Yesterday, I wrote about feeling disconnected—from just about everything. And when I feel this way, I do what comes naturally to me: I hide, usually behind the pages of a book, or in my case now (due to limited storage/stashing placed) behind the screen of my Kindle. This morning, though, I feel a bit better. What I did, though, to help me was to make a plan to reconnect with some practices that have grounded me in the past.
Daily Morning Pages: This is nothing new. Julia Cameron writes about morning pages and their benefits for creative people in her books, especially The Artist’s Way and Walking in This World. There are so many benefits for keeping some kind of journal: developing IQ, managing emotions, healing, learning to use language, engaging creativity, among others (“10 Surprising Benefits You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal,”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thai-nguyen/benefits-of-journaling-_b_6648884.html)
Daily Spiritual Practice: For me, this means spending time reading and listening to God’s word from the Scriptures and spending time in prayer. Again, as there are benefits from daily journal writing, there are benefits from some kind of spiritual practice: grounding in times of emotional upheaval; clarity; mindfulness.
Creating/Being Creative: Notice I didn’t say being “artistic.” I like to play with paint and colored pencils, charcoal, graphite drawing pencils, paper, and photography, especially in Photoshop, but what I do hardly qualifies as “fine art.” But it’s fun. I’m sure I can research those benefits as well. But when I get out the crayons and colored pencils and the markers and, yes, the coloring books, I feel like I am playing again, and some of the stresses go away.
Photography: This is an area where I have lost touch. Oh, I’ve been taking pictures of something nearly every week for the last five or six weeks. I drag that “Big Girl Camera” (the Canon 7D) EVERYWHERE. But recently, I have felt disconnected with it. So, my intent is to return to the concept of contemplative photography, of using the camera to record what strikes me as important at that moment. It might be just the color of a flower, and I will fill the frame with only color, or it might be the detail of grain in a slab of wood. Have you ever really paid attention to the cross section of a tree—those amazing rings and the variations of color?
Going for a Walk: I can truly say that sometimes I don’t go outside at all, and when I don’t, I don’t feel “right.” Even thirty minutes is long enough. Nature is a manifestation of God’s creative presence in the world, the generative and creative presence, and there I feel close to Him.
So, these are my practices that I will work on this coming week to reconnect with myself and the world around me.