In many ways, I consider any peace practice – including visual meditation and journaling – to be courageous.
When our body feels anxious, it can seem like a risky gamble to notice our breath for even a split second. The sense of danger can be so strong.
Intellectually, we’ve probably all been told about the importance of relaxation and mindfulness. We know that daily practice of gentle awareness and choosing our focus can build a sense of inner safety and power.
But still, our body can resist. There’s some part of our body that doesn’t feel safe … to be safe.
To feel more powerful and peaceful, we first need to feel safe enough to relax and widen our curiousity – even for a minute or two.
I see this dilemma as the parlay affect. One ‘risky’ experience of compassionate awareness builds to another. Each time we practice a moment of gentle curiousity, we give our body a growing sense that we are worthy of inner peace. Our body begins to trust that being in a relaxed state of awareness – inside and out – is truly our safest state.
That’s why I find art and creativity can be so powerful – and so courageous to start every time. With free flowing creativity, we aren’t making our body sit still or follow instructions – we’re free to move and draw or write.
Before picking up a pencil and paper, I find that meditating on art offers a gentle and relaxing doorway to self compassion and curiousity.
By observing my body’s response and responding creatively, I give my body a growing sense of safety and trust. I’m actively doing something with my hands which calms me. And I’m free to welcome all thoughts and sensations which brings the relief of acceptance and being seen and heard.
So what is visual meditation? Well, here’s my take:
What’s made it easier for you to feel safe to relax?