Practicing mindfulness of the moment brings me to be more conscious of what happens when I’mnotin the moment. It makes me more aware of my monster-mind.
The other day, I was painting (yay!). In the moment, I am watching blobs of color interact with paper and water as I apply them to the surface. Observing mind.
Questions arise: “how has that blob of paint changed things in the composition as a whole? What do I want to do next?”
This is still observing mind, but the questions open a door for my judging mind: “That blob was a mistake. I no longer like that painting.”
Judging mind, in me, invites its bodyguard: catastrophizing mind: “I can try and fix it but if I do, I will probably make it worse. Maybe I should just stop now. In fact, why do I bother to paint? I’m not really an artist. I paint like a two-year-old. This is just junk.” [Catastrophizing mind can be quite long-winded. ]
Luckily, I know thatI don’t have to believe everything I think. My monster-mind does not speak the truth.
I make the next mark.
In this way, painting is mindfulness practice as surely as sitting meditation.
I'm an artist who has been living with multiple sclerosis since I was 20. I've discovered that thinking about chronic illness and healing as a creative process helps me move through the hard stuff and get back to the joy. Visit www.dancingwithmonsters.com to find books, newsletters and other services that can help you dance with your monsters.