Get Swept Away in the Act of Doing

Today’s meditation exercise is around cleaning and the act of focusing your mind on the task at hand. To get the most out of today’s exercise, listen to it before you start cleaning so as to minimise your distractions.

I have long had a thing for art. I began painting as a small child, and was actually in an art show at a university as a toddler. For years I made my living as an artist, yet my art really fell to the wayside in my late twenties and early thirties. 

My health got worse. I had to focus on healing. I focused all my brain power and energy on exploring holistic modalities so I could heal my body from my life long nervous system disorder.

Between that and having a career, by the time the evening would come around, I was too tired to do anything creative. 

As the result of some recent trauma, I began painting again in early March. I went to Michael’s and I bought a bunch of oil paint, and a canvas, and I began painting.

What I love about oils is that you can tinker with the painting for months. With watercolours you’re done in about half an hour whether you want to be or not, but oils?

No…oils take forever because they don’t dry. They solidify. You can tinker and play for as long as your heart desires.

While this is the reason I went with oil paints this time around (instead of acrylics which were my bread and butter), it has still been messing with my mind. 

Despite my years of yoga, energy working, and mindfulness training, I have fallen into the trap that most people have in our modern society: 

I’m in a hurry.

I crave instant gratification. I want to finish things.

I, long ago, lost the ability to zen out on the process of anything. 

But oil painting has forced me to get back into zen. Painting has made me slow down and appreciate the small moments and focus on the process, the journey, and not worry too much about the destination.

No matter what you’re doing today — whether you’re painting, cooking, or washing your car — try to release your thoughts and focus on process. Let yourself get swept away in the act of doing.

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