When was the last time you were creative? And what does that mean to you? Art is not something to fear.
I enjoy teaching meditation mandala art as a form of mindful practice. The word "mandala" originates from ancient Indian traditions. It is loosely translated as "circle" and is used to represent wholeness. This contemplative practice is soothing to the nervous system as it deepens breath and enhances focus. It is a simple activity that requires just a few materials and it's adaptable to most settings. You can spend a lot of time on a mandala or doodle one quickly in the margin of any paper. Look below to see "Necessary Chaos", a mandala I created as I rode an inner wave of disappointment and anger.
> Here's an example of a doodled Mandala that you can create anytime with a pencil, pen, markers, crayons, paints, pastels, etc. Consider trying coloring or doodling as another mindful practice that brings you back to focus and provides a creative break in your busy day.
> Necessary Chaos
My Hidden Artist
It was during a difficult time that I found my inner artist. One especially stressful day I couldn’t settle and relax as I usually did when I arrived home. Resting, journaling, abdominal breathing, and my other “go to” self-care tools weren’t giving me any relief. I felt like I was boiling over with anger and disappointment. I could feel it hot and sharp through my chest, upper back and racing up and down my arms. I paced and fumed. I noticed a large canvas and some paints I’d purchased for an artist friend. I ripped the plastic off the canvas and exploded my emotions into waves and splats of paint. I immediately felt focused and became immersed with the feel of the brush in my hand, the sound of the brush moving against the surface of the canvas, and the colors. The result was the painting you see below titled “Unleashed.”
The colors and textures soothe and restore me.
I paint as a part of my own therapeutic process and contemplative practice. I have hung several of my paintings in my office. The colors and textures soothe and restore me. Painting is a mindful practice for me. I pay attention to my inner experience (thoughts, emotions, sensations) and allow myself to be where I am. I accept my emotions, notice my racing, critical mind with gentle kindness and focus on the colors and textures. You can see more of my paintings below and on the Shuptrines Gallery website. I believe we all have an inner artist whether we paint, write, sculpt, design, act, negotiate, plan, present, counsel, encourage, build/construct, teach, parent, etc. There is a creative element to all we do, especially our relationships.
> Janis and Billie