Explore to Restore.

 

 

In the natural world, now,

I have an unspeakable sense of belonging.

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Immerse yourself outdoors for at least ten minutes. Have your smartphone with you only for the purpose to potentially take a picture. Feel free to leave your phone behind, as well. Locate an object that seems displaced: a fallen leaf, a pebble all alone, or a blade of grass upon cement. If collecting this object does not harm the object nor the surrounding nature of things, take it with you for a project or future inspiration. If you prefer to leave the object in its most natural state, take a smartphone or mental photograph. Simply, be aware, be playful, and find one new element of nature that you might have overlooked, if you hadn’t immersed yourself outdoors with beginner eyes.

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Imperfectly Perfect: Mindful Art Making

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Like Wabi-sabi’s regard for imperfection, mindful art doesn’t try to put a glossy or forced spin on anything. The aesthetic, if practiced, may have healing and invigorating properties. Imagine a singular charcoal stroke pressed across repurposed newspaper. Imagine songwriting with improper grammar and catchy rhymes. Imagine chipped sculptures of lost civilizations. Imagine bodies moving in sync regardless of size and shape. Every time we take actions into the direction of noticing and then surrendering to what is, reframing negative judgments into something honored, we rewire our beings. I believe we also dust off cultural edginess and arbitrary judgments. We shift into compassion and empathy generally, and acceptance of ourselves, specifically. Mindful art frames our angle on beauty more broadly.

Daring to dream, regard for mindful art may also be a global action that could heal an overstimulated, fatigued world. Compelling? Sure is. Nature is one of my favorite sources for mindful art. Are you aware of or value its authentic states? For instance, is there a difference when you walk through the woods rather than a manicured Italian Garden that you’ve paid admission to see? Is one really more valuable than the other? Applying a mindful artistic lens, I propose not. Yet, one is more typically viewed as majestic or artistic. If the Italian Garden persists as the essence of one’s aesthetic, well – that’s all fine and dandy. However, I wish to expand your angles on nature, like angles on yourself, shifting into equal regard for polished and inherent states. Think of your local woods as a representation of you, yourself, as a natural muse. Just as nature may be: overgrown, thorny, dark at times, yet lush, so may you be. Awareness of who you are, organically, and where you situate, now, you’ll access a complete artistic toolbox. Fuller awareness expands artistry from the source. YOU are YOU, WOODS are WOODS, and both are bold, beautiful collections of things.