"Smile, breathe, and go slowly."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I have been creating morning mandalas as part of my meditation practice. My mandala practice takes about 15-30 minutes of quiet focus before I start my day, and I have noticed some profound effects:
- Increased calm
- Decreased worry
- More inner silence.
- More peaceful self-acceptance.
My thoughts quiet down naturally as I focus on drawing and coloring small details, and extended pockets of silence are spontaneously emerging as I go about my working day.
Emotional Benefits of the Different Stages of Creative Practice:
- Emotional Awareness: See emotions in visual form by recognizing and naming them.
- Emotional Expression: Express, release, and accept difficult, forbidden and unknown "younger" emotions through uncensored spontaneous creativity.
- Emotional Regulation: Calm agitating & painful emotions by focusing intensely on small details.
- Emotional Transformation: Alchemize a difficult past into a new positive future by engaging in positive psychology, intentional creativity, and narrative therapy. Write a new story.
Deep Concentration for Anxiety Regulation
Concentrated awareness is one of the easiest meditation practices to learn, and is a powerful way to quiet the mind. Deep concentration on a focused creative task helps us to bypass uninvited anxious thoughts, and quickly experience a tranquil state.
For those of us who suffer from anxiety, it is helpful to "work small." In my art studio work with others, I have witnessed the calming effects of such intense creative focus. I have seen firsthand how engaging in small tasks, such as needlepoint, and painting and drawing tiny, complex patterns calms anxiety.
My current creative practice of creating intuitive mandalas is a form of daily emotional regulation as I heal a lifelong habit of worry. And, rather than buying pre-drawn mandala coloring books, it is more emotionally deepening to create your own intuitive mandalas to color, paint, and collage!
The benefit of a concentrated creative practice is a focused state of calm.
I invite you to visit my Intuitive Mandala Gallery HERE.