Hey Rebooters! We’re back with Season 3 and we are SO excited to share the next ten episodes with you – there’s some real creative magic in there. First up is the lovely Cynthia Hauk of Mindful Creative Muse, who joined us to talk all about mindfulness & art.
She helps busy and self-critical women de-stress with simple and calming mindfulness and art workshops online. Doesn’t that sound blissful?
She’s been teaching online since long before the pandemic made it normal, and it means she can connect with people around the world, which would be impossible in person.
Cynthia Hauk (pronounced Hawk) is an artist, a teacher and an online course creator. She’s also a cancer survivor, a mentor and a recovering perfectionist. She helps self-critical women and also teachers, therapists and coaches to move through creative blocks and enhance their own teaching skills.
The art came first, but the mindfulness is crucial.
What we talk about
Bob Ross, happy trees and de-stressing. Pursuing a goal of a degree and then switching to something else, and exploring different practices for calm. Sharing those newfound practices.
Creativity and stress – is it inevitable? Putting a level of yourself into your work.
Slowing down, giving yourself space to create without thinking about your to-do list. Being with your thoughts. Permission to create and express yourself regardless of the thoughts and judgemental thoughts kicking around.
Perfectionism and the concept that there will never be the ideal time when your head is in the right place and you’ll have time to create uninterrupted – you have to create through the madness.
The Kaizen-Muse method, breaking things down into very small steps. Five-minute mindful art experiment practice. Leaving your art supplies out so you can do five minutes easily!
Micro-moments, and how much difference they can make – not least stopping before you’re complete, so you still have momentum when you dive back in next time.
Getting over the hurdle of starting – doing something for just three or fifteen minutes.
Learning how to create art beyond school and GCSEs, and doing it for joy rather than progression in a career. What we should have been taught as kids!
Full immersion and exploring the process, permission to play and experiment.
Shame and creativity and art – Cynthia’s students often come to her with some blocks, or perfectionist tendencies.
From managerial work to painting for mindfulness, via Bob Ross!
Soul collage, a process Cynthia teaches which is intuitive collage. Her discovery stemmed from her radiation treatment which meant she couldn’t go near electronics or people, and she expressed herself on paper instead.
Noticing her grief and channelling it into art-making, writing about it and understanding – and after this, she got certified so she could teach the process, and has been doing that since 2014.
Building the foundation of something wonderful out of a really bad experience. The longing for comfort and connection and belonging.
Glorious moments being actually all the small moments, of connection and praise and people sharing their experiences, like a mirror reflection. Making a difference.
Struggles with perfectionism, and holding back, and embracing the inner critic rather than quieting it. Offering self-compassion to that part of yourself.
Small steps to remove the feeling of stuckness.
The 80% rule – your thing doesn’t have to be 100% perfect! (Kate Atkin’s episode also talks about this!)
Support and connection and community, and how this helps artists and creatives in so many ways. Accountability buddies and smaller groups, not creating on an island by yourself.
Finding the right coach for you (Cynthia’s recommendation is George Kao) and having clarity about what you want before you choose someone. Working out whether it’s the coaching or the community around it, or both, that you’re most looking for.
You don’t have to have it all figured out, or know where your path is leading – just show up and be curious and see how things continue to unfold.
Using questions to get unstuck. What is it you want to feel? What does being unstuck look like and how does it feel? What are 10 different five-minute things you can do which would potentially move you out of that stuckness?
We so often have our own answers, it’s just often other things are in the way. Trust yourself, you do have the answers.
We’re ridiculously inspired by this episode and can’t wait to try five minute art experiments – what’s your biggest takeaway?
Get more Cynthia in your life
Find her at her website mindfulcreativemuse.com
Get your free Mindful Art Workbook.