Tag Archives: Creativity

Happy Spontaneous Me!

This week we hosted our Yoga In Action workshop, Happy Spontaneous Me! in collaboration with Chorlrton Arts Festival.

This is real YOGA. Otherwise know as the Yoga of Action.

It’s like an active meditation. Where we merge being and doing into one. We use simple techniques such as repetitive and flowing mark making as a way of connection moment to moment with what we are doing. We use this as ‘flow’ producing activity that everyone can do.

Its fun. But it’s also a serious practice. In many ways this is advanced yoga!

Don’t worry though… This is yoga practice off the mat and into the realm of everybody lives. It teaches you to take notice, observe and be in harmony with what ever you are doing. Sometimes called the science of autotelic experience, or ‘flow’ is when we fully direct and our consciousness into and with whatever we are doing purely for its own sake.

The experience is spontaneous happiness and joy. In yoga science Happy Spontaneous Me points to a deeper form of yoga practice called Karma Yoga or the yoga of action. This is essential and fundamental practice is where we change of mode of thought from trying to exert force over what we do towards a desired result to aligning out action to our inner harmony and intuition.

Most people confine themselves to never ending treadmill of expectation, desires, and rewards. It causes frustration, anger, jealousy and unhappiness. But its possible to step off the treadmill, still be in the world but free once we learn know where real happiness and creative contentment is.

But I am not creative…I cant draw. Oh yes you can.

Everyone can, that’s the whole point. The fact is that when you are in your yoga flow self-created expectations, desires or limiting feelings about oneself are stilled. They simply do not matter. You will feel in total control, present and fulfilled. In the workshop emphasis is letting go, observing and learning to finish meaning and joy in the ongoing experience of the workshop tasks.

During the workshop we learn to:

  • Understand how to make any activity into a flow or yoga experience.
  • Unlock your creative flow and liberate your inner joy
  • Develop a sense of meaning, effortless control and involvement in what you are doing.
  • Discover a deeper a sense of self and purpose.
  • Feel what it means to be totally present and not lost in an imagined future or past.  

The term autotelic derives from the Greek with, ‘auto’ meaning, self, and ‘telos’ meaning goal or task. In yoga we would call this ‘Being and doing’ or more accurately karma yoga, yoga of action where work is done not with some future reward or expectation in mind but just for the sheer joy of doing it.

When we pay attention to the activity for its own sake, not thinking about consequences or we fall in to the present.

We are in our own yoga state or ‘union’ – the goal of yoga. We are the conduit for the Flow producing activity.

 

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Spontaneous stuff….

This week we managed to put the Spontaneous Places exhibition over at the RIBA Hub. The Preview is on Tuesday evening 5.30 – 8.00pm. This is your invitation to come along…we have wine!

The work is simply stuff I do in the basement. Its intuitive and spontaneous, hence the title and its really about the process rather than the product. I rely on found material to shape these places. An assembly or a drawing starts with things coming together without a plan. You see things, stumble upon them. Its mostly accidental  but you seem to know how it works. Shapes, forms and lines intertwine, collide and intertwine again…you don’t know why this happens. It just pours out. Very much like the wine!

See you on Tuesday…

Preview…

Here are two shots of Passport Office. I think it might be finished now. Built around the carcass of a kitchen cupboard I found in a skip.  Most of the over skin is made of found objects painted with textured external paint. If you look closely you will find some small figures standing on the roof.

The name is a reference to Apollo House in Croydon which used to be the UK Passport Office. Built in the late 60’s it too has a wonderful wing on its roof.

Passport office 2Passport office

Happy By Design…

Earlier this week I was invited to give a talk on well being and urban design for the North West Region RTPI event, ‘Planning for a Healthy Future’.

Pages from Happy by design talk5

This is a subject I have been interested in for some time. Based on the New Economic Foundation’s 5 Ways to well-being the talk proposed  a new  approach and methodoogy for making new and happy communities. You can download it here: Happy by design

There is huge anmount of work being done on Happiness at the moment. It ties very closely with the emerging Mindfulness work which is spreading across the internet and, it seems, Waterstones in Deansgate.

For me its liberating and could be the basis for new ways of talking about design and place making over and above the usual design guidance we have. Its also very inclusive in that invites other professionals to get involved in design, particularly from the health sector. The 5 ways also puts the advantage back onto the developer and their design team to think more freely and  creatively about how we can make lasting places. I have always thought design guidance should invite and encourage what could be done rather than what can’t be done.

 Stay happy.

3 months in…

Today MTUD has been in business three months. It’s going well.

Being back in the city I have made contact with all my old friends, collaborators and colleagues. The new office is great too and I have made friends with barista in the new Albert Square Costa…

Projects are growing. I am working on an interesting strategy for Sandwell Country Park with the Leisure Consultancy, which seems to be leading to more work focusing on concept making and feasibility work.

I am also back designing churches with a nice project in Chorlton.

I am also out, giving talks and workshops. Last month saw me leading a workshop on well being at Lancaster University and next week I am giving a talk entitled Happy by Design for the NW Region RTPI event, ‘Planning for a Healthy Future’, at BDP on well-being and place making. This will be the first time I have put together well being as set out by the New Economics Foundation and place making design tactics…watch this space.

I have finally joined the establishment too. I have just been elected an Urban Academician (about time too) and then directly got roped in as local helper.  I have also become an Affiliate of the RTPI and an Ambassador for Placed based in Liverpool.

I am still drawing and making too. Here is the view from drawing table…

City view