How Meditation Boosts Your Creativity (There's A Price to Pay)

Photographer Nick Onken's weekly podcast ShopTalk Radio is one of the first shows that got me hooked on podcasts for the long-run. Inside, he interviews some of the world's most successful personalities (Usher to Jeff Staple) to find out what drives and sustains the creative entrepreneur lifestyle.

In this episode featuring former broadway actress-turned-meditation instructor Emily Fletcher, they touch on a lot of the neuroscience behind the practice and how it legitimately works to boost creativity. I recommend a full listen to the interview at the podcast's official site, but here are some of the highlights:

Photography by  Justin Sullivan .

Photography by Justin Sullivan.

On the dark side of meditation [21:20]

"Meditation is not feels like magic because when you get rid of stress in your body so many incredible things happen, but there's a price for that. And the first price that we pay is the time we invest in the meditation practice itself...
...The second price that we pay for meditation is sitting in and being comfortable in the uncomfortability of letting that stuff come up and out. Sometimes it's very intense..."

Things she likens this to:

  • a detox for your nervous system
  • a facial for your soul
  • a juice fast or a cleanse


On how meditation affects performance and creativity [34:50]

"I [had] started looking to my career to validate me - it was like I was having to prove myself to myself, or to everybody else. And that to me is an addiction is any time you look to something outside of you for your fulfillment."
Meditation gives you access to that thing you think you are chasing, inside of you.
— Emily Fletcher

Things you may think you're chasing (stand-ins for fulfillment):

  • a deal
  • an accolade
  • a larger following
  • a famous co-sign
  • another zero in the bank account (especially this).
Instead of your art becoming an addictionyour art becomes a means by which to deliver your fulfillment. You wake up. You meditate. You fill yourself up with bliss, fulfillment, adaptation energy, joy, creativity; and then you use your art as a means by which to deliver that.
You cannot fulfill yourself with money or food, or sex or Facebook or awards. It’s impossible. And yet we’re all trying...

Fletcher offers in-person meditation courses in NY and LA. She also shouts out a book by Deepak Chopra I'm reading right now called Perfect Health you can check out here.