Mindfulness is a state of being where you are fully present and paying attention. Engaging in creative activity is one of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness and experience a deeply relaxed state. You follow a flow of ideas, and it’s a river that takes you to new destinations.
To me, watercolor painting is absolutely soothing. Researching, planning and drawing a picture engages the analytical mind, whereas painting allows for an easy, free flow of creativity. Using color with any kind of medium, be it watercolor, colored pencils, acrylics or whatever, is often a door to an expanded state of mindful awareness.
It is for this reason that I make so many line drawings freely available on this blog. I want to share the experience of mindful creativity through simple means. You don’t need to draw; you can just focus fully on playing with color. One Tree Art Club is a free resource for people who want to explore mindfulness through art.
Finding beauty in unexpected places
The more you experiment with colors, the more you will start to pay attention to the beauty in your environment, often in unexpected places. Instead of being absorbed in thoughts about all the stuff that worries or upsets you, your attention is drawn towards a beautiful, fallen leaf on the road, the smell of a flower wafting underneath your nose or the amazing pattern in an old concrete wall. But we’re not just talking flowers and butterflies here because anything can bring joy to mindful eyes that see beyond the obvious.
Inspiration from nature walks
Nature herself is a great teacher of mindfulness. Her beauty, the sound of birds, the rustling of wind..it’s a set-up for mindfulness. Allow yourself to get enchanted. And take advantage of the fact that walking itself relieves the nervous system of much negativity.
In Norwegian, we have a saying: “Ut på tur, aldri sur” which loosely translates to “Out on a walk (or hiking), never glum or grumpy”. Walking in nature provides the double benefit of relief from stress and worry and the joy of mindful absorption into the beauty of nature. Get inspired!
Creative joy is there for the taking, you just need to allow yourself a block of time to play with colors. Mindfulness through art is a tool to steer your daily life towards joy.