mindfulness, meditation & memoirs

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

editorial illustration for an article on Learning to Meditate / our May assignment in Lilla Roger's Assignment Bootcamp

Mindfulness is about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected. That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us - that's what mindfulness is really about ... there is no work balance. We have one life. What's important is that you be awake for it. Janice Marturano - Institute for Mindful Leadership

I'm currently reading 3 memoirs, a chapter of each every bedtime. I'm re-reading Gabrielle Bernstein's - Spirit Junkie, Arianna Huffington's new & fabulous book - Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well Being, Wisdom and Wonder and Piper Kerman's - Orange is the New Black - the memoir that created the popular new NetFlix series (which I'm saving for after the book).

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself. Mikhail Baryshnikov

I've been using the tools of mindfulness & meditation in small ways every single day of my life. Practicing mindfulness & most often tiny 2-5 minute meditation breaks throughout my days (& nights) whenever I feel that feeling - that all too familiar Dread feeling. Now when I feel that feeling, a physical "oh oh" that most often begins in my stomach area ... I immediately stop what I'm doing and I try to become mindful. I breath. I focus on my breath. I sometimes put a drop of peppermint essential oil on the back of my hand and breath deeply of that exhilarating scent - that smell that has out of habit & ritual become kind of heroic to me because it chases away the Dread, nearly every single time. I'm rewiring my brain.

I have learned so, SO much about myself this past year, SO much about my mostly former (thankfully) demons Anxiety & Dread and I have learned these amazing life lessons the hard way. Either from making some seemingly serious mistakes, from stumbling and falling failing and most recently by doing some really hard things - things I really didn't believe I could do. But ... I always knew, I always know that I can try. I'm very good at trying & I do

I always try ... I love that about myself. There (gasp) I used the word LOVE & myself in the same sentence - what is the my world coming to ;-)

The meditation illustration above was meant to be just a sketch for this month's assignment. I did a line drawing first, then was inspired by Lilla's suggestion of painting 50 shades of blue - I thought I'd paint a sketch of my drawing in blues fully intending to create a much more elaborate final assignment in my go-to collage-a-go-go style - paper, paint, ink in my favourite mostly neutral (coffee, cream, black, kraft + 1 colour) palette then lovingly layered ;-) in Photoshop (my new best friend) - it just was not happening the way I wanted it to - the deadline loomed & I submitted my blue  watercolour sketch as my final. You can view the May gallery here

Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. William James


  1. I had to smile when you said you mentioned LOVE & myself in one sentence. :) It is difficult to love ourselves at times, isn't it? You've come so far and I LOVE watching you SOAR! xx

  2. thanks so much sweet pea & I also LOVE, love seeing you Soar as well. Hope you're feeling much better & are on the mend xo Susan + gang

  3. It all sounds very good. So glad that you are keeping up with Lilla Rogers. And thank you for the link. It was fun to take a look around! (I like your two-sided image...)


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