I get frustrated when I hear the word “meditation”. Usually I hear it when I am being given advice that I don’t want. I have depression. It seems to be the atypical, doesn’t-really-respond-to-medication-and-lasts-forever-kind. I am constantly told that I should meditate. It will relieve stress and negative thoughts and I’ll feel so much better. I appreciate that people are only trying to be helpful when they say this, but they always make it sound like such a simple solution. As if I hadn’t thought of this before or depression is that easy to cure. No doubt, meditation works for a lot of people. It wouldn’t be so popular if it weren’t the case. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t worked for me. It’s not for lack of trying either. I’ve tried various forms of meditation to no avail. I usually end up upset with myself because I can’t do it properly. The closest I have come to succeeding is in karate. The style I did incorporated several sort of moving meditations called katas. They were a series of punches, kicks and blocks that were preformed in succession. It cleared my head because there was no time to think. You had to move so quickly and accurately with strength behind each move. You focused on your muscles and movements, not your thoughts. That cleared my head. It wasn’t exactly relaxing though. It really got my heart pumping.
The week 4 exercise in the 2015 Art Project was a meditation which I wasn’t overly thrilled about. I’m not anti-meditation and it was only 8 minutes, so I thought I’d give it a try. To my surprise, I actually did enjoy it. Instead of providing an art journal prompt for this week, Victoria suggested we do an interpretation from the meditation. I think that’s why I enjoyed it more than I usually do. Instead of going into the meditation with the goal of clearing my mind and relaxing (which is near impossible for me), I went in with the goal of coming up with an art journal idea. That small shift in focus allowed me to focus on what was being said and the imagery to go with it. In doing that, I forgot everything else in my brain and I actually did relax. Maybe I have meditation performance anxiety, haha.
Part of the meditation was to picture an animal by a waterfall in a forest. That’s the part I decided to do as a journal page. The animal I saw was a unicorn. I’ve been on a bit of a unicorn kick lately, so that is probably why. I used “burlap” Distress Ink in the background and gesso’d over the areas for the unicorn and waterfall. The tree branches were created with a stencil using “burlap” and “tea dye” Distress Inks. The land, waterfall and rainbow were coloured with watercolour pencil crayons and activated with water. The mist at the bottom of the waterfall has some neocolor II crayon in it. The unicorn is mostly just white gesso. I outlined her with silver Sharpie paint pen and did her mane and tail with pink Sharpie paint pen. The shadows on her body are grey crayon. I outlined the unicorn in white neocolor to give the impression she was glowing.
Another part of the meditation was to lie in the water and let our worries wash away. I decided to scrawl all my current worries into the waterfall with gel pens to make the water look like it was moving. It didn’t really work, but I tried at least. The spread still feels a little unfinished, but I am out of ideas for the moment. I feel like the upper right area could use something…a quote maybe? I’ll add to it later if I come up with anything.
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