Archive | July 2016

Prompt 32, Loving

 

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Please respond to this prompt by describing how you feel after showing yourself some loving kindness. Please respond with art journaling, digital media, writing and/or photographs.

The following is a meditation from the book, Mindfulness a Practical Guide by Tessa Watts:

“Have a sense of sending yourself good wishes, warmth and kindness. You could imagine giving yourself a warm blanket, a cup of tea, or whatever would make you feel happy and loved. You can say to yourself, either in these words, or your own words:

  • May I be safe
  • May I be happy
  • May I be free from suffering
  • May I be at ease

Spend few minutes feeling the essence of these words, and generating these feelings of loving-kindness for yourself. You may find this challenging and emotional, or awkward and artificial-don’t worry, just have a go and see what it feels like.”

Prompt 31, Trust

 

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For this weeks prompt respond by expressing your thoughts about trusting yourself through art journaling, digital media, writing  and/or photographs.

What follows below is taken from “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat -Zinn

I like the idea he has for practicing trusting in ourselves, it starts with one moment.

“Part of mindfulness practice is to cultivate a trusting heart. Let’s begin by looking deeply into what we can trust in ourselves. If we don’t immediately know what there is to trust in ourselves, maybe we need to look a little deeper, to dwell s little longer with ourselves in stillness and in simply being.”

” Perhaps we could experiment with trusting the present moment, accepting whatever we feel or think or see in this moment because this is what is present now. If we can take a stand here, and let go into the full texture of now, we may find that this very moment is worthy of our trust. From such experiments, conducted over and over again, may come a new sense that somewhere deep within us resides a profoundly healthy and trustworthy core, and that our intuitions, as deep resonances of the actuality of the present, moment, are worthy of our trust.” Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Prompt 30, Enthusiasm

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“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel positive energy.” Paulo Coelho

This week’s prompt ask you to mindfully think about how much enthusiasm you have for different activities. What effect does your level of enthusiasm have on your personal energy?

Of course this would seem like common sense. If we want to do something,we are going to have more energy. Mindfulness enters in when we take time to be aware of those levels of energy and it’s effects our mood and actions.

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The ocean is one of my favorite places to be. This photo is from a vacation we enjoyed in Maine. I had a very enthusiastic attitude that day as we were walking around the rocky shore, and of course my energy level was high!

With activities that I have less enthusiasm about I notice my energy level will become lower. Some things we have no control over, such as going to work. We may enjoy our job, but not all the task associated with it.  In the workplace and at home we can make some small adjustments to make those moments more bearable. At home we could space some of the less pleasant jobs out, with an enjoyable activity in between. In the workplace we could practice a minute mediation.

 

 

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Prompt 29, Wandering with Mindfulness

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This week’s prompt has two parts, you can respond to the first part and skip the second, or vice a versa, or do both.

The first part of the prompt ask the question, What have you discovered from wandering in different locations away from home? Featured below is my journal response. I have discovered beauty and peace. Sometimes the memories of  a beautiful sight I have had the pleasure of seeing, remains vivid. Certain places also have a feeling of peace about them. I like to recall those moments that seem to rest deep inside my soul. Wandering can led to a deeper sense of mindful awareness brought about by experiencing something that can be carried with you even after you return home. My journal page is a representation of a lily pond  I visited on a hot July day. There were dragon flies gliding over the pond and little frogs poking their heads up from under the lily pads. The lilies were white with a shading of pink, the sky was a sapphire blue, it was very quiet except for the high call of the June bugs.for prompt 29

The second part of the prompt ask for ideas about how you can travel with mindfulness, whether you are on a far away vacation or spending a day at a local park.

I decided the best way I can take mindfulness and art with me is to create a travel journal.

Here are some pages from my travel journal I made this week. I chose a small journal that would fit inside my purse. I completed some prep work to the book . I added scrap booking paper to some pages, to others I added card stock. I then added a layer of gesso and some paint.

I also cut out some images to use in the journal which I placed in a plastic pouch for easy carrying.  My travel art supply kit includes a paint brush, a pencil, an eraser, a pencil sharpener, a Sharpie, Pitt brush markers, Inktense pencils, a glue stick and a small travel watercolor set.

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Here are the images I cut out for later use in my travel journal.The pouch measures 7×9 inches.

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I covered the front of  the journal with paper. I like to pick a paper that has a design that I can embellish with markers.

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I cut this mindfulness quote out of a magazine and glued it into my travel journal.

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On these two pages I added a mindfulness quote and images. I left white space for drawing or writing.

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The last few pages are file folders, I found ones that I already had that fit perfectly. I put the file folders in to hold ephemera I find on my travels.There is also a pocket on the back flap for holding Artist Trading Cards.

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I created this completed page in my travel journal as an example, the inspiration for this  came from a vacation I took last year when I had a chance to see a pond full of lotus blossoms.

Prompt 28, Watching and the Creative Process

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For this prompt respond by answering the question: How does what you watch influence your creative process? This concept deals with watching in the sense that goes beyond looking, an example of this would be watching a play.

I planted this Lavender in my garden about 20 years ago. It grows just outside my kitchen door next to the path that leads into the house. When it blooms it is beautiful to look at and attracts bees and the butterflies. In “Living Buddha, Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh , he asks the question, What are you watching? When we watch anything we can imagine that we are taking in those images as seeds, they can be negative seeds  or positive seeds. “We will think and act out of those seeds.” If I am watching nature in my garden I am planting positive seeds, as it may inspire me to create a painting of flowers or a similar subject. Today I was inspired by watching the butterflies that were flying from flower to flower to create the page pictured below. I wanted to convey the idea of movement, at first I painted in circles that were perfectly round, I altered it by painting a top layer with a deeper shade of blue, and making the circles uneven. I added the dots to give the effect of the dabbled light that plays in the garden later in the day. I put down a base of watercolor and then stenciled over the page with a darker colored paint.The journal I am using is contains watercolor paper.

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Prompt 27,Talking with Yourself

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I took this photo on a beach in Maine just before sunset. The beach is my favorite place to think. The sound of the waves block out all the other noises forcing my thoughts to be the focal point at that moment. Mindfulness can be applied to the process of thinking too. We can just let our mind wander, sometimes negative thoughts may push their way to the front. Before you become totally aware of this process you are feeling down or have managed to get yourself in a bad mood. In the book,”Being Mindful”, the question is asked, “How often do you stop and think about what you are thinking?” It goes on to say, “Slow down an quiet the mind. Observe the thoughts that come in and out of your mind. Are your thoughts mostly negative or positive? Are they empowering or not?” Plato said, that thinking is the talking of the soul with itself. What type of conversation are you having with yourself? Could you improve it by being mindful of what type of thoughts you are having? Could you substitute negative thoughts with positive ones? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

This is my response to the prompt. I used a combination of watercolors, gelatos and paint markers. I used layers of images and colors to represent the complexity of thought. The last image that I created was the face, I first painted it with gesso, after it was dry I added the color.

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