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January 22, 2022
Mindfulness is an art of its own. It is the practice of observing what is happening in the present moment while noticing your thoughts and feelings as they arise. This can be practiced anytime, anywhere, regardless of whether you are sitting cross-legged in a yoga studio. In a way, mindfulness is simply the practice of paying attention. It requires a bit of conscious effort, but its benefits are well worth it. Mindfulness has been found to create a sense of calm, as well as improve self-awareness and overall well-being. Mindfulness and art have this in common.
It is well-known that art has many benefits for our well-being. Dr Dacher Keltner, professor of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley states, “That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests the things we do to experience these emotions – a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.” You can learn more about this in our blog post, The Healing Power of Art. Imagine what happens when we bring together the healing powers of art and mindfulness.
All art can be mindful art. It’s not so much the specifics of a particular piece of art, rather the way you view it and how it makes you feel. Do you ever find that sometimes when you have a beloved piece of art hanging in your home for a long time, it becomes so familiar that it fades into the background? I invite you to find a piece of art in your home that you love and practice mindfully observing it with this 5 minute meditation for viewing art:
01 Eliminate Distractions
Arguably, the noise of the world buzzing around you isn’t necessarily much more distracting than the noise of your thoughts. However, it can help set the tone for being relaxed when you eliminate some sensory input. Put your phone away, shut off any background noise and remove any clutter around you.
02 Ground Yourself
Make yourself comfortable, whether you are seated or standing. Make your spine long. Feel for the ground beneath you. Take a slow, deep breath, in and out through your nose. You are here, now.
Gaze at a work of art. Pause to take in all of the details. What do you see? Notice the colours, shapes, textures. Is there a focal point that your eye is naturally drawn to? Bear in mind that there is no right or wrong way to observe. Just practice.
04 Turn Inward
Close your eyes. Turn inward and notice how you feel from taking a moment to mindfully look at a piece of artwork. Are there any subtle feelings or thoughts that come up for you? Notice if perhaps your mood or energy has shifted from practicing mindfulness for just a few minutes.
I hope that mindfully observing a work of art has brought you some peace and helped you appreciate the artwork you have in your home even more. Bring more mindfulness into your daily life by collecting artwork that makes you feel something. Browse our selection of high-quality, limited edition fine art prints here and repeat the above meditation.
Written by Kayla Stanistreet
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