“In terms of research of things that really benefit us and keep us on an even keel, mindfulness research is just off the charts effective.”

—  Scott McBean


Creativity can be a lot of things: a way to make money, a way to bring joy… and even a mindfulness practice.

Pastor and mental health counselor Scott McBean treats creativity as a source of positivity and a powerful way to maintain his mental health. His creative practices are little things that bring him joy, such as playing guitar or doing family photography.

He also sees creative exercises as opportunities for mindfulness.

Scott is a strong believer in the physical and psychological benefits of mindfulness, which is about so much more than just meditation.

A few mornings per week, he’ll read poetry for 15-20 minutes and then write his own poem. 

For Scott, this exercise serves as a mindfulness practice.

“People often think that that looks like something like centering prayer, or sitting in silence and stillness, or counting your breaths and things like that. Those are mindfulness practices, absolutely, but mindfulness practices are also things that engage other senses, too,” Scott says. “Writing…  being out in nature… taking dedicated time to engage each of your five senses serves the same function as some kind of stereotypical mindfulness practice of sitting in silence somewhere.”

Painting, dancing, or even something like washing dishes can be practiced mindfully and creatively.

In‌ ‌this‌ ‌episode,‌ ‌you’ll discover:‌ ‌

  • How you can transform a surprising number of activities into mindfulness practices  
  • Why the ‘tortured artist’ trope exists — and how pain and creativity became linked 
  • What makes all the difference when it comes to creating good art v. mediocre art


About Scott McBean

Scott is a pastor and mental health counsellor at Northstar Community, a recovery ministry in Richmond, VA. He enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, and spending time with his wife Brittany and daughter Norah. 


Highlights:‌ ‌

00:28  About Scott McBean

01:31  “What is your ritual?”

03:03  Mindfulness & writing

04:46  Walking meditation & Brother Lawrence

06:16  Scott’s creative outlets

08:30  DADGAD tuning

14:06  Tortured life trope & risk-taking

17:46  Craftsmanship

18:44  Evolving relationship to creativity

20:26  Anxiety

22:02  What’s next?





IG: @scottishthings


Song: https://arundownhouse.bandcamp.com/track/a-passing-thought

DADGAD: Richard Thompson, Ed Gerhard, Michael Watts, Will Ackerman, Andy McKee, Don Ross, Kaki King, Colin Hay.

Special thanks to Emily Milling and the team at The Ultimate Creative and our business manager Erika Macauley.

Music for this podcast was recorded with producer Spencer Garn at Diamond Street Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Learn more at www.hollandcreative.io/ritual





IG: @conversioncopydesign