you fail is what you should be interested in, not in the failure itself.


Mel Collie

Melanie Collie