Archives

Prompt 52, Gifts

the-meaning-of-life-is-to-find-your-gift-the-purpose-of-life-is-to-give-it-away-8

We all have different gifts. When we are mindful of the gifts we have it enables us to find a way to share these gifts with others. You may have the ability to calm someone down when they are upset, maybe you are a fantastic cook and your culinary creations bring comfort to your family, your art can touch others, your wisdom can be a guiding light to those that are lost in the darkness of problems, you may have the patience to teach a skill to someone in need. The ways in which we can share the beauty of who we are, are too numerous to list!

Thank you for the gift of spending this past year with all of you. I have gained insight and wisdom from your thoughtful and beautiful responses to the prompts. I hope that this group has been a gift to you also and that it has helped you in some way.

I close this year of mindfulness with some words to mediate on:

First, believe in this world- that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful.” Be Mindful by Marie D. Jones

Let us find ways to make those words true, let us share peace, understanding and the gifts that we were blessed with.

Save

Prompt 47, Pausing

pausing

When we are rushing we may feel that we are like the bird in the quote, that everything is giving way. That is why it is so important to pause, to rest, to remind ourselves that we have inner strength. Respond by creating a bird and your thoughts on the concept of pausing. Another option for the response could be a photograph of a bird and written words.

Find a comfortable place to sit, take three breaths and meditate as long as you would like. This meditation is from Be mindful, by Marie D. Jones

“Pausing in the rushing and chaos of my day, I stop and breathe deeply. closing my eyes, I bring my focus into the present, mindful of exactly where I am in this moment. Here, I rest for a while, just breathing. I am totally present and aware of my surroundings. My focus is sharp and my mind is clear. From this place of presence, I finish my day with clarity and calm.”

Prompt 46, Clutter

clutter

When I am in a hurry or just don’t feel like it I will not match my socks and just pile them into the dresser drawer. A few days later when I am in a hurry and have run out of matching socks, chaos is happening! I first rummage, then socks are flying out of the drawer, finally in frustration I dump the drawer out on the bed.

Mental clutter in our heads can lead to the same results, frustration and possibly a feeling of anxiety. What can we do to clean away some of that mental clutter?

One idea is to make a list of different thoughts that you feel are cluttering your mind. Are they problems? Is there any possible solution? Another option is to create a collage. Flip through magazines and find images that represents your thoughts. After your collage is finished you can use a marker such as a Sharpie and journal or doodle.

Sit comfortably, take three breaths and meditate for as long as you would like.

This meditation is from Be Mindful, by Marie D. Jones

“Free the mind from clutter. Let thoughts drift off like clouds. Think only these things: love,peace, joy. Continue to breathe slowly and be with that one thought.”

Prompt 44, Yellow,Green and Red

mandala

Certain combinations of colors can create a dramatic effect.Yellow, green and red are one of those combinations. For this prompt use the colors yellow, green and red in your response. You may respond using mixed media, drawing, digital media, photographs and/or words. If you are responding with writing you can express how these colors make you feel or what do you think of when you see these colors.

 

What follows are some exerts from the book Color, A natural history of the palette, by Victoria Finlay

 

saffron_flower_3097101b

 

One of the of the sources of the color yellow is Saffron. “There is something magical about the saffron crocus. One evening the sun goes down on a bare field, then as if from nowhere the flower appears overnight, blooms for a morning, and then by the end of the day is gone.”

Yellow is a cheerful color reflecting happiness and a positive state of being.

 

 

green-bowl

“There was once in China a secret color.It was so secret that it was said only royalty could own it, It was found on a very special kind of porcelain, which was called mi se, meaning mysterious color. During the ninth and tenth centuries when it was made, and for hundreds of years afterward, people would wonder what it looked like, and why it was such a secret.”

Green  is a color that symbolizes harmony and nature.

 

dress

 

“A fashion statement in medieval Europe was to wear clothes made of a new cloth, imported from central Asia. The cloth was called scarlet. But the curious thing is scarlet wasn’t always red. Sometimes it was blue or green or occasionally black, and the reason that in English, scarlet now means red is because of the dye kermes.” (This  section was paraphrased.) Kermes is a scaled insect.

Red is a color that represents energy and passion.

This week’s Meditation:

Sit comfortably. Take three deep breaths, reading the following words, sit for as long as you would like thinking of what those words mean to you.

I am love and light. I am peace and harmony. I am happiness and joy. I am strength and courage. I am surrounded with goodness. This goodness will flow outward to others I meet.

