Creative Ways to Meditate and Cultivate Mindfulness

We hear the word “meditate” quite frequently nowadays. It’s often associated with an image of a person sitting crosslegged on a cushion with eyes closed, likely in a peaceful setting. For smartphone users, there are many apps available to aid in meditation, you can even find them on planes. But what are we seeking in meditation?

As a generalization, most people use meditation as a way to calm the mind or relax. A calm mind for some of us can be found by sitting quietly or listening to a soundtrack of rain, but it will be different for everyone. If you can recall moments in which you felt truly peaceful and recreate them, meditation will become more accessible and natural for you. Not everyone likes to sit in silence on a cushion. Instead of struggling with a practice that doesn’t work for you, find what does.

Below are some creative ways to meditate and cultivate mindfulness from the book I Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide and Journal

Drawing Meditation
1. Find a piece of paper and something to draw with. At it’s simplest, it can be any scrap paper and writing utensil you have. To get more complex, find a nice piece of drawing paper and use colored pencils, paint, charcoal, etc.

2. For every inhale, draw a line. For every exhale, draw a line. Let the process be fluid, give yourself creative freedom.

Counting Meditation
On your way home, pick one thing to count. It could be anything – people wearing scarves, dogs, mailboxes, bicycles…

Gratitude
Upon waking in the morning or going to bed at night, think of 3 things that you’re grateful for.

Make a List
1. Make a list of all the things you like to do to relax – making a pot of tea, getting a massage, taking a bath…

2. Start doing these things! It can be once a week, it can be once a month, just make sure you do it.

Dance
It doesn’t matter if you think you have moves or not. Put on your favorite song – in the car, with headphones, wherever. Notice the rhythm and move your body!

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