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068: Mindfulness x Creativity with Guest Host Mark Corrigan (Part 2 of 2)

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Welcome to Episode 68, which is the second in a special 2-part series all about mindfulness and creativity. Before you listen to this one, please check out Episode 67 where our guest host, Mark Corrigan, walks us through the basics of mindfulness practice and in this episode he gets into the nitty gritty details of creativity and mindfulness practice.

A special thank you to the artist REW<< and their album Syzygy which is layered behind this podcast episode. Let's listen in...

Key Takeaways from our Conversation:

  • Creativity concepts

    • Not only for graphic design and the arts, but in general problem solving (number crunching, coding, managing / interpersonal, writing, etc.)

    • Very rare that we reinvent the wheel when we create (consider the importance of not putting undue pressure on yourself)

    • Consider bottom-up design vs. mastermind tendencies:

      • E.g. start with simplest colour sets, single font, etc. instead of trying to integrate all requirements at once (I tend to do this 😆)

      • Essentialism — less, less, less!

        • Only what’s needed to convey an idea; otherwise too much attention is granted to irrelevant parts.

        • Ask: What can I take away to make things simpler?

      • Patience, acceptance (iteration is needed!)

  • Concepts to assist creatives:

    • Keep attitudes / qualities of mindfulness in awareness, e.g.:

      • Beginner’s mind: Approach as if it were the first time, noticing something new, sense of awe / renewed appreciation (positive association can allow for more divergent thinking)

      • Trust in yourself (and self-compassion)

      • Accept situations without judgement, can allow you to move on faster, give more compassion, make use of emotional intelligence (listening skills) to become a better colleague or leader

      • Acceptance: Total honesty with calendar management / capacity limits, self-regulation (willpower)

      • Non-striving: while you may need to complete a creative task, your brain needs idle time to do “background processing” (rest, walk)

      • Taking your conscious mind off things works wonders! Your unconscious mind might help you conjure up new ways of thinking of things

        • Breath work (noticing physical sensations)

        • Also: mindful walking, eating, reading, looking, etc.

    • Developing your own practice:

      • There’s no one-size-fits-all; adopting various approaches to creatively build your own practice :)

      • Concept: mindfulness muscle (takes time; about the journey!)

      • Frequent, intentional breaks in work

      • Breath work, pause practices at transitions, visualizations, open awareness vs. focused attention, longer practices (retreats)

      • Good listen: Savvy Psychologist on The Performance-Boosting Power of Positive Self-Talk (and other episodes related to mindfulness and self-destructive thought)

      • Commonly 10–15 mins / day

About Our Guest Host:

Mark Corrigan is an information and communications technology consultant, sessional lecturer at Ryerson University, and mindfulness enthusiast. After a decade in a variety of communications, software development, and management roles, Mark is now pursuing a career in neuroscience, with interests spanning mental health and well-being research, translational science, health technology development, and mindfulness integration. In September, he is returning to school for his MSc in experimental psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Since 2018, Mark has been developing his mindfulness practice through a variety of workshops, community organizations, and self-directed practices. He is a proponent of the mindfulness-in-education and mindfulness-in-the-workplace movements, and has facilitated introductory sessions on mindfulness theory and mindful breathing exercises for his students and colleagues. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and learn more about integrating mindfulness into school, work, and home through organizations such as RU Mindful, Mindfulness Toronto, or Mindfulness Everyday.

Music (public domain via REW<< - Syzygy [Album]

Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle

Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Episode Artwork: Canva (remixed by Diana Varma)


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