“Mindfulness is paying attention to the here and now. It is not about denying feelings or experiences, but being fully present with them.” Be Mindful, by Marie D. Jones
What are your thoughts about your experience over the last year?
Find a comfortable place to sit, take three breaths, and meditate on the following for as long as you would like.
Envision a loved animal companion or person that brings you joy and let that be the focus of your meditation today. Immerse yourself in appreciation and gratitude for this beloved presence.
From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
“When mindfulness is present,you will notice when you become stuck in thought patterns. It is that very noticing that allows you to back out of the thought process and free yourself from it.Mindfulness returns your attention to it’s proper focus.” Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
For this week’s meditation sit in a comfortable position, take three breaths read the following:
In the center of the circle I am aware of my thoughts. I am calm, I am peaceful, I can let go of negativity. I am calm, I am peaceful.
Continue to meditate on these words for as long as you would like.
I think everyone has times when they get caught in the cycle of negative thought.This process follows the pattern of a circle. Your thoughts take you back to the point that you started. If you symbolically stand in the center of that circle you can break the pattern of your thoughts. Your focus can be brought back to a point of awareness.
Have you ever experienced thinking in circles? What has helped you to step away from that process?
For this week’s prompt please respond with mixed media art, drawing, digital media, photographs and or writing.
“Then the whole range, much nearer now, paled into fresh splendor; a full moon rose, touching each peak in succession like some celestial lamplighter, until the long horizon glittered against a blue-black sky.”
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
The book Lost Horizon by James Hilton is one of my favorite novels. Three men and women traveling in a plane, crash on the side of a very high mountain. They are led to safety by a mysterious stranger to a imaginary Utopia of a Tibetan lamasery. The residents live extended lives and people practice the best of civilization living a peaceful existence in beautiful surroundings. The mystical setting of the story is named Shangri-La by the author.
For this prompt please select an imaginary place you have read about, saw in a movie, or create your own. Respond by drawing, painting, digital media, photographs and or writing about an aspect of that place. The ability of imagination is such an important part of ourselves as creative individuals. To be mindful of our imagination leads us to more creativity.
For your response to this week’s prompt make a creation that takes 15 minutes. As always your response can be art, drawing, digital media, writing and/or your photographs.
I love to create art. Sometimes all the other things I need to do get in the way. Days continue to go by and before you know it there is a layer of dust on all your supplies. Before it gets to the cobweb stage , you can start today to make some time to make art. Read below for “quick create” ideas.
When my children were little, and my life was full with work and the responsibilities of a family I would set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier than I needed to get up. In this time I would read before I got out of bed. It would take a long time to get through a novel, but I still accomplished finishing the book. Using the 15 minute method creating art can also be accomplished.
Many artist have posted about travel kits to take art on the road. You can also use this concept to make a “quick create” kit for home. All your supplies can be placed in a basket. Some ideas are artist trading cards, a small pad or journal, small sized tags, markers,gelatos, a small plastic envelope with ephemera, small squares of tissue paper, watercolors, scissors, a glue stick and a tape runner.
The definition of pattern in artwork is a decorative design with a repetition of elements.
There are patterns to see every day in our environment. For this prompt respond by creating and or writing about patterns. If you would like to expand on this theme incorporate the theme of the quote which is breaking established patterns in your life.
Repeating designs can give a sense of rhythm or movement when they repeat, they can also create pattern and texture in an object.
I like to take photos of patterns that grab my attention for later use in my artwork.
This scroll pattern was on the inside of an antique trolley.
This is a lantern, this a good example of a patterned design creating texture.
This photo is a roof, the flowers are an example of a repeating pattern.
Table napkins are a great source for patterns. Here the repeating swirl gives the sense of movement.
This photo is of a folding screen.The use of different patterns creates interest to the piece.
Coloring books are are a good reference for patterns.
This is a trellis in a garden. The lines of the object bring your eye to the different shapes of the leaves.
I drew out these patterns as a reference to use in my journal page. I always find it helps to have a source to look at when creating. It sparks my imagination.
I also enjoy trying different art techniques to avoid getting into a monotonous pattern of creating. When I try different techniques it causes me to think about my creative process in a new way.
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.”
“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.
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.