Mindfulness: Attained & Sustained

Mindfulness: Attained & Sustained

I hear this comment a lot, “You are so creative!”

I consider it a HUGE compliment because in part, it’s not completely a natural talent of mine. Yes, I have elements of my “creative identity” that come fairly natural. My creativity behind the camera lens is, in some ways, natural. But the reality is, even our natural talents have to be practiced in order to sustain them. AND, we also have to discover them. What if nobody had ever given me a camera. I would have no idea that a creative eye for photography lives inside.

The same is true for my mindfulness practice and the creative pages that fill my sketchbooks. This is definitely not a natural talent of mine by “traditional” means. I can’t draw. Really, I can’t. Sit me in front of a bowl of fruit and ask me to draw it and it won’t end well. On the page or in my body. I’ll be full of anxiety, doubt and judgement. Feelings I consistently work to remove from my life through mindfulness practices. After spending many years developing a mindful coloring practice, sit me in front of a sketchbook in a quiet, reflective environment and give me something to draw with and a whole different scenario plays out.

My body relaxes and feels soothed.

I effortlessly let color and expression flow onto the page in creative ways.

I end with a feeling of accomplishment, wonder and peace.

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A Year Older…Wiser…and My Moment With Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Biospheres

Last week was my birthday. I’m going to say that 46 feels GREAT! I have had an amazing, albeit a bit of a rollercoaster at times, year. It’s definitely been a year of growth, perspective and discovery and I learn more every day.  Here’s what I learned last week.

 

After the election I felt like I needed to do something to change the course of my social media feeds. It just wasn’t a fun place to hang out. So, I offered a free 30 Day Coloring Out Loud workshop to get people creating, connecting and sharing. If you follow me, you know that my workshops are full of color and creativity, but are more mindful self-discovery than art school. The workshop is going amazingly well and I’m spending a lot more time with my oil pastels and even some paints this month. This week, while coloring, I realized a pattern. I was “making something” with my art supplies and then when it felt done, I jumped in and changed it. I painted over it or I mixed the colors of my oil pastels to make something new. I was “letting go.”  When it happened unconsciously several times I was in tune enough to take note and think about it.

Let Go

That was the message that came to me and I connected deeply with. Nothing is “final.” You can add, change, and refocus to recreate something completely different out of what you originally started with. You can let go of an idea and let it become something else. Very powerful as we approach the end of the year and I begin to evaluate where I am and where I am going.

Then it snowed. On my birthday.

Yes, it snowed. An odd segue but stay with me.

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Doodle Messages ~ Creative Meditation

 

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It’s been some time since I shared my Doodles on my blog. I’ll admit I fell out of my regular Doodle habit. I still Doodled, but I stopped Doodling every day. Sometimes life just takes twists and turns and things change. I’ve come to realize that for me, the Doodle isn’t a “quick draw” on a piece of paper. For me, Doodling is a slow down, go within, get quiet, melt into color and touch, and begin to listen to the thoughts and messages that come through in my head activity.

Hey, wait…that sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?  

Quiet…

Slow down…

Go within…

Listen…

MEDITATION anyone?

Yep, for me Doodling is meditation, creative meditation, and if it doesn’t happen for at 30 minutes I don’t feel like I get the true value from it. I need at least that long to get where I want to go physically and mentally. Based on this new knowledge, I’m working on getting back into the Doodle groove and indulging when I know I have the time, or need to MAKE the time given the energy in my body, to do it in a way that is fulfilling for me.

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Coloring Inspired

It’s almost Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for a friend opening her home to me and sharing her family for Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for all of you who support my art and COLOR with me!

I’m thankful for the chance to attend an amazing fundraiser last night in Seattle to benefit the American Red Cross NYC area relief efforts put on by Tom Douglas and Seattle area restaurants and give back to the city that gave me so much. It was a lovely night of NYC inspired dishes. My fav of the night, a foie gras macaroon! inspired by a fav spot in NYC.

*they alluded the iPhone paparazzi and were gobbled up immediately and routinely*

The whole night was full of NYC tributes, from the table “coverings”…

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To the music and group sing along…
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At the end of the night I heard them announce that the Seattle crowd had raised over $30,000 for relief! Wow!!

Thankful to be in Seattle among such giving people!!

My end of night inspired Doodle art ends our COLOR for today.

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I’m THANKFUL for color!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Melissa

Celebrate Color!!!

Today is National Color Day!!! A day to recognize color in the world around us.

Who knew?

My new favorite day!!! ( I wore black & grey today… next year I’ll better represent! )

Totally unprepared for this, I found some fun COLOR I did myself. Pastels in my sketchbook.


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Appreciate some color today!

Take a photo.

Play with markers or crayons.

Send me your “celebration” of color!!

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