Art and mindfulness

Look around you, what is the closest piece of art you can see? It maybe a copy of a painting as your computer or phone’s wallpaper, it maybe a tapestry on the wall, a photograph framed of a memory, which now all that remains is that solitary image, a vase made of glass or clay with flowers freshly picked from the garden, a doodle drawn while talking on the telephone last night, the mug that holds the now cold mug of tea, or a piece of music on YouTube. Art is everywhere and anywhere around us, fighting for our eyes attention before letting the other senses join in the party. We all live in our own museums and art galleries of our own device and curation.
 
Now imagine you came from a distant future, try to see through the eyes of some futuristic persona, and look at the piece of art you chose again with fresh eyes. Each one is full of unique colour, shape, purpose, texture, age, and design. Note in your mind or write down what your piece of art has. For example: I’m looking at cross stitch that hangs in the middle of my bookcase, which has my name and birth date upon it, but there is a flaw in the A as one x was stitched in the wrong place. Also, the child does not look like me as it has blonde hair and I am a brunette. Finally, I look at the flowers of pink and purple falling like rain from the sky that match the umbrella or parachute I’m attached to as I come to land in a gap between four houses.
 
Works of art gather meanings beyond the surface because we give them one; sometimes trying to understand the mind of the artist that made, but it could also be something that we have added sentimentality to, maybe it is an every day object that we do not look at beyond the function of it, and occasionally it is seen as something disposable as was only belonging to that one moment. By considering seeing them with eyes of the future we see new meanings that they may have otherwise never had, as the way we see them is based past and not what they mean to us now. We get so used to seeing the every day around us, they lose their original stories and why or how we chose to have them. What would archaeologist of the future think?!
 
This is like seeing our problems and/or issues, by seeing them with fresh eyes we can see them a different way and see how they impact on us now. For example realising the abuse we suffered as a child occurred twenty five years ago, but acknowledging the amazing things we have done despite this pain and beautiful person we are that would hurt nobody. Equally, it maybe a regret for not taking an action, which we feel may have brought us happiness and/or success, but remember we have things in the present that also make us happy with their own successes. Be focused not just on the present moment but appreciating what we have now is what matters.
 
© Fi S. J. Brown
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Press pause

Stop where you are and what you’re doing, pause briefly, and note in your head: three things you see, three things you can hear and three things you can touch.

In your own time do the following:

  • The first type or write it down in pen on paper, in any language;
  • The second draw or paint, even sculpt it with clay, so can be seen;
  • The third say aloud or sing it in a song so now has a voice of its own;
  • The fourth mimic either in action or sound, is it easy or hard to copy;
  • The fifth note how it makes you feel, happy or sad, and also why;
  • The sixth what shape does it have, is it like others, can you compare;
  • The seventh what or who does it remind you of, past/present/future;
  • The eighth can you put a value on it, does it need one or is it priceless;
  • The ninth can you imagine a world where it was not here on Earth now.

Before you finish, I want you to think of a tenth thing – yourself. All you have noted above are aspects of your own character as you see them.

Pause at least once a day remembering that you matter too, how uniquely remarkable it is to be you, and try be a bit kinder or gentler with you.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Self-soothing

Why are we always so hard on ourselves? We need to be more self-soothing, i.e. comforting, nurturing and being kind to ourselves. One way to think of this is to think of ways of soothing each of our five senses: Vision, Hearing, Smell, Taste, and Touch. Take a minute to think of each sense before reading on, letting the words become visual and the visual reassure you.

VISION: Step outside or look out your window and look around you in every direction. Go to an art gallery or a museum and let at creativity past and present inspire you. Pick a flower from a park, take it home with you and put it where you can see it. Light a candle and watch the flame, let it give you hope. Follow a cloud in the sky and let the rain fall for your tears.

HEARING: Shut your eyes as, let all around you sing. Listen to your favourite music; let the rhythms relax your heartbeat and the melody become like a lullaby. Sit by a lake, listening to all that calls it home and the songs they sing. Listen to a baby gurgle and think of the positives you have achieved in your life so far, be proud of them without letting your ego grow.

TASTE: Drink a soothing drink like herbal tea, letting the taste run over your tongue and slowly down your throat. Take a slice of lemon, it will remind you that life can be bitter, and then take a slice of orange to remind you it can be sweet too. Have a special treat, and eat it slowly, savouring each bite and let every bite remind you that with small steps anything is possible.

SMELL: Notice all the different smells around you as you sit or stand. Walk in your garden or in the woods, particularly just after a rain, and breathe in the smells of nature. Light a scented candle or incense let them inspire and relax you. Even if you think you cannot smell anything, you can and this reminds you there is someone there at all times with you in spirit.

TOUCH: Pet your dog or cat or cuddle a baby or loved one, let their love reassure that you are loved and matter. Float or swim in a pool, and feel the water caress your body and massage it all over your skin. Take a bubble bath, take a bubble and blow it away as though what or who has hurt you is no longer part of you and will leave no scar upon your hands or feet.

© Fi S. J. Brown