Before we begin, pause for a moment, think about what meditation means. What thoughts do you have? Sunrises? sitting quietly and cross legged? Yoga? More times than not, we are led to believe that to meditate or reach a higher state, we need to be doing certain things to get there. These barriers we are perceiving might be out of our reach or even not enjoyable. Meditate is defined as engaging in a mental exercise to achieve a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Before you think this means religious, there are many different definitions of spiritual or spirit in general. For the purposes of this writing, the definition that pertains is: a vital component that gives life to living things. Spiritual awareness is being mindful that all things are connected, and you are a being that is part of the universe. There are many activities that you can do around your home that are simple and affordable. You just need to be open to the connectedness! Let’s get creative.
Step One: Envision what it is you want to do for your meditative art journaling. Look up different ideas online. Join art journaling groups or browse Pinterest ideas! I find it is beneficial to imagine what I am going to be doing and think about different techniques that I can use prior to sitting down and doing. That way, when I do have a quiet moment to myself, I am ready to jump in and begin.
Step Two: Find some time where you will be uninterrupted to work on your art journal. This can be with your children, if you have time set aside for everyone to work on their art journal. You may want to start doing it by yourself before you include others.
Step Three: Gather the supplies you will need for your art journaling. This can include pens, markers, paints, glue, washi tape, fasteners, paper, lace, fabric, stickers, stamps, etc. Have everything available so you can access it when you need to. Spread them out on the surface in front of you.
Step Four: Set up your ambiance. This can include candles, incense, music, or even a favorite movie. I would caution not to choose things that you have memories attached to already, smells, music, or movies. Choosing a new genre of music or a new smell would not elicit the memories an old familiar scent or melody would. This is what I prefer so that I can have a clear head to reach that meditative level of my art journaling. Later, you can use the same scents and music to get you right back into those art vibes because of the new memories and vibes that you created.
Step Five: Take a moment to look around your space. Become present in your moment. Setting up and preparing is part of the process. You are beginning your awareness. You are creating your own vibe. What kind of energy is around you?
Step Six: You are now ready to begin. You may be hesitant to start. That is normal, and it still happens to me! You have just taken all this time to set up and get into your moment. What if you make a mistake? just jump in! There is no way to make a mistake, and if you do? Just glue a piece of paper over it, a sticker, marker, etc. It is your art journal and there are no rules or directions. Practice some brush strokes without paint, or just take your pencil and start making marks. Figure out what you need to get started. It is all part of your process.
Step Seven: Just journal. Use colors, images, words as much or as little as you want. Glue paper, fold paper, cut paper. A journal does not need to be written thoughts on the paper. You are becoming aware of your moment; you are becoming aware of yourself as a being part of the universe. As you are creating in your art journal, you are mediating. Keep doing this until you feel like you are finished. If you can go until you feel finished for the day that is a good feeling. If you need to set a time limit, prepare for that so you will not be disappointed when the time comes.
Step Eight: The art of Zenning. Practice these steps over and over, until they become automatic. Make a lot of art journals, start mediating in other ways also. Once you become aware and allow yourself to get lost in your meditative art journals, you will know what it is like to be zenning. To be Zen.
Have fun and just create!