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Changing your mind: Taking a Line for a walk. Wednesday November 12, 2014

This is the third of my blogs on Mindfulness techniques that I find helpful. This one is concentrated drawing.

You don't need to be an artist to do this, or even have ANY drawing abilities at all, as long as you can hold a pen or a pencil and make a mark on paper you can do this one.

You can do this within a set time (use a timer or an alarm on your watch/phone)or just keep going till you fill the paper, up to you.

Get a sheet of blank paper. Anything will do from the back of an envelope to a A1 sheet of drawing paper. Get something to draw with. Again anything will do. A pencil, pen, crayon whatever you can find.

Look at your paper and pick a spot, anywhere will do. Place the tip of your chosen drawing implement on it (I will assume a pen for now) and start to move the pen across the paper. Concentrate on the line and the feeling of the pen on the paper. Is it scratchy or smooth? Try to vary the line, can you make it darker or lighter?

Don't take your pen off the paper and keep making lines, shapes, pictures whatever takes your fancy but keep concentrating on the line. If your mind starts to wander bring it back firmly but kindly to the line. If you forget and take the pen off the paper, don't beat yourself up but start a new line and try to keep focused on maintaining that continuous line.

Keep going till you run out of your set time or out of paper.

I find this technique very useful when I am getting particularly anxious whilst waiting for people or if I am having a really bad spell and can't concentrate on anything.

A Moodscope member.

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bournemouth.lass Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 5:17am

What a wonderfully inspired idea Penny, thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try it. You mentioned a time limit but gave us no time, I take it it s up to us toset a time for oourselves? Another variant of this that I love is doing it to music and allowing the peice to dictate the heavyness and shape of the lines, that's a very cool one too.

Di Murphey Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 5:40am

Dearest Penny,
I did it! I mean, I tried your idea and it was: 1) engrossing 2) healing 3) fun 4) refreshing 5) calming 6) inspiring. It opened multiple ideas and acted as a "Refresh" button. Thank you for this series. It is a wonderful way to grab onto more creativity.
Di Murphey

Hopeful One Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 8:38am

Hi amazing Penny. What a brilliant idea. I cannot wait to try it. It will be useful companion to the red Zen dot on my windscreen to remind me to be in the present.It prompted me to think of the idea suggested by Andy Puddicome in his book get some headspace. Images suggests that if we try to draw a free hand across a page it would be anything but . On the other hand if we imagined it as a series of closely spaced dots like the join the dot pictures we did as children then there is a good chance we would end up with a straight line. Substitute emotional stability for the line and you have the 'picture.'

Anonymous Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 11:56am

Hi penny, I am definately going to be trying out your set of ideas. I need to get in touch with my creativity and these methods have inspired me to start, all so simple and achievable. Thankyou!! Rosie x

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 1:38pm

Great idea Penny. I use this as a start for "Zentangling" where each of the gaps created by the rope lines are filled in with a different doodle. I love zentangles as you can't get it wrong, you end up with a great piece of art (you have something to show for the time you've spent - very important to me) and it really takes you into the creative zone. Also, of course, it is meditative and relaxing. Happy doodling everyone!

kornage Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 6:08pm

I like the "zentangle" style too. I got a couple of the books from amazon, a few of the pens, and yep, very happy with the way I get absorbed in the activity and making the patterns.

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