Discover the healing power of expressive arts with this hands-on guide to using creative mindfulness to reduce stress, find presence, and unlock self-knowledge
Expressive arts educator Rachel Rose weaves together mindfulness practice and art therapy to demonstrate how tapping into your own innate creativity can help you find peace in a stressful world.
This self-directed guide teaches ten key principles of mindfulness through ten creative invitations, along with a series of simple exercises and guided prompts to help you start noticing and flexing your creative mindfulness muscles:
Anchoring your practice with ritual
Honoring your impulses
Trusting the process
Requiring no prior experience of the arts or mindfulness meditation, Creating Stillness provides tools to explore difficult emotions and find insight into personal struggles and traumatic wounds.
In each chapter, Rose draws from her personal experience as a teacher and facilitator of creative mindfulness to share stories and examples that help ground exercises like sketching, creative writing prompts, and more.
Rose carefully walks through the process each time, explaining how to set intention and arrive in the present moment before embarking on your mindful art session; how to use objects and thoughts as creative prompts; how to return your attention to your work as you move forward; and how to distill the wisdom you have found in the process.
For seasoned artists, creative mindfulness offers a chance to slow down and rediscover the transformative power that art can offer when it is detached from the need to produce something beautiful or useful. For those coming to expressive arts with existing mindfulness practices or engaged in a therapeutic process, a mindful arts practice may reveal a passion for creation you didn’t know existed. And for everyone, creative mindfulness can help us make sense of our feelings and find new ways of expressing ourselves—in art and in life.
...aimed at readers for whom traditional meditation may not appeal, or who are looking for a more creative path to mindfulness.”
“A heartfelt, step-by-step guidebook to the deep healing that art can awaken.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“...a welcoming and inspiring invitation to reconnect with our own wisdom and creativity. By fusing mindfulness with the Expressive Arts, we are guided in awakening our senses, healing our heart, and freeing our spirit.”
—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and Trusting the Gold
“Drawing on her extensive experience, Rachel Rose shows how we can all access the creative process in order to improve our lives. Equal parts inspiration and practical instruction, [the book] skillfully demystifies creativity, offers a myriad of ways we can all tap into mindfulness through creative expression, and shows the healing power in doing so. It is an invitation and a guide to living a more peaceful life through a creative practice. I will pull this off my bookshelf time and again, and I think you will too.”
—Patricia Leavy, PhD, author of Method Meets Art
“In this timely and brilliant gift to the world, Rachel Rose offers a poignant invitation for all of us to embrace creative thinking in every area of our lives; to imagine, to heal, to grow. Through the processes of mindfulness, ritual, mark-making, surrendering, and opening our curious minds to seeing the possibility around us, Rachel emphasizes the importance of honoring both our individual stories and our interconnectedness to all things. In a world that has become disconnected and permeated with fear and anxiety, Creating Stillness is a welcome and wise balm for the soul.”
—Tracy Verdugo, artist, teacher, and author of Paint Mojo
“Creating Stillness successfully examines and combs through the inner workings of our emotional hardships in society’s current culture and climate, while also offering detailed insight on how to lift our heads up when we feel we have fallen. Rachel eloquently weaves her story into the narrative and instructs from a place of understanding, knowledge, and the empathy of a great and dear friend.”
—Alison Malee, author of The Day Is Ready for You and This Is the Journey
“In troubling times we seek solace, and if we’re lucky we find it. This book is solace; it’s a reminder that we’re capable of such staggeringly wonderful things if only we slow enough to finally see. One of the most frustrating and confusing aspects of creative work is that while the act of creation can create such stillness in ourselves, it so often requires such great stillness to create at all. This beautiful book helps to not only find that stillness and peace, but to truly embrace and celebrate it when it comes. What a stunning cycle when you unlock it. What a gift, this book.”
—Tyler Knott Gregson, poet, author, autistic
“I am often asked, what is the relationship between mindfulness and creativity? I am delighted now to be able to refer people to this wise and profound book. More than a simple ‘how to be mindful while making art’ manual, [it] explores the very nature of creativity itself and tackles relevant issues such as the nature of knowing and embodiment along the way. The book includes practical creative exercises I can’t wait to try. Highly recommended!”
—Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and author of The Little Book of Being