Featured on: Becoming Whole Podcast

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I had the opportunity to chat with Claire Bradshaw on her Becoming Whole Podcast about finding connection and flow through Yoga & Art.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What the flow state is and how to find it
  • How yoga and creativity has the ability to heal
  • How creativity is our birthright – it’s the journey rather than outcome that’s important
  • How to connect to connect to your flow state with namARTste
  • How the act of creation enables us to become more conscious
  • Plus one step that Lauren recommends that you can take to find a sense of connection to yourself

 

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Make yourself a cup of something warm and nourishing, maybe light a candle or some incense and cozy up for a listen.

Artificial Intelligence, The Third Industrial Revolution

Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic as of late, especially when it comes to how it will continue to impact the value of the individual within the work sphere.

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How do we maintain humanness within our given industries while machines become and continue to become an integral part of how we run our businesses day to day?

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Initially, the hairs on my arms stood up as visions from Terminator flicked projector- like through my mind. Reaffirming that the necessity for creativity to be at the forefront of what we do, whether in the business realm or in our everyday living has never been more essential.

When computers are able to perform the daily tasks of the individual, more efficiently and effectively it becomes vital to take a step back and ask ourselves.

If I need to spend less time and energy on day-to-day tasks, where is it that I can be of most value, what is it that makes me valuable and how can I cultivate this to meet the demands of a changing world?

During a clay run to Northcote Pottery, I stumbled upon Melbourne based ceramic artists’ Ben Landau and Lucile Scaillano who have found a delicate fusion between human and artificial Intelligence through the 3D printing of ceramics.

Through a residency at Northcote Pottery they combined human skill and experience with machine precision to create something quite sublime.

Ben poses the below questions in reflection of their project.

“3D printers, 3D scanners and laser cutters make up the tools of the current ‘third industrial revolution’. How will this disrupt the position of the craftsman and handmade objects in the next 20 years? Will every maker have a 3D printer? How can we protect the ancient and traditional knowledge of making, while keeping the door open to new opportunities 3D printing creates?

We developed a 3d printer to print with clay, but primarily intended to combine the strengths of 3D printing with the characteristics of other ceramic manufacturing techniques. We printed whole pieces, and also added parts to slip cast pieces. We combined different techniques, so we printed shapes which couldn’t be cast, and cast shapes which couldn’t be printed. For instance, a slip cast cup was transformed and improved with 3D printed parts – adding a handle or changing it into a tea pot. To do this, we analyzed typologies of ceramic tableware into base elements (cup) and added elements (handle). Then experimented with different manufacturing techniques on each element.”

-Ben Landrau

I love how Ben refers to this as the “third industrial revolution” because it is indeed that.

As we have always done in the past, we will no doubt evolve as a race to embrace our ever-changing environment man-made or other. 

As we do so, we will need to find a way to harness our innate creative potential and ability to see the Grey between the black and white, we will need to explore the territory of ethics with vigour and purpose.

We possess, as humans, consciousness- our ability and inclination toward that which is beautiful and true. That which is irreproducible, that which must be felt and touched with some other part of ourselves which cannot be replicated by a machine.

I wonder if the increase of artificial intelligence will in fact illicit a human revolution, where we are faced with the naked truth that there is in fact something sacred about our humanity, something worth preserving, something which goes beyond what we can see and touch. I wonder.  

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Featured on: The Sexy Love Project Podcast

"Which authors, artists, and musicians inspire you? Friends, entrepreneurs, actors? Lauren Howard-Tripp, entrepreneur, yoga teacher and founder of NamARTste, talks to us about how to access your full power, inspiration, creativity, and confidence through smart archetypes and ancient goddesses. Lauren has geeked out on the Goddesses for a number of years and will share with use who they are and how to utilise them in your everyday life."
-Caitlyn Cook, The Sexy Love Project

Honoured to be featured on Episode 5 of 'The Sexy Love Project Podcast' discussing The Archetypes of the Goddesses of Yoga.
This Podcast series explores how to feel more alive in your body, bedroom and life with Caitlin Cook, creator of The Sexy Love Project.

