While there’s nothing modern about the concept of “mindfulness,” recently it has gained mainstream awareness. Its popularity, as Anderson Cooper has shown us, has arisen perhaps out of sheer necessity. Today’s culture demands that we stay technologically interconnected at all times, but our digital dependency actually makes us less connected to each other, to nature, and ultimately to ourselves.
In recent years, Fortune 500 CEOs, world leaders, and many of the most prolific entrepreneurs have begun to speak publicly about their meditation practices. From the cover of TIME to last week’s 60 Minutes segment, mindfulness is becoming a mainstream buzzword. At companies like Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Zappos, and Huffington Post, beginning a meeting with a moment of silence or creating a 30 minute meditation break during a productive workday is de rigor. Research shows that meditation not only increases productivity, but it can improve company morale, as well. Scott James, our CEO here at Moving Art, was initially motivated by the benefits in productivity to begin meditating twice per day. When he is working with Louie, it is common practice for them to meditate together before or after their work sessions.
Progressive companies are on to something. They understand their role and responsibility in shaping the technological landscape of the future, but they also realize that creativity and innovation come from focused, healthy minds. These companies are examples of progressive leadership, proving that technology and mindfulness DO mix, and we do not have to sacrifice our mental or physical health to succeed. When we leverage technology to bring us closer to our true nature, we have succeeded in the most modern sense.
Moving Art lives at the intersection of technology and mindfulness, using cutting edge film and digital technologies to connect audiences back to nature. Louie Schwartzberg’s Visual Healing initiative is based on the positive effects of nature on the mind and body, incorporating nature into everyday environments, such as offices, hospitals, hotels, and even education facilities.
Research shows that viewing nature for as little as ten minutes is as effective as meditation to reduce anxiety, stress, restlessness, and improve focus. Imagine the life-changing impact Visual Healing can have on people from all facets of society. From corporate decision makers to inner city youth, from prison inmates to worried family members in a hospital waiting room, the opportunities to improve lives through Visual Healing are endless.
Instead of seeing technology and nature as adversaries in an unwinnable war, we believe that together they can provide people with opportunities to improve their overall mental health. Creating technological spaces that incorporate the natural world will shift brain activity and behavior, bringing the mind into a calm, responsive, and focused state – the fertile foundation necessary for innovation and progress.