I have had to learn a variety of mindfulness practices over the years as I suffer from ptsd, social anxiety, and excoriation ocd. I have had to focus on my breath (in positive, out negative), being aware of what my hands are doing at all times, what they’re feeling with regards to textures, being aware of scents and sounds. Having fibromyalgia, where am I holding pain and focus gratitude that this particular pain is my body showing me how I have not honored myself and make amends through loving self-care. I have to stay grounded in the now when in social environments, so I am constantly looking at what is going on around me in terms of specifics like: the wall is white with oak cabinets that have labels of what supplies are in that cabinet and underneath the cabinet is a cluttered countertop, etc.… the details via being mindful of those details helps the focus and in turn not so stressed with being around other people (especially in new environments).
When it comes to using art therapy to practice mindfulness, I tend to get into a headspace called flow. You ever get so absorbed in something that everything fades into the background, there is hyper focus on the task at hand, and a deep sense of equal excitement and serenity. That is being in the flow.
I had to come up with some form of artwork to show how it feels to be in the flow. It was fascinating having to deepen the practice of being in the now and tuning in to my feelings and senses while simultaneously being in the zone. There was a slight sense of detachment so I could observe myself and all I was experiencing. I felt serenity playing with the acrylic paints, enjoying the movement of my paintbrush moving across the canvas, and fascination as the colors blended. I let myself go with my intuition on the subject matter and suddenly knew it would be a sea scene. The sense of accomplishment when it was finished.
I was aware that everything in the background became white noise during this time. Afterwards, I was amazed two hours just flew by, and I had muscle spasms in my low back from not moving during this project! And yet, the sense of completion, of accomplishing something left me feeling pretty good about myself. I was even more grateful that the anxiety that had been plaguing me throughout the day was done and I could breathe easier.
By letting life go and go with the flow, staying in the now and being mindful is a wonderful practice that I will continue to incorporate as often as possible.