Other episodes include:
Esctatic dance meditation with Ruby Brown
Tips on touch, pleasure and relaxation with Claire MacDonald
Mindfulness, the body and relationships with Jossy Jimenez

You can find out more about Caitlin and Listen to the Podcast below:

Wellness as Creativity

Click image for Travel Writers'Radio Interview

Click image for Travel Writers'Radio Interview

“Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity. Creativity is so fascinating that when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of our lives”.
(Goff, 1993; Myers & Sweeney, 2005; Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000). 

During a recent interview for ‘Travel Writers Radio’ on my experience leading ‘Expert Wellness Workshops’ for LUX* Resorts in the Maldives and Mauritius, I was asked how Creativity correlates to Wellness.

My overly passionate views couldn’t help but ignite, over this obvious yet often overlooked link.

To me, these concepts are inseparable; I discovered this during a very dark period in my life after a divorce, where I struggled with anxiety and depression. It was my reconnection and engagement with my own innate creativity, which opened the doors to my ability to heal myself. 

For a time, I had moved back home with my parents, whom I hadn’t lived with in over 8 years. I remember opening one of my Dad’s old sketchbooks at the kitchen table and as I began to sketch on the blank forgotten pages, which had delicately yellowed with time, I felt the constant tremors from the anxiety begin to still.

For days I remained at that table, which felt like an island within the churning ocean of life. I filled the pages with lines, shapes and images as I gently reconnected the threads to a part of myself, which had long been abandoned.

Coupled with a daily yoga practice, and later, meditation, I found a sense of hope and built up the necessary resiliency to piece my life back together. 

I’ve not mentioned this as openly until now, but I want to be honest about my journey and the place of integrity and vulnerability from which namARTste arose.

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“Creativity correlates highly with a person’s overall sense of well-being and wellness”. (Goff, 1993; Myers & Sweeney, 2005; Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000). 

Because creativity asks us to tap into a dynamic, interactive and imaginative state of consciousness, we find both refuge and inspiration waiting for us. It builds our sense of competency, our desire to continue dreaming-up and inventing, to share an inner aspect of ourselves extrinsically. Building a bridge between the inner and outer landscape. We no longer keep things bottled-up, but rather have a healthy and theraputic way in which to express ourselves, which in turn, builds our overall sense of wellbeing.

“Henri Matisse, changed his artistic style because of intestinal cancer at age 70 from oil painting to doing paper cutout murals for the last 13 years of his life” (Zausner, 2007).

“His latter originality added to his reputation and his place in art history but more significantly, Matisse’s creativity added to his energy and outlook on life. Most likely Matisse’s creativity added to his longevity since he found a new purpose and outlet in life.” 
(Samuel T. Gladding, Creativity and Wellness)

Pale Blue Window (Vitrail bleu pâle), November 1948–January 1949. Henri Matisse

Pale Blue Window (Vitrail bleu pâle), November 1948–January 1949. Henri Matisse

It seems to me, to be a bit of a chicken versus the egg scenario. Does creativity feed wellness or does wellness feed creativity? Personally, I believe that regardless of which comes first, Creativity is correlated directly with wellness in that “it enables people to become healthier through:

  • Perceiving new worldviews,
  • Being innovative,
  • Co-creating
  • Strengthening their resiliency
  • Shoring up psychological and physical dimensions of their lives
  • Remembering and respecting the past, and
  • Taking control of their lives by keeping events in perspective.

