A Lululemon shopping bag quote inspired today’s blogpost: “Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment.”
What does “living in the moment” mean?
I had to think about it: What does it mean to live in the moment? How will living in the moment help me be more creative?
To me, living in the moment means I’m focused on what’s happening now so I’m more aware of the people around me and my environment – the sounds, smells – all of which makes me better able to hear.
Living in the moment allows me to quiet my brain and focus on the task, person, or idea before me. But even now as I write, my mind wanders to something I have to do later.
Yoga (The quote on the shopping bag makes sense now: Lululemon sells yoga clothes. Duh!) encourages mindfulness and living in the moment to promote balance and focus. Lots of people struggle with that type of mindfulness.
Recently, I was talking to a young mom about a yoga class she had tried and she said, “I think I’m doing it wrong. It feels like nothing is happening. I’m thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner and whether I have to go to the grocery store and what I’m going to do with my kids today. I don’t get it. What am I supposed to be focusing on?”
“Well, you’re supposed to be focusing on your breath and whatever pose you’re practicing at the time. And really, that’s all,” I said.
Living in the moment can seem impossible with so much going on all the time, never ending to-do lists, schedules, and commitments. And technology makes it so convenient to stay connected every minute of the day.
With the World Wide Web at your fingertips and everything you ever wanted to know about anything accessible in a matter of seconds, focusing on the person sitting right in front of you can be a challenge. Or when you’re so wrapped up in busy-ness that you don’t even look at the person who is most important to you in the world. I hate that, but it happens to me way more often than it should.
When my kids were younger, I would often be so frazzled trying to keep up with work, school, and crazy schedules, that I didn’t notice things about them. This became glaringly obvious to me one day when my son was about 9 years old. We went to a family gathering and my brother asked me what had happened to my son. I didn’t know what he was talking about.
“His eyebrows. Did he shave them?” my brother asked.
I ran to look at my son and saw that he had shaved his eyebrows right at the natural cowlick that crested each brow and, in fact, the spot that he had shaved was lighter than the rest of his bronzed skin. Very noticeable, but I hadn’t even noticed.
I decided right then that I needed to look at my kids every day, really look at them. I struggled with it, but it’s good advice because moments add up to years so quickly and they change from day to day and then, Poof! They’re grown.
How does living in the moment maximize creativity?
Living in the moment:
- quiets the mind and a quiet mind is more open to solutions, ideas, answers
- promotes focus on the task at hand
- means you’re fully attentive, aware, and listening
Here are 4 suggestions to help you Live in the Moment:
- Focus on one task at a time. That means no multi-tasking. Think you’re good at multi-tasking? Research shows no one is. If you want to do something better, give it your complete attention.
- Give your full attention to whoever you’re with at the moment. That means look at them and focus on them. If you’re talking with them on the phone, listen. Don’t surf the web, think about what you’re going to say or what else you need to do today. Listen.
- Take some quiet time. Practice taking at least a few minutes a day to quiet your brain and your body. Focus on your breath.
- Unplug. Put your phone, tablet, and computer away. Shut them down. Give them a break. Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Do something that doesn’t require electronics like go for a walk, read a book (print), journal, workout, write a letter, etc.
“Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment,” says the Lululemon bag. Is it right? Let’s find out.
Let’s give it a try.
I’d love to hear from you. What do you do to live in the moment?