Mindfulness is still a concept which I wholeheartedly agree with and aspire to but struggle to implement. I often find my mind continuing to wander during activities and find it difficult to successfully meditate purely on my breathing. So I’m currently practicing two deliberate methods of creating mindfulness through activities rather than just plain meditation.
The first mindful activity that I’m practicing is writing a physical journal with a fountain pen. The idea for this was inspired by a recent documentary that I watched about the Silk Road. The presenter Dr Sam Willis used an instant camera to take photos to include in a journal during his travels accompanied by entries in calligraphy. The end product was a beautiful record.
I’m planning to keep a day to day journal and include photos of my son as he grows up and our daily lives alongside the main intention to achieve mindfulness through the clarity and concentration required to write in fountain pen. So far so good; writing the journal requires focus and shuts down the rest of the thoughts racing around my mind as well as being a relaxing activity and opportunity for reflection at the end of the day. It’s also handy because writing about the day that just happened is a fairly brief and finite activity which is easily manageable in terms of fitting into a busy day.
There is also something satisfying about the feel of a quality fountain pen and a journal made of quality paper and the sensations of creating something physical rather than typing into a computer.
The second mindful activity which I’m practicing, believe it or not, is short sessions of colouring. Colouring for mindfulness seems to be fairly trendy at the moment which is not necessarily a good sign to my mind and the idea of colouring seemed ridiculously childish until I actually tried it. My wife was given a mindfulness colouring book and some pencils for Christmas by one of her friends but, ironically, hasn’t found time to use it. So she agreed that I could have a go. My experience so far is that it is surprisingly relaxing and again excellent for achieving a calm state of mind. The book is also designed in small sections so that I can easily pick it up for a brief 10 or 20 minute colouring “meditation”.
It remains to be seen whether I can sustain the habit of spending a short time each day doing these activities but they certainly seem effective so far.