 “Creative individuals are adaptive, intelligent, open, playful, determined, motivated, and have a wide range of interests as well as considerable energy. They gravitate toward environments that are supportive of their efforts or they find ways to devise and positively utilize the surroundings in which they live.” (Samuel T. Gladding, Creativity and Wellness)

Another important wellness factor, which has developed in my life, is the ritual of creativity. Taking the time to carve out the space in my day. Whether it’s getting out the paints for 30 minutes after a long day of work as the sun gently sets, or colouring with a cup of tea, writing in bed with an honest glass of wine, or allowing myself to be romanced by the light of a screen as ideas pour from my fingertips. These rituals add to my overall wellbeing, they feed me in a way which nothing else has ever come close to.

Science or no science,  life experience has led me to believe wholly in the practice of creativity as a cultivation of wellbeing. I see these two aspects as inseparable. Beautifully so. 

 “Overall, creativity and wellness belong together in the promotion of healthy human beings. they overlap. (Samuel T. Gladding, Creativity and Wellness.)

We spent three weeks touring LUX* Resorts in the Maldives and Mauritius sharing our Yoga & Creative Journals Workshops. Here is a snapshot into the work we did with LUX* Enjoy.

Life Uncoloured.

Artist: Richard Claremont

Artist: Richard Claremont

Oh life, you funny creature!

Sometimes you have me feeling oh so inspired and I wriggle about with the delight of being, other times, you have me feeling oh so blue, rather exhausted, irritable and well uninspired.

Immediately I think of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali –I’m a bit of a philosophy nerd.

The Yoga Sutras are verses or ‘threads’, which together construct the ‘manual’ to the Royal path of Yoga (Raja Yoga) written around 300BC.
Simply put, these verses hold knowledge of the path to enlightenment through the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.

Sutra 1.5 “Vrttyah pañcatayyah klistāklistāh” translates to “There are five kinds of mental modifications which are either painful or painless” (1)

Artist: Sally West

Artist: Sally West

Leaving the details of the 5 modifications aside, notice how Patanjali doesn’t say “These modifications are painful or pleasurable” he instead, purposefully leaves out the word pleasurable as he realised that pleasure and pain are opposite ends of the same dualistic spectrum.
If one feels pleasure then one too must feel pain.

He uses the word “aklistāh” which translates to “uncoloured” or “painless” alluding to the space between pain and pleasure. In this space of equanimity one neither allows the mind to fluctuate to the space of “oh so joyful let’s jump around like teenage girls” nor to “I want to crawl into a cave for the next 30 years” Instead we find solace in the space between.

Another way to think about this is as a white canvas. The pleasurable and painful states equate to a painted canvas, interpret, as you will. The painless state is the white untouched canvas. What can we see in a blank canvas?

Many of us (most) may be thinking “but I love the highs in life, I love feeling everything intensely, I love the painted canvas’ “
I hear you loud and clear, I too love the moments where life is just so blissfully unimaginably delicious, but perhaps Patanjali was onto something? The moments where I think back to feeling the most fulfilled or the most at peace have been the moments, which existed between the extremes.

Artist: Kate Shaw

Artist: Kate Shaw

Granted, Patanjali wrote the Sutras for the Sanyasi (spiritual recluse) not for the person immersed in living in this world. So perhaps for us worldly-types it means that we simply begin to have awareness of the height of the highs and the depths of the lows, noticing what the middle feels like, where in our lives we touch this middle equanimous ground.
Maybe we stay in the middle a little longer when we realise that the absence of Joy and the absence of pain may in fact mean the same thing.

Artist: Monica Rohan

Artist: Monica Rohan

Personally I’d love to invite Patanjali over for a cup of tea in my sea-foam polka dot tea cups with the roses inside (because I still have attachment issues and derive slightly too much joy from these teacups) and quiz him on this whole “life” thing.

In the meantime I’ve compiled some art pieces by some of my favourite Australian Artists as a little bit of Inspo and a little bit of JOY for the eyes.
Make sure to click through to their webpages for more eye candy.

Enjoy!

Artists: Gayle Napangardi Gibson|  Mina Mina Jukurrpa

Artists: Gayle Napangardi Gibson|  Mina Mina Jukurrpa

(1)Translation of Sutra 1.5 taken from Sri Swami Satchidananda, there are several other translations, which speak of the same principle but in different terms. 

