Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading my blog and taking this journey with me. I wish you much abundance in the coming year and an inspirational journey in your creative endeavours.
Every year at the beginning of the year, one thing I do is to choose a word to embody something I wish to focus on for the coming year.
What will you focus on for 2020? If you had to choose a word, what would it be? As I’m holding a series of workshops on Art for Anxiety in 2020, I’m thinking that mindfulness might be my word for 2020.
Mindfulness has become something of a catch cry in recent times and the problem with that is that once a fad wears off we forget about it, whether it has value or not. This is one of those things that it would be better to hold on to rather than letting slip through our fingers.
One of the foundations of the mindful practice, is that of being present and consciously engaged in each moment that we are being. We are after all human beings. Or humans being.
But how often do we stop to just be? As an artist, this is a really important thing for me to remember. Why?
Because I am a more effective artist if I have a deeper understanding of my subject. Even if you are an abstract artist, if you understand where that abstraction is coming from your art will have more connection both to yourself and others.
If on the other hand your art is based in some version of reality, the deeper your connection to that subject the more insight you will bring to the canvas. It is through deep understanding that we tap into something bigger than ourselves and greater things are revealed upon the canvas.
So how do I practice mindfulness you might ask? One of the foundational aspects is connecting to your breath. Breathing is something we largely take for granted, little realising the treasures it holds when we begin paying attention to it and working with it.
When was the last time you sat in nature, with your bare feet on the ground and took some slow deep breaths? Although admittedly, in Australia at the moment deep breathing outside is not to be recommended. Today there is so much smoke in the air that its hard to see over the nearest hill. If this is your reality, you might have to breathe inside instead. Being in nature is a better option if you can manage it though. The natural world has much to teach us if we take the time to stop and listen. Feel the wind blow through your hair, the sunlight upon your skin. Just being still is a challenge for most of us these days, so we miss many things. The more we are addicted to our smartphones and tech gadgets, the more we disconnect from the real world around us.
So to return to my original question, what word will you choose for this year? What would you really like to have more of in your life?
Next Week: How To Be More Spontaneous