Your Blank Canvas
Hello and Happy New Year! I'm Sophie Walker, Artist and Mindful Creativity Practitioner. I'm delighted to be a part of this great community. Yes, this is a picture of a blank canvas. As an artist, why would it make sense for me to share a blank canvas?
Well, it is all to do with attention, or awareness. When you pay attention, you are able to question. When you question, you can begin to look for answers. There may be more than one answer and that is fine, it is a matter of deciding which one to try first, then repeating the process, or trying out a different solution. This is how the blank canvas of your life becomes filled with what you create. The canvas will fill up anyway, but if you aren't aware, aren't questioning, then you aren't in control of what you place on your canvas or what it looks like.
You might not like what is on your canvas hanging on your wall, but you have looked at it for such a long time that you don't even notice it anymore. The same applies to your life and habits.
If you keep doing the same things then you will keep getting the same results. By paying attention to your processes you can look at how to change them.
One way to do this is to practice mindfulness. This could involve daily meditation or reminding yourself to pay attention to each moment in the day to avoid thinking too much in the past or future. I like to use meditative creative practices such as stitch and painting where I become so absorbed in the process that my mind feels as though it has ‘switched off’ for a while and I feel refreshed and energised afterwards. I believe this is what is known as ‘flow’. According to Wikipedia, Flow is defined as ‘…the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterised by complete absorption in what one does.’
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes it as when ‘existence is temporarily suspended’, and claims it is the ‘secret to happiness’.
How will you fill in your blank canvas this year?