Why is Creativity Important?

People often ask me, "What is it you do? Why is creativity so important?"

It's one of those words which we know on some level is absolutely vital to expressing ourselves to our fullest potential, yet it's also a word which we tuck way into the realm of " the arts" and reserve it for those artisticly-skilled few. 

The truth is though, that creativity is far more than artistic talent, skill or even passion. The Arts is just one of the ways in which to actively engage with creativity but in essence, creativity is the energy of life, the basis of the universe. It's how we've come to evolve as a species, it's how we individually express ourselves everyday in the smallest of moments, from the clothes we decide to wear, the conversations we have, the connections we make, to the way in which we present a meal for a friend. It's the driving force of taking that first step towards that which calls to us, that which terrifies and excites you at the same time. It's the way we interact with one another, the way we choose to live our lives. It's the entire feminine principle of expression and form - within the masculine principle of awareness. 

The more I sit with creativity, the more ambiguous it becomes. It's difficult to pin point it as any one thing because it seems to me, that it is in fact everything. 

 

It seems unnecessary to explicitly answer "Why creativity is important?" but rather to pose a few questions to you. 

Find some quiet space with a pen and paper/journal and a cup of something warm and nourishing. 

1. How do you define Creativity?

2. Where do you feel creativity shows up in your life?

3. Is there a time you remember when you felt the most creative? how did that feel? What were you doing?

4.. When was the last time you saw a creative project to fruition? 

5. Were there any fears, doubts, obstacles or beliefs which arose while moving through the process of creation?

6. Why do you think it may be important to move through this process and unpack what arrises?

7. How do you think you can move through these blocks, fears, limiting beliefs so that you can create from a place of personal power and joy, so that you can trust the process of creativity?
 

Take a few moments in meditation, then read through your answers. Is there anything that surprises you about your answers? 

Why do you think creativity is Important?

Join the conversation!
We would love to hear some of your musings and responses. If you'd like to share with the community you can comment below, connect via Facebook or email us at: info@namARTste.com.au 

Escape with Creativity

Imagine taking a holiday with Creativity.

Imagine taking a holiday with Creativity.
The both of you would board your flight, you would sit beside one another in that most comfortable of silences. Creativity would gently nudge you to look at her favourite Pinterest pins and your eyes would sparkle. You would share snippets from your book with her and in return she would pose questions which would spark Wonder’s ears.

Perhaps you and creativity landed on a minuscule island in the middle of the indian ocean with sand sugary white contrasted against the pale yet luminous blue of the sea. Creativity would take your hand, she would gently begin to remove the layers you had gathered from the outer world, leaving you raw and open to the calls of her flighty friend Inspiration. Suddenly the three of you are engaged in long conversations to the music of waves and the gentle rustle of wind in the trees. Best of all, Time would dance with you, a slow lustrous dance, the kind that leaves you feeling confident, coordinated and sexy.

There would be no one to disturb this dance, this conversation, your biggest worry would be how to bike back to your room with a coffee in hand. Luckily Creativity’s got your back.

Perhaps though, you and Creativity arrived in Tuscany. Well, Creativity would guide you to the nearest table for one, She would whisper how beautiful you looked as the Tuscan sun illuminates your hair, the sounds of far off accordion fill your ears, and you, well you, have glorious undisturbed hours to commune with that Thing. You know the one, the one which calls to be made. That thing you desperately love, the hot passionate romance with the Thing which got you into this little partnership with Creativity in the first place.

Creativity is the perfect travel companion. She is the silent entertainer, she doesn’t hinder your plans, she doesn’t get moody, she listens, she follows, she leads, she uncovers, she supports,  she gives you space, she is the ultimate explorer.

It doesn’t quite matter where in the world you and Creativity land, perhaps you’ve both decided to have a ‘Staycation’ for the weekend. Just the two of you snuggled in warm flannelette sheets, cups of tea in bed, the sweet sounds of Jazz echoing through the house.

