Mindfulness & Creativity
Mindfulness practice has been shown to increase creativity, and practicing mindful photography has been shown to increase feelings of peace and happiness. Practicing mindful photography and mindful writing are two of the avenues through which I regularly expand my mindfulness practice into my everyday life. When I take my camera out, I meditate in order to prepare myself to open to a felt sense of my surroundings. I wait for an intuitive resonance with a scene or an object and then pause to experience an exchange of energy with the subject or object of my attention. Something almost indescribable happens in those moments of intuitive resonance with a subject as I prepare to make an image. Throughout this exchange, I am mindfully aware of the sensations, feelings and thoughts that arise in response to this creative experience. When we practice mindful photography, mindful writing or a mindful engagement with any other form of creative expression, we have an opportunity to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is awareness of present moment experience (sensations, feelings and thoughts) with an attitude of non-judgment, without clinging to it, without pushing it away or trying to escape it and without wanting it to be otherwise. Your creative expression may include cooking, parenting, formulating innovative ideas, writing, making a photograph, painting, sculpting, designing space, knitting, baking, gardening, and the list could go on and on. In what ways are you incorporating creative expression into your mindfulness practice? Comment below to let me know. I’d love to hear about your practice!
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. ~Rumi
Creating Mindful Intentions for the New Year. Saturday December 30, 2017 9am-12pm. McKay Healing Arts, Wilmington, NC. How long have you been taking life as it comes without considering what matters most or how you want your life to be? This workshop will guide you in the process of creating mindful intentions for your life and learning strategies for successfully following through. We will use guided meditations and journaling exercises to help you clarify your intentions and then we’ll create an Intention Board, a creative collage with words and images to serve as a visual reminder of your intentions. Make 2018 your year of lasting lifestyle changes! Email Jen to register. Cost: $50
Ghost Trees photography series will be on exhibit at Expo 216 gallery in Wilmington through the end of December 2017. Ghost Trees explores the liminal space between what was, what is and what will be in an ever-changing world. The project began in 2016 as an investigation into the dying bald cypress trees and the environmental degradation of the Cape Fear River basin. In the summer of 2017 it was discovered that at least 18 toxic chemicals are in the river and drinking water supply. It is my hope that these images that capture the beauty and loss of these dying trees and inspire people to preserve nature in their local communities. To preview the images visit jenjohnson.com/ghost-trees Please contact Expo 216 gallery to purchase. 910-769-3899. I am currently seeking gallery representation and am available to speak on photography and environmental justice concerns, clean water, and nature conservation for the wellbeing oe people and the planet.