Practice Meet Maude Hirst: Unlock Creativity with Mindfulness “Through these waves of creative peaks and falls, I have discovered the mindfulness practices that have helped me tap back into that creative flow – so I wanted to share them with you.” By Wanderlust Sit with Maude every Thursday at 1.30 PM ET / 10:30a PT on Wanderlust TV as she takes over the LIVE studio to host her Explorative Meditation class. A few months prior to lockdown, I went to a Vipassana retreat (10 days of silence and 10 hours a day of meditation) and this lockdown has felt like a global Vipassana. Forcing us all to sit in the unknown and realise what is important to us. A time to feel into what relationships are healthy and which ones need work. Sitting in uncertainty and realising that we can’t cling onto the good or the bad, the past or the future, we simply have to get present and ride the waves as they are presented to us. In terms of personal growth this time has been a gift in lots of ways but for many people it has also been a time where their creativity seems to have been put on hold. Strangely, when we are given unlimited time to create – it can actually stunt our creativite flow and leave us lost with where to start. Does that sound familiar to you? I’ve had waves of these feelings during lockdown, some weeks feeling full of energy and ideas and other weeks totally lost into gazing up at the sky and feeling the enormity of what is going on. Through this wave of creative peaks and falls, I have discovered the mindfulness practices that have helped me tap back into that creative flow – so I wanted to share them with you. MINDFULNESS TECHNIQUES TO UNLOCK YOUR CREATIVE FLOW Create a beautiful morning Ritual that leaves space for creativity to emerge from. 1 – Morning Pages Inspired by the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ – have a notepad by the side of your bed and as soon as you wake up in the morning, grab your notebook and write 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing without taking your pen off the page. It doesn’t need to make sense, you’re not writing to even read it back. You are simply getting your subconscious thoughts out onto the page to unlock the creativity hiding beneath. 2 – A 10-minute meditation Find a comfortable meditation position. This can be seated on the floor with your legs crossed or on a chair with your feet firmly on the floor Close your eyes and switch your attention to your breath. Noticing the cool air entering the nostrils on your inhale and the warm air leaving on your exhale Begin to deepen your breath Take your awareness to the top of your head and begin to scan down slowly through your body (like an x-ray) becoming aware of the physical sensations and emotions that are present in each part of your body When you get to your toes, reverse so you begin to scan upwards through your entire body Keep repeating this slowly up and down – making sure to really give yourself time to feel until your alarm goes off. Notice how your body and mind are now feeling from just 10 minutes of stillness 3 – 10 minutes of Coherent Breathing Find a comfortable seated position, on the ground or on a chair Close your eyes and begin to bring your awareness to your breathing Exhale all of your breath out Begin to inhale through the nose for 6 seconds Exhale through the nose for 6 seconds Continue to breath in and out steadily to the count of 6 for 5/10 minutes and watch your body sink into a state of calm 4 – Put your favourite music on and DANCE like no one is watching Put on some music. Either upbeat or something slower and more sensual, depending on you mood Stand up and feel your feet firmly on the ground Close your eyes and connect to your breathing. Gently slowing down the breath, to a deep consistent pace Begin to tune into the music and without your mind getting in the way, allow yourself to begin to move in any way that the body wants to It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s all about how you feel Do this for at least 10 minutes so you can get through any awkward sensations or worrying what it might look like and allow yourself to feel fully free Dance like no-one is watching Creativity isn’t something to look for outside of yourself. It is something cultivated from within. You have to nurture your internal world to create the space to unlock that creativity. The secret to unlocking creativity isn’t in waiting for the huge idea to appear but in creating easy and enjoyable practices that make it easy to START. Join me in my brand new Monthly Mindfulness Membership ‘Your Body, Your Mind, Your Goals’ where we will be exploring all of these practices with a like-minded group of wonderful individuals and find how mindfulness in an array of forms can allow you to unlock your potential. — Maude is an actor turned yoga and explorative meditation teacher, advanced Theta Healer and founder of the mindfulness company EnergyRise. Coming from a life on screen, hiding behind scripts and characters, she found yoga and meditation to be a turning point of re-discovering and revealing her true strength. Her passion is now to empower others to do the same. Maude teaches yoga, meditation and healing globally, running retreats as well as online courses. She believes tapping into the truth of your internal world can allow you to heal and use your individual life experiences to empower the way you live your life. She creates a safe, explorative space in order for you to self-discover. Check out her work here and follow Maude on Instagram.