Regardless of what the two of you have decided, Creativity is the perfect travel companion. She is the silent entertainer, she doesn’t hinder your plans, she doesn’t get moody, she listens, she follows, she leads, she uncovers, she supports,  she gives you space, she is the ultimate explorer. See, Creativity doesn't care what you do or how, She cares about helping you to create your best life, the life where her and the gang are ever present.

This is Muse Retreat,  6 days, 5 nights of luxury in Ubud, Bali with Creativity and her Gang; Inspiration, Wonder, Time and the Thing.

The two of you will spend your days eating delicious food, doing yoga and meditation, you will have conversations, mentorship and workshops which will inspire you both.

If you and Creativity are ready to take a holiday together, then this is the retreat for you.

'Flow-State' and Creativity

FLOW ENABLES US TO MOVE INTO THE EXPEREINCE OF BEING IN THE MOMENT AND TO ENGAGE FULLY WITH THE MOMENT AND OUR INNER DESIRES.

The 'Flow State' is defined as an "optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best"
When we are in flow we are no longer reactive to stimuli but rather are able to respond to our environment and the challenges before us. This state of consciousness has been found to have a tremendous effect on Creativity. 

When we are in Flow, the world is no longer seen as a stressor but rather as a playground in which to explore and interact creatively with one-another and our expereince. 

Flow states enable us to step away from the notion that we are separate, it enables us to loose our sense of self-consciousness, judgement, beliefs around fear and our limitations. It enables us to move into the experience of being in the moment and to engage fully with the moment and our inner desires. 

This is why Yoga and Meditation are such a big part of how we explore Creativity at NamARTste. 

Through various studies it has been shown that this 'Flow state' "doesn't just heighten creativity in the moment, it heightens it over the long haul. In other words, being in flow actually trains us to be more creative."

Neuroscience tells us that Flow is the product of profound changes in brain function. We move from Beta brainwaves to Alpha brainwaves (responsible for day-dreaming). This allows us to slip between thoughts and to "combine ideas in radical new ways"

Flow is also caused by a temporary deactivation of the pre-frontal cortex called "transient hypofrontality" which is responsible for our detachment from our egoic sense of self.

Lastly, while experiencing flow, our bodies release a tremendous amount of performance-enhancing, pleasure-inducing chemicals which are responsible for feelings of happiness, acceptance and well-being. 

Creativity made the top of the list for most desirable skills for the Twenty-First Century. Creativity is seen as essential for todays Leaders and for those of the future.
I think it's safe to say that investing time in experiencing "flow" and exploring what arises within this zone is not only fun and enjoyable but an investment in your overall well-being. 

Steven Kotler of 'Psychology Today' discusses the results of several studies from Harvard University and an Australian study which looks into the neuroscience behind what we call the "flow state" and how this is linked to creativity and ultimately happiness. 
To read his findings click on the link below. 

CREATIVITY MADE THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR MOST DESIRABLE SKILLS FOR THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

 

 

 

To Sunsets :: A most delicious Hello.

SO HERE WE FIND OURSELVES. ON THE PRECIPICE OF NEW BEGINNINGS, NEW MOMENTS, NEW LOVES, NEW HEART ACHES, PERHAPS OLD ONES TOO. NEW FRIENDS, NEW CHANCES, NEW SUNRISES. BUT FIRST, LET US ENJOY THE SUNSET.

We find ourselves at the end of yet another chapter.
A metaphorical closing,
a folding,
a storing on the top shelf of this beautiful cabinet we call life. 

 

I smile at these moments past which have painted themselves in my mind. Knowing they are just that.
Memories.
Stories we will tell ourselves perhaps far into the future. 

My intention for this fresh-canvas year is to not only be fully present as often and as wholly as possible, but to live each of these moments as if I were thirsty for them.

I also hope to be conscious of the imprint they leave on me and to recognise the power of perception.
Our mind is ultimately the place where these memories become preserved in gold or turn sour. 

MY INTENTION FOR THIS FRESH-CANVAS YEAR IS TO NOT ONLY BE FULLY PRESENT AS OFTEN AND AS WHOLLY AS POSSIBLE, BUT TO LIVE EACH OF THESE MOMENTS AS IF I WERE THIRSTY FOR THEM.

I want to explore the terrains of this inner landscape we call the mind, I want to really look, really feel, really create, REALLY be. real.
I want to sip slowly on each moment knowing that stories aside, this moment, right now, is life. 

Could it be that we are simply here to witness the extraordinary beauty of being, and is this enough?

So, here we find ourselves.
On the precipice of new beginnings,
new moments,
new loves,
new heart aches, perhaps old ones too.
New friends,
new chances,
old dreams,
new sunrises.
But first, let us enjoy the sunset. 

Here's to 2016, here's to you, here's to me.
Here's to a Goodbye which precedes a most delicious Hello. 

A Home Practice :: Closed-Eye Drawing

We just wrapped up our final workshop for 2016 with our Art & Yoga Series: Creative Journaling led by Lucy at the Work-shop Melbourne space in Fitzroy.

It has been an exceptional year for us. From the moment we launched in February the Melbourne community has embraced us. We have continually grown along side you, questioning and exploring as we co-create this beautiful exploration of the union of the Arts & Yoga.

It is because of you that we can share what we are most passionate about. So we extend a massive virtual hug and our gratitude to the community, we love you so much!

We have some pretty special announcements coming in the next month. If you aren't already signed up to our Newsletter pop into our homepage to sign up to stay in the loop. We can't wait to share!

Here is our little GIFT to you- A little at-home practice that you can try in your Journals. 

Perhaps after a home yoga practice with a glass of your favourite summer smoothie. (If you don't have one there is a recipe below for a Mango green tea smoothie- it's delish!)

 

 Closed-Eye Drawing

Materials:
Journal/Paper
Pencil/Pen
Smoothie (optional)

With your journal in front of you and your pencil in your hand, find a comfortable position and close down your eyes. 
Begin by noticing the breath, how is the breath moving through your body? Is it getting stuck anywhere? Are you able to soften into these places with gentle surrender?
Feel the weight of the pencil in your hand, notice the texture, is it soft or hard, cold or warm, smooth or rough?
Bring the pencil to your page and begin to draw from your memory/imagination. There is no ideal and no perfection seeking here, simply explore the way the pencil feels as you begin to make marks on your page. If an object or image begins to emerge allow it to do so letting go of the idea of perfection.
Allow this drawing to be an exploration rather than a product. Feel the vibrations from the pencil as you draw, feel these vibrations in your finger tips, palm, wrist, forearm, how far do these vibrations go?
When you feel finished with this exploration. Pause, take a moment to reconnect with your breath. Feel into the body. How do you feel? More or less calm, more or less stressed than when you began?
Take a full inhale into the belly, fill up the chest. Pause. Release with a sigh. Perhaps do this two or three times. 

When you're ready gently open your eyes and smile at inspiration and what has flowed through you. (Take a long sip of your smoothie) 

Benefits – Amongst a great multitude of others- benefits include exploring beyond the ‘should’ and the obvious path. What else can you do that might make a difference / shed new light on the same thing? This can be a practice of meditation, and a form of physically shifting mindset. The events we encounter are neutral - neither good or bad - it is our thinking that makes it so.

Journaling is a way to process the mixed bag of emotions, thoughts and memories that accumulate in our minds each day - the cocktail that intoxicates our bodies. By bringing clarity to what it is that we are focused on, and recognizing our subconscious tendencies or intentions in a given moment/day, we can break the loop of habitual patterning, and guide ourselves back towards our center. 

Enjoy xo

Much love and blessings for the Holiday Season and the New Year.