dot 13: mind[ing]

‘Not everything is possible at all times, and certain thoughts can only be thought at certain stages of development’

Heinrich Wölfflin (1864-1945)

Heinrich Wölfflin’s work on aesthetics appeals to me because of his psychological interpretation of the creative process. It speaks of an open and flux-like state which defies that ideas, interpretation and thought processes be cast in stone. According to Wölfflin, development of thought processes happen at certain stages of development. This idea is of great comfort to me as it reminds me that creative growth is a process based in time-space. I am also reminded of the adolescent brain which research shows ‘is very much a work in progress’. The idea that thought development is a bit like climbing Mt. Everest appeals to me. It just depends where you are right now.

My struggle is not about not thinking though. I often think too much (see dot 9: thinking). Most of my adult creative life has been an internal thought-battle as I fight off – what seems to me at times – like a never-ending infiltration of negative thought-patterns.  Eric Maisel (PhD) is at the forefront of addressing hurdles that potentially hinder your creative achievements. In Making your creative mark: nine keys to achieving your creative goals Maisel clearly states that ‘If you do not continually monitor the quality and kindness of your thoughts, you can’t possibly lead your best life in the arts’. To do this, Maisel says:

Your first task as a creative person is to “mind your mind”and to think thoughts that serve you

Although mind[ing] sounds simple to execute, it is not. Initially it is utterly exhausting to be attentive to one’s thought processes: listening and questioning whether a particular thought is beneficial to one’s greater creative good. However, acquiring the mind[ing] skill is perfectly possible. It just takes time and practice. In my own studio I have dedicated a certain shelf to authors that remind me to cherish and nurture my most important asset, my mind.


Further reading:


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