An array of colored pencils lay before me as I find the exact shade to compliment the last. Doodling, nevertheless, but still strategic. The repetitive back and forth of the pencil on the page. The hushing sound it makes as it dispenses the color to the sheet. I notice the imperfect strokes. Some darker than others. No lines to stay in as I’ve doodled the images myself and I decide whether I pass through them or remain confined by them. I am in control. Liberating.
I take in a deep breath noticing the taste of my spring water still on my tongue, which oddly has a different flavor than purified water. The thought that water has a taste is interesting. I take in the smell of the wood that encapsulates the sticks of color as I shave the edges off so my pencil is a perfect cone. The shavings spiral around themselves before dropping to the table. I brush the shavings from the page and feel the waxy lines I’ve made on the paper. Color strokes are finer and darker now with the polished tips of my coloring tools.
I notice the indentation the pencil makes on my right ring finger as I scribble organized chaos on the blank space before me. I adjust my posture as I feel my low back stiffen a bit. I hear the sound of the turtle’s tank filters trickling in the background as I switch colors and the pencils tap without order on the wooden table. The sound of glossy wood sticks tapping the polished wood table resonates with my mood nearly as much as the rhythmic scribbling. My mind wanders briefly through topics recently discussed at work. Then again to the trip we have planned. I wonder why we don’t do more nature-centered activities as a family. I notice that the table will need to be wiped clean before I leave my doodling alone.
I refocus and manipulate my canvas realizing that the texture is thicker than the usual media on which my doodles find themselves. Copy paper doodles are seemingly quicker. A temporary reprieve from the daily grind. Today’s images have purpose.
Created in the essence of mindfulness. Thoughts come and go. They enter; I let them go. My focus at this moment is not to think about any one thing. Just this moment. The crisscrossed position of my legs. My hands’ hurried gestures. The breaths I inhale. Everything that is this moment. I don’t fight the thoughts that come through as I practice my mindfulness activities. They enter willingly and leave just as quickly allowing me to refine my attention to myself and what occurs around me.
A custom I’ve been practicing over the past month or so. First, settling into my calming, comfortable space. Occupying my anxious mind with simple, repetitive motions. Like the carnal form of a meditation chant. Following what I have come to know as the countdown. I’ve found my five things I can see, although some of them are my own creations. Noted four physical feelings I have throughout the exercise. Three sounds, two odors, and lastly, one thing I can taste, or would like to taste. The countdown to mindfulness has elapsed about 15 minutes of my evening. Something I aim for more frequently than I used to. I attempt to make time to practice mindfulness daily. If I haven’t found a period of time throughout my day to use my countdown, I use a space constructed for such a ritual to ensure I’ve gotten my daily dosage of anti-anxiety mindfulness. It was only recently that I had a realization that any act can become a meditation if only we seek to be mindful of the moment. Find peace within, rather than seeking it out. Namaste.