Mindfulness: 5 Intentions

Introduction

The practice of mindful drawing is a fresh approach to drawing that anyone can do. This method of drawing not only awakens our creativity but also serves as a powerful tool for achieving mindfulness and a sense of calm.

Whether you are an experienced artist or an emerging artist, mindful drawing can be used as a tool to not only create a lovely work of art but also as a daily meditative practice that will help you become more mindful.

In this blog post, we will explore how mindful drawing aligns with 5 intentions of mindfulness and how it can become a transformative practice for both experienced artists and those who are just learning to draw.

1) Awareness

Cultivating a nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment is a fundamental aspect of mindfulness. When drawing, allow yourself to be fully present in the act, releasing fear and embracing courage. Be open to new possibilities and let go of limiting beliefs that may hinder your creative expression.

Take a deep breath. Exhale. Engage your senses fully in the present moment. Notice the physical sensations, sounds, smells, tastes, and sights around you. This helps anchor your attention in the present and enhances your awareness of the immediate experience.

This is a great exercise to do before beginning a work of art. It helps us disconnect from the rest of the world and immerse ourselves in the process of creating.

You can read more about how to create a calm space for mindful drawing in this blog post.

2) Attitude

The right attitude is crucial when practicing mindfulness in drawing. Start by adopting the practice of not knowing, allowing for a sense of curiosity and openness to permeate your artistic journey. Trust the creative process itself, understanding that artistic endeavors often involve unexpected twists and turns. Embrace the unknown aspects of your drawing and where it may take you as you let go of control. By cultivating this mindset, you create an atmosphere that encourages innovation and authentic artistic expression.

I created a method of mindful drawing I call Mindful Mosaic Drawing. One of the unique ways this method encourages you to let go of expectations is to use the element of chance to create the composition of your drawing.

This allows us to become observers of emerging patterns and new shapes without the need to control the outcome. This heightened awareness allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the present moment, embracing each new shape with a sense of curiosity and wonder.

This exercise in using the element of chance to begin your drawing will help you let go of control and see that it’s not always important to have everything planned out in advance. My hope is that this playful approach will help you be more spontaneous in your art and also in life.

Using the element of chance to create a beautiful design also helps us to appreciate beautiful patterns in nature. The design you create is not unlike the pattern of leaves falling from a tree or the arrangements of rocks or shells on a beach. The next time you are in nature, take a look at how random placements of objects can be more pleasing and calming than a controlled arrangement. Start noticing these more as you look around you.


3) Attention

The next step of a mindful drawing is to fill the design you created with patterns. As we fill the shapes with beautiful patterns, we are called to be fully present in the creative process. By focusing our attention on each stroke, we let go of the past and future and immerse ourselves in the meditative rhythm of drawing.

Adopting a beginner’s mind allows us to approach each step of the drawing with fresh eyes, free from judgment or assumptions. As you continue adding patterns to your design, resist the urge to judge your work as good or bad. Just get lost in the process, focus on the present moment, and let yourself be surprised by how the final outcome takes shape once you finish. This helps us see the importance of not letting small setbacks get in the way of our journey in life. All the imperfections become part of the beauty of the final work of art.

Cultivating an attitude of non-judging towards our drawing paves the way for treating ourselves with kindness and compassion.


4) Acceptance

Mindfulness teaches us the art of acceptance, recognizing that life is filled with uncertainties and imperfections. Instead of struggling against the current, we learn to flow with it, opening ourselves to the beauty and lessons that emerge from unexpected creative moments.

The process of making a mindful drawing encourages us to let go of the need for control and embrace the beauty that emerges from allowing ambiguity. Western culture places a high value on perfection and maintaining control of situations. Mindful drawing gives you a chance to break free from that expectation and see the beauty in spontaneity and embrace the unexpected results.

Allow things to be as they are. As you take a look at your final work of art, notice that it’s the imperfections that add to the beauty and handmade quality of your drawing. This allows the viewer a chance to see the hand of the artist in the drawing and creates a connection between the viewer and the artist.


5) Calmness

Engaging in mindful drawing is a transformative practice that inherently brings about a profound sense of calmness. Recognize that calmness is contagious and can positively influence the creative atmosphere.

Express gratitude for the opportunity to engage in the artistic process. Utilize your breath as a tool to breathe in calm and exhale stress, creating a tranquil space for creative exploration. Allow the calming influence of mindful drawing to enhance both your artistic expression and your overall well-being.

As we breathe and let go of any expectations, we find peace in the meditative flow of the pen. Patience becomes our companion as we allow the patterns to evolve gradually, creating a sense of tranquility and calm.

This meditative quality of mindful drawing has the power to calm the mind, reducing stress and promoting a sense of tranquility. The emphasis on the present moment, coupled with a nonjudgmental acceptance of the creative journey, creates a space where the mind can let go of worries and find peace in the simplicity and beauty of the artistic process. Through mindful drawing, you not only enhance your creative expression but also cultivate a calm and centered state of being.


Conclusion

Mindful drawing offers a unique and captivating pathway to mindfulness and creative expression. By embracing the unexpected and letting go of expectations, we tap into the essence of mindfulness principles such as awareness, attitude, attention, and acceptance.

Drawing allows us to celebrate imperfections, embrace ambiguity, and find calmness within. So, let us pick up our pencils, be curious explorers, and allow the magic of drawing to guide us on a transformative journey of mindfulness and self-discovery.


Want to Learn More?

If you are curious about what this looks like, you can see me make a mindful drawing in this YouTube video.

You can also try making a mindful drawing by downloading this free lesson that will help you get started.

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5 Intentions of Mindfulness with an abstract ocean background

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