This last year has been difficult year, mentally. And as a designer, creating new ideas with a fresh perspective has been distracting from being clouded from the pandemic and World events. I’ve been mediating and clearing my mind more, and came across “Beginner’s Mind”.
In Zen practice it’s called Shoshin – Beginner’s Mind. It’s an attitude of studying something or going into a situation without pre conceived ideas or perspectives on how we’re going to feel. Remember when you were a child, and your first experience seeing or experiencing something for the first time was with wonder and hope? Recapturing that feeling when looking at something without judging it first has become a challenge as an adult.
Shunryu Suzuki says “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” Taking a fresh approach to life can relieve pressures and give us awe again.
Ways to create Beginner’s Mind.
Here are some exercises to help gain fresh perspectives going into the New Year:
Be humbled by Nature. Really enjoy a sunset. Sit quietly – without judgement. Each color and movement will never be replicated again.
As a designer, I love create a color palettes from sunsets. I’m planning on doing that more this coming year.
Notice and appreciate small details:
At the grocery store, notice what’s in season. Some of the fruits and vegetables are so beautiful. Since cooking is back, eat seasonal.
I even create arrangements from fruit and vegetables.
Create simple flower arrangements with ribbon, or anything you can wrap around a jar, really. It’s a fresh take on flowers. Or, you can create arrangements with vegetables and flowers!
Get involved in Art. Go to an Art gallery or make Art stimulates the brain and has been known to help well-being.
Do something you haven’t done before. I’ve been dabbling in jewelry making as a hobby, and I address each piece without expectations. It relieves me of the pressure to create from an expert eye, and I can learn a lot along the way, and create something personal, and wearable.
Most times we look at things with preconceived thoughts or feelings from our point of view. I know that I’m guilty of that. In design, there’s so much intrinsic beauty in life’s details. It could be just the way the things are put together. it’s a great practice to look at something first, without judgement. Give “what you’re looking at” a chance. Clear your head. Put on your beginner’s mind.