When have you stayed still for so long that muscles that you don’t usually notice … started to tremble?

I see a frown on this woman’s face, and wonder how long she’d held that pose. How willing she was to be the subject of this portrait?

What sensations might she have been experiencing in her elbow and shoulders and fist, posing with that rose?

And what moved the artist to express that frown, rather than exercising creative licence and portraying a demure smile or dreamy gaze?


I’m offering a sensory meditation card for each of the WordPress daily prompts this week. It’s designed to be a fun adventure in building empathy towards ourselves and others through creative relaxation.

How to play

You’re invited to explore and share your unique response to an artwork. Here’s how:

1. Compassion: Gently notice sensations in your own body’s initial and changing reactions to the work as you observe different details.
2. Curiousity: Wonder about what’s being seen, heard, smelled and felt in the art.
3. Creativity: Spend a few minutes writing, drawing or photographing to express anything that comes up for you in exploring this work.

I’d love to read your reflections in the comments below, and feel free to link to your own blog post in response to today’s WordPress prompt: tremble.

For more fun

There’s also a visual meditation you might enjoy listening to while you explore different aspects of the artwork.

Image courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery, ‘Portrait of a Woman’, Artist Unknown.

Staying connected

Visual meditations can be a relaxing and creative way to build your “mindfulness muscle”, connect with inspiration and cultivate your compassion.

For easy access to the whole series, you can subscribe for free on iTunes and SoundCloud.You’ll receive new meditations as soon as they are published.

Or click “follow” to stay tuned via this blog.

I love hearing back from you in the comments. Would you like to reply to share something you’ve observed in the artwork? Feel free to link to a relevant work of your own.