Do you like to doodle, draw a sketch, color or paint? It’s a great way to relax when you stay in the moment and let your creative side take the lead. I love expressing creatively through art.

When I was in my 20s I would paint for hours all through the night until I crashed to bed early in the morning. I would dip my brush in the paint and work on a huge blank canvas ... with no idea what I was going to paint, but the brush would lead me. I was in the moment with my creativity. I loved using bright happy colors and off I went. I dipped the brush in the paint, swirled it around on my pallet, noticed the consistency of the color and added some water or a new color. When I felt I had achieved the right feeling of the color I wanted I started filling my canvas. I was in the moment with my art project. I took a breath with each brush stroke and felt totally immersed in my creativity. This is what’s called mindful painting; no judgments, just accepting the project one brush stroke at a time.

It’s a great relaxing feeling inside. But when does it not become mindful? Well, I will tell you. Sometimes my insecurities would arise when I started worrying; I worried if my parents liked it; I worried if my friend would like it enough to hang in her daughter’s room; I basically worried if it was perfect enough to be accepted by others. Those challenging thoughts made it a bit trickier for me to paint mindfully. On top of that I would also turn into a bigger noodle head when asking my other friends who were established artists for lots of advice: “What do you think, should I add something in this space or not?” You get the picture. This is where I would have loved to have taken some deep breaths and accept my own unique creative expression on canvas and realize that my family and friends enjoy my whimsical art work.

Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s all in our minds, there is no such thing as perfection in art. If you want to paint mindfully you just paint to paint, you don’t paint to get a perfect result. You enjoy the process of creation.

So, next time when you paint, draw, color or doodle and your thoughts go towards the judgmental side, take a deep breath, notice and realize that those thoughts are not part of your true self. You are an amazing person with a creative talent that’s unique