 

Prompt 42, Something New

new-2

For this week’s prompt respond by journaling about something new you tried or describe your thoughts about the experience of trying something new. You may respond by creating with mixed media, drawing, photographs and/or writing.

soup

At one time I decided I wanted to try a new restaurant in my area. I had never used chopsticks before. The waiter could see I was struggling to figure out how to use them, he was kind enough to give me some tips. As I was trying to pick up the noodles I noticed or was mindful of the chopsticks in my hand, the way the noodles slide off them back into the soup, my frustration, my laughter, and finally how hungry I was. I kept trying and eventually managed to finish the meal. Of course after years of eating with chopsticks I no longer pay attention to the process.

I think the feeling of being conscious of our ability or inability to perform a new task is at once why we feel positive and negative about the process. In feeling conscious of not being able to do something, we naturally want to turn away, as we may feel we will fail. If we instead can look at it as a new beginning. A chance to see if we will enjoy it or not. To learn. Besides using the chopsticks it was my first time trying this type of soup. I wondered what flavor does this have, what are the ingredients, is it too  spicy or salty? It is now one of my favorite foods.

In Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana,  the author is speaking about the meditation process, I think the following words below from the book can also be applied to the concentration we experience when we are trying something new.

“Deep concentration has the effect of slowing down the thought process and speeding up the awareness viewing it.The result is the enhanced ability to examine the thought process. Concentration is our microscope for viewing internal states. We use the focus of attention to achieve one-pointedness of mind with calm and constantly applied attention.”

Save

Prompt 41, Character

stack-of-books-great-education

The University of California studied the affect of a two week mindfulness course on the   reading. After practicing mindfulness it was noted that mind wandering had decreased, cognitive performance and reading comprehension had improved, as did working memory capacity.

Please respond to this week’s prompt by depicting  a positive character from a book you have read or movie you have watched. You may respond through mixed media journaling, drawing, digital media, writing and or photographs. I think that being mindful of the characters in books and movies helps us to realize more about other people.

spices-2

The character I choose was Tilo from the book Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

Tilo is taught the ancient art of spices by other women that possess the special healing power that is passed on to the main character. Tilo is sent to Oakland, California  where she becomes the proprietress of a spice shop. Her true appearance is not shown, she appears to be an very old woman to her customers.She dispenses spices as curatives and timeless wisdom to help others solve life’s problems to the people who visit her shop.

Tilo needs to make a life difficult changing decision as the story comes to a conclusion. I consider Tilo a positive character as she grows and becomes strong from learning from a society of women. She demonstrates wisdom and knowledge as she helps the different people who enter into her shop. People are grateful to her and respond to her in positive way. Her skill and compassion transcends any preconceived notion of beauty. She is who she is weather she appears as a young or an elderly person. She represents the strength of women and their ability to make a difference in the world.

When I first started creating this page, I had no idea who the women was that was appearing on the page.  As I continued I realized that it was the vision that I had in my mind of what Tilo looked like. I find it amazing that people who read the same book, imagine the appearance of a character differently than another reader. I have watched movies after I read a book and thought, that is not what that character is supposed to look like!

Looking forward to seeing what characters you choose!

Save

Prompt 40, Spark

spark

Some definitions of a spark are “a specified quality or intense feeling” or ” a catalyst that brings about change or action.” A creative spark is something that helps us to think of artistic ideas. For this week’s prompt please photograph or list images that sparked your creativity and then apply it to your journal response, through mixed media art, drawing, original photographs and or writing.

Looking for images can be connected to mindfulness. In “Mindfulness in Plain English” by Bhante Gunatatana, he says the following, “Deep concentration has the effect of slowing down the thought process and speeding up the awareness of viewing it. The result is the enhanced ability  to examine the thought process. Concentration is our microscope for viewing subtle internal states. We use the focus of attention to achieve one-pointedness of mind and with calm and constantly applied attention. Without a reference point you get lost, overcome by ceaseless waves of change flowing round and round within the mind.”

The activity for this week’s prompt involves deep concentration, you have to slow down enough to take the time to look for images, when you decide what images to use it will  help you examine your thoughts, and it will give you a reference point for your creative process.

This morning I was looking through the Sunday newspaper and my scrap box . I selected images that helped spark my creativity. I was attracted to some because of the color combinations, others by their patterns and some by the possibilities they presented for inclusion in a collage. Below is my response to this week’s prompt.

dsc01826

These are the images that I clipped out of the paper that influenced my creative choices in the collage I created.