How paying attention to our senses can boost creativity and happiness
What a brilliant collaboration! Gretchen is a legend and I love her advice here to help us stay present. Thank you for bringing this into our Substack world! Looking forward to your live chat on the 30th! 😄
I've been having a hard time writing in the last few years, so I recently turned to all my fabric and yarn and just played with it. It's surprising what I've ended up making—nothing useful, or wearable—it's all just playing with colors and textures, how it feels in my hands, how the colors look together. It's kind of blowing my mind, and now I'm definitely trying this five senses exercise.
Will your talk be recorded? Because it will be in the dead of the night over here in Europe (2 o’clock in the morning)! 🙈😴
Thank you both for this interview! Going to the museum every day just blew my mind. It’s brilliant.
This has been such an inspiring post! I love projects and I love the five senses assignment. I tend to be in my head a lot, and it grounds me and helps me be present when I focus on what my senses are picking up. It’s the only way I can truly meditate. So thanks for this.
I have not read Gretchen's books but adding them to my 'reading' list. I love that the list is ever growing! The research team at Kimball International (where I work) has been partnering with Ari Peralta on sensory design and neuroscience and this seems to link to his research. Excited for this assignment.
PS - had fun with DrawTogetherGut this week!
I’m such a big fan of Gretchen! But you got one thing wrong - she has published 5 more books since the first Happiness Project. I’ve read all of them and have found them all very inspiring! Better Than Before and the Four Tendencies were truly life changing for me! I never made it through a full year long Happiness Project, but I think that’s because I’m an Obliger and I need accountability. Another reason why I struggle so hard to consistently practice my art.
This does make me want to start another series because having something specific I have to draw everyday makes it so much easier to just get something on paper. But I need to figure out how to do that AND complete GUT assignments and maybe do some of the online classes I’ve wanted so badly to accomplish.
Anyway, this is a fun prompt that I’m very much looking forward to. And maybe then I can try a consistency based project. Maybe 30 days?
ooh Gretchen Rubin, big fan! So looking forward to trying this exercise!
Hallo Wendy and Gretchen. Having read and enjoyed this piece, I feel motivated to place two comments. First is on Gretchen's inspiring drive and commitment to sharing and caring about the benefits of creativity in this stricken world. How it touches base with me and my own practice..... The other is your own interview technique, simple, beautiful, beats most of the raucous, sensational T.V. offerings. You have both given me some food for thought on two project planned for next year. Many thanks, and Peace from Maurice
What an inspiring and insightful read! "The Happiness Project" is one of the books that sparked the idea for my own personal 100-day art projects. I'm currently on my fifth round, and each time I change it up to allow myself to expand and keep exploring my curiosity.
Gretchen mentioned, "...that to create my best work, I do better when I work consistently; pouring out ideas is better for my creativity than dole them out with a teaspoon."
This makes me wonder if this is the reason why 100-day art projects work for me. They force me to be consistent, and I've stuck with them for five years in a row now. And as I read about her year-long projects and am reminded of her "Happiness Project," I'm toying with the idea of doing a year-long art project. So my head is spinning with fun ideas, and it's inspiring me to reread "The Happiness Project."
Thank you for sharing, Gretchen 💛
Well, that was just a splendid intro to Gretchen and her work! I hadn’t known of her before this, and now have more reading to do (happily)! Thanks, too, for the chance to lurk about in the GUT zone this month! I might need to try the senses assignment.