Challenge #40: Meditation

That should be "Meditation"

How are you reconnecting with yourself?

With quiet contemplation and reflection, you put things into perspective and figure out what is important. We get so wrapped up in life that we are pulled from self reflection. Meditation, whether formal or mere quiet time to ourselves, provides us with a way to reconnect with ourselves. Find the time to sit in quiet meditation or reflection. Perhaps set up a time early in the morning or right before bed where you can build a routine for peaceful introspection. Get in touch with yourself and your thoughts.

What elements are most conducive to quiet contemplation for you? Where can you go to get in touch with yourself? How can you find the time, the place, and the environment? How can you commit yourself to this alone time?

Thanks to Gemma for pointing out my glaring spelling mistake. How did I miss that one?

Challenge #39: Stillness and Motion

What is it like to slow down and embrace stillness?

In our high pace world, we are always in motion with so much to do. Errands pile up and the to-do list just gets longer. It seems that everyone else’s priority have become our own. Emails, text messages, and phone calls come flying fast and furious begging for our immediate attention and our prompt reply. We distract and pull ourselves out of balance. But we need to stop moving and get still. We need to surround ourselves with silence, and listen to the quiet.

What is causing undo motion, effort, and stress in your life?  How can break yourself away from the life that begs for your constant attention and movement? How can you get still?

Challenge #38: Brain Dump

What thoughts, notions, and self-talk block your mind and keep you off balance?

In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron writes about morning pages where she encourages the reader to wake early and write three pages longhand every morning. She calls this writing a “brain dump” because it clears the brain of the miscellaneous rabble that prevents productivity. When you feel weighed down with thoughts and there’s a lot on your mind, unblock your creativity energy with a brain dump. Let the thoughts flow from your mind to the page. When your emotions seem to be too much, DUMP it all out. Let the anxieties, fears, misgivings, and worries flood the page. You don’t have to do it every morning, and you don’t have to write three pages, just whenever you need it.

What is worrying you and causing you anxiety? What thoughts are swirling and flying through your mind? How can you purge your mind?

Challenge #37: Breath

How can you come back to center?

Breath holds the essence of life, and without it, there is no life. It also holds the essence of concentration and balance. When focused on our breath, we attune ourselves to a natural rhythm of the body, calming and clearing our minds. Take a moment where you are to place your attention on your breathing. Sit in an upright and comfortable position. Close your eyes and allow your arms to rest at your side or in your lap. Slowly and deeply inhale, and slowly exhale. Continue this deep breathing, and focus your attention only on this rhythm. Allow your mind to clear and your body to relax. If your mind wonders, let go of the thought, and bring yourself back to your breath. Once you can no longer focus, rouse yourself, stretch if needed, and reflect on the experience.

How does your mind and your body feel? How does it feel to be in balance even for a moment? How do you fall out of balance physically, emotionally, and mentally?

Challenge #4: Pivotal People

We all have people who have profoundly affected us, mentored us, or inspired us. There are those people who have challenged us and pushed us. This may have been in a positive or negative way, but their influence has been key in steering us in our lives.

Who in your life has influenced you strongly? What did they say to you? What do they represent? What has been the impact in your life, and how did the direction of your life path change?

Recognize those that have had a profound effect on you.

Challenge #3: Steppingstones

We have all grown, evolved, and changed. At times the movement of our lives has changed direction because of the choices we have made, and at other times it has changed because the choices that others have made. These are what psychologist Ira Progoff calls Steppingstones in his Intensive Journal Workshop.

What have been your steppingstones – those significant moments of your life? What have been the moments when significant change or growth has occurred? What have these shifts meant for you and the direction of your life?

Remember to post a link to your image in the comments below.

Challenge #2: Personal Mythologies

myth – n: 1. a legendary narrative that presents the beliefs of a people 2. an imaginary or unverifiable person or thing.

mythology – n: a body of myths.

We have all created myths about ourselves – stories that are imaginary and unverifiable. We have puffed ourselves up with stories of accomplishment and tore ourselves down with stories of lack. We have scripts and dialogues running through our heads reinforcing those myths.

What are your personal myths? What is your personal mythology? What are the stories that you have told yourself over and over to the point that you believe them and accept them?

Question your own mythology, and see if you can verify them.

Remember to post a link to your image in the comments.

Challenge #1: I am

Who are you?

This seems like a very easy and straight-forward question, but when was the last time that you really tried to articulate an answer. You may have thought that you figured that out a long time ago, or perhaps you feel like you are still figuring it out. What better way to start this Challenge. No matter what type of art you make it is always a reflection of you. The journal is no different. Heck, it might even be more true of the journal.

Take some time to ponder and journal about all the aspects of your “self,” and create a response that introduces you to the world.

Who are you? What is important to you? Where do you come from? How does your inner identity compare to your outer identity? Do you have a hidden identity? If you are not who you want to be, what is stopping you?

Don’t forget to share a link to your response in Comments.