Updated: Aug 15, 2020
In my first blog post, I demystified the buzzword 'Mindfulness': a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment.
It got me thinking: Could it be that we are afraid of what we'll find if we stop and just be?
Have we learnt to busy ourselves, and found ways to numb unwanted feelings?
I'm the first to admit my numbing techniques; Instagram scrolling being #1.
However I've cut down my usage significantly, after recognising the adverse affects it had on my wellbeing. It allowed me to ignore my feelings and escape reality for a few fleeting moments...ok, hours. I remember the moment I decided to stop running from emotional pain. It was March 2019; I was driving home one night, and suddenly imagined myself hugging the pain I'd been avoiding. I went to my room, sat down and literally hugged myself where the pain was being stored. I started to cry, like ugly cry. And you know what? After a little while, I felt lighter. Joyful, even. Pain has visited a couple of times since then, and I am always tempted to ignore it. But I've learnt to become aware of what is going on in my heart and head, and allow myself to process it in healthy ways. Here are a few of them: 1. Schedule in time to check in with yourself. 'Wherever you go, there you are.'
Just as we schedule times to meet with friends, it's important to schedule time to just be with yourself...after all, we will spend the rest of our lives in our own company! Learn to enjoy your own presence and be still in your surroundings.
2. Check on your heart; ask yourself some questions:
+ Am I afraid of being alone with my feelings? + Is there anything in my life that I'm ignoring and not dealing with?
3. Write out your thoughts slowly with a funky pen. Yes, it sounds bizarre, but I have found that slowing down my writing speed also slows down my thoughts, allowing me to uncover any buried memories or emotions. My favourite pens include the Pentel Sign Brush Pen, Zig Brush Pen or the Jasart brush pens you can use with ink/watercolour. Many past students from my Brush Lettering Workshops also comment how relaxed and peaceful they feel after learning how to Brush Letter. You can find upcoming workshops near you here:
I hope you're encouraged to slow down this week; to spend sometime being present with yourself, and become more mindful of your thoughts. If you have any other tips, or have found mine to be helpful, please let me know!