Mindfulness in creating a piece
The focus required in the making of a piece is, for me, an embodiment of Mindfulness. To sit with beginner’s mind….. a quiet mind…… attuning to one’s awareness…… before a warped up loom, allows an organic process to unfold. What arises is a much-treasured place of peace, a softening, a homecoming… an adventure from the heart – that place of softness and ease.
Mindfulness & Creativity Workshops and Retreats
I offer one day workshops on ‘Mindfulness & Creativity, Working from the Heart’ at my studio in Stoke Gabriel, south Devon. For more information, please see the flier below (click on it to enlarge, or right click and then ‘save as…’ to download it).
Testimonials from Workshop
‘I enjoyed the day with you and with the others. You created a gentle working and meditative space…so nourishing for me, thank you so much. I enjoyed too the warmth, the materials all so generously to hand and your teaching, the poems…………….. and your lovely lunch’ Denise R
‘Jo provided a warm welcome in her cosy cottage and was attentive to our needs throughout the day. We were nourished in every way! It was a treat to choose from such an array of yarns including some surprising and unusual ones. Jo was on hand to provide clear guidance on how to incorporate them with our ideas using various techniques. The mixture of mindfulness, self-compassion, and beautiful, thought-provoking poetry meant that we could really go with the flow and see what unfolded. A truly heartwarming day.’ Louise B
Please feel free to contact me if the retreat or a 1 day workshop might be of interest. It is my deep wish that others can experience and cultivate feelings of joy – vital to balance the suffering in life – through creativity.
Brief guided Mindfulness experience as part of exhibition
In my recent exhibition, one exhibit (a series of five) called Blessée, which is French for ‘wounded’, was placed behind a screen with an invitation to spend a short time alone with it, taking part in a brief recorded Mindfulness practice; many people found it deeply moving. (The piece has mosaic gold glass woven into the piece with steel wire.) When my work touches people in this way, and helps them to feel a connection with our common humanity, instead of feeling alone with the challenges that life inevitably brings, I am deeply moved and satisfied.
Mindfulness has been the subject of extensive scientific research. It is proven to be effective in helping to respond creatively to stress and other life challenges. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who devised secular Mindfulness courses for dealing with stress, defines it as ‘The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally, to things as they are.’ This is combined with certain attitudinal qualities, including patience, beginner’s mind, acceptance, and I would add generosity and gratitude. Research on Mindfulness has extended to include fascinating links to recent findings in neuroscience.
I am a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, a registered teacher of Mindfulness (following Good Practice Guidelines), a tutor on the University of Exeter’s Post-Graduate Mindfulness-Based Interventions course (where I have taught Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy groups in their Mood Disorders Centre), and am registered with the Health Care Professions Council.