Meditating Soothes Your Brain

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detaching 10 minutes a day

Tip #2 from Dr. John Preston’s Brain Conference on Positive Emotions: Try meditating for a few minutes every day. Why?

Stimulating the front lobes suppresses activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is impulsive, reactive, prone to false alarms, and loves to ruminate. Worry, impulsive behavior, bad moods, and anxiety are your amydala running the show.

Whenever you calm yourself down, interrupt negativity, or stop yourself from impulsive behavior, you’re frontal lobes are activated and excreting BNFD (a protective hormone). A feeling of calm and well-being can replace negative states of mind. Whats the best way to get lots and lots of this feeling? Meditate.

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Practicing detaching from your thoughts, even 10 minutes in the morning and evening, can be protective.

Our amygdalas get coated with early experiences in our families, creating high sensitivity and pattern recognition to stimulus. Small things can make us freak out with emotional reactivity. Its responsible for a lot of relationship drama.

Our frontal cortexes need training to exert “top down control.” Meditation is the most effective, powerful tool for increasing your capacity to regain~and maintain equanimity.

Unknown-1There are several ways to meditate, if you think about it. Walking meditation, eating meditation, laying in bed meditation, riding the bus meditation, sitting on the lawn meditation. Don’t get stuck thinking you have to sit a special way or wear yoga pants. Phooey. As long as you follow these two ideas, you’re meditating and receiving the benefit:
1. breath slowly and deeply
2. detach from your thoughts, watch them, but don’t follow them, just for 10 minutes, let them go by. Repeat #1.

images-3At the conference, 200 of us closed our eyes, practiced detaching and breathing several times during the day. It was cool.Try adding little meditations throughout your day. Getting present this way activates your frontal lobes ~and your well-being.

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#4: Art is the product of process

IMG_1505From: 101 Things to learn in art school lesson #4: “Whether conceptual, experimental, emotional, or formal, the process you develop yields the image you produce. The materials you choose, the methods of production, and the sources of the images should all reflect the interests that command your attention. The process does not stop with each work completed. It is ongoing. The cumulative results of that process is a body of work.” ~Kit White

Love that. It seems to suggest that art is not about perfection, but your own unique thingy. I’m liking that a lot. Thanks to Mindy Lacefield and Christie Tomlinson, here is the process I’ve been working these days: relaxing, inking, crayoning, painting in blotches and drops, and general doodling to create a background:
IMG_1246Most of this is done with my left hand, as it helps me to let go:

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Then I try to find a body, or face shape, or an eye or arm to “build” from. I think I saw a little running body and then decided where to put the face:

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I actually didn’t like the final effect of the face. I got all caught up and fussed with it too much. So I started over, and going as fast as I could (to keep from freezing up) came up with a little climber boy (a little like my son):
IMG_1509IMG_1507IMG_1505Painting with abandon has helped create a raw quality in the final effect. The methods and the images are starting to flow a little easier, and I feel a little thrilled while I’m in the process. 🙂

Art School Lesson#5~ Form Shapes Content: mixed media & mood

IMG_0752A 101 things to learn in art school
by, Kit White

“5. A drawing (or a painting, photograph, and so on) is first and foremost an expression of its medium.

The medium is the artwork’s first identity. It is secondarily about what it depicts. Form shapes content. A poorly executed image remains insignificant. A well- constructed image of something seemingly insignificant can be masterful. In all great work, the subject and the means which is it rendered are inseparable. Master your technique to protect your content.”

Of course I LOVE learning this, while I try to “master” my own style with mixed media. Here’s some pieces from March where I am moving away from the “She Art” and toward 2 different drawing, painting, and image styles.

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After layering papers and random paints, I got brave and painted this:
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I’m not sure how “form shapes content” in this piece? Feedback?
photo 2Her eyes are my least favorite part. Got to work on those. The green, plum, and gray color scheme are my favorite.

Next, I tried a very similar background with a stylized cartoon-style painting.
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I like how the little sheep image ended up loping across her shoulder. Great accident.
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Have I mentioned “IColor Scheme”? Its a great little APP that creates color schemes to consider and try to mix at home! I love how the purple-gray and pink-red contrast so cheerfully in this piece.
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I’ve discovered Mindy Lacefield. And a whole new raw, fast, essence to capture in painting!

Natural Anti-Depressants

Everyone’s mood can go up~ and can sink down in a natural flow with life experiences.

Heading out to Play, laughing, hugging and sunshine are all natural anti-depressants.

However, sometimes a “mood” just won’t shift, even though we attempt to carry on and show up for life. In that case, here is a reliable list of natural nutrients and amino acids that you can take all- or some- of–to help your body’s chemistry produce healthy levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. The well-being hormones:

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To health!