May 2019 | Mental Health Month
I was at an unveiling for a mural project the other night that was a collaboration between the Business Council for the Arts and Café Momentum. My friend and colleague, Katherine Wagner, talked about how art viewing and art making are essentially the creation of a "significant moment". I love that concept because it implies intention whether we are actually aware of it or not. To me these moments, especially moments in which time seems to disappear embody the definition of mindfulness. I can remember completely getting lost in myself when I spend three-hours creating a glass, mosaic or ceramics piece, providing an almost meditative component that has allowed me to find a stillness and a composure that is not easy for me to come by in my frenetic world.
In a New York Times "Meditation for Real Life" segment, artist and art therapist Amy Maricle writes, "Art is a natural way to practice mindfulness. The colors, textures and sounds of creating pull us into the moment. You don't need any previous training to meditate through art, just a willingness to draw like a child, with freedom and a sense of curiosity."
To practice one of Amy's exercises in mindfulness by creating a drawing or simple painting with a beginner's mind even if you are a skilled artist check out this link:
And if you have a blood pressure cuff, you could do your own experiment. Take your blood pressure prior to the exercise and then once finished take it again. May is mental health month and what a great way to celebrate through creating your own "significant moment".