The Creative Life Project: March

March Mindful Creativity

Mindfulness is something I am curious about. Besides traditional (guided) meditation, I am also going to try some creative outlets that I find meditative in nature.

Monthly goals:
Remember birthdays.

Read The Power of Now. I tried reading this book a couple of years ago but was never able to get through it. Perfect time to try again.

Add the word meditation to anything that is trying my patience. This idea was in The Happiness Project and made me laugh but I want to see if there is any truth to it. Maybe “being patient with my children meditation” or “accepting the asshole driving in front of me for who he is meditation” rephrasing will help me be more patient…

Daily/weekly goals:
Do one creative thing daily. Minimum of 15 minutes drawing, writing, experimenting.

Keep a one sentence journal and affirmation book.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Exercise three times per week doing exercises I enjoy.

Take an on-line drawing course and draw three times a week. Drawing is meditative for me so I’d like to spend some time focusing and developing this skill. This doesn’t have to be a long time per session, it can even be a quick 15 minute sketch (which will satisfy my creative thing daily at the same time).

Listen to classical music or musical soundtracks three times a week. These genres of music can put me in a very mindful state. Again, it doesn’t have to be a long time daily. I will aim for a minimum of 15 minutes per session (I will also count this as a creative thing daily).

Meditate three times a week. Meditation is not something that comes easy to me. Having a mind that is pretty much always racing, it is hard for me to quiet it down. However, I am going to try to meditate three times a week this month and see if a) I notice any changes and b) it gets any easier. I will be using the app Simply Being. The app guides you through a meditation that can be as short as 5 minutes. I find even 5 minutes a stretch…

Listen to my self-hypnotic suggestions daily. In The Happiness Project, Rubin went for hypnosis and shared the experience. I am going to try making my own recording based on what she shared of her experience and listen to it daily. I know this is kind of hokey but if anything, it’s got to make me more mindful of those behaviours, right?

Below is the Mindful Recording and Procedures I recorded as a voice memo on my phone.
As suggested in the book, I am going to listen to it once a day when I am relaxed, attentive, and NOT sleepy.
“Close your eyes. Imagine you are feeling heavier and heavier. Your feet are feeling heavy. That feeling is going up your legs through your ankles. Your calves are now heavy and now your knees. This heavy feeling is going up your thighs. It is spreading through your hips and lower torso. The heaviness is going up through your stomach and chest, spreading through your shoulders and arms. Your hands are heavy. It is now in your neck and your head.
With each breath, behind your closed eyelids, trace the numbers 1 to 10. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10.
Now, without actually moving your hand, visualize lifting your left hand in front of you to chest height. Now do the same for your right. We are ready.

-Imagine starting to lose patience with the kids. Take a deep breath and as you do, think about the situation from their view. Why are they feeling the way they do? What is behind the behaviour? Imagine talking to them from a loving place of understanding. Hug them. They are still developing and learning to control their emotions and bodies.
-Imagine Jami telling you about sports or his TV shows like The League. Listen attentively. Think about how wonderful it is that he wants to share things he is passionate about with you. Active listening is a way of loving him that he will appreciate and that will deepen your connection and love.
-Imagine feeling tired. Perhaps the kids didn’t sleep well or K was teething. The last thing you feel like doing is being creative. But think about drawing, painting, or writing. Imagine your hand moving across the page, feeling the material against your fingertips, losing all sense of time and pressure while you work. It is invigorating. Doing something artistic recharges your spirit and gives you energy.
-Imagine sitting with the kids while they are playing or eating. Listen to them with all your attention. Focus on every word as they will not say those same phrases again. They are only this young once. Remember, “the days are long but the years are short”. Love them, focus on them, help them feel secure and important.
-Imagine not wanting to exercise. You are tired and just want to become one with the couch. But think about dancing or swimming. Your strong, healthy body moving smoothly through the air or water. Think about what a blessing it is that your body is able to chase your kids and puddle jump with them. Think about how fun it is to go on a family hike. Exercising will help you stay strong and fit so that you can continue to keep up with them.

Now take a few deep breaths and start to wiggle your fingers and toes. When you are ready, open your eyes.”

(The quote “The days are long but the years are short” is my favourite line from The Happiness Project. So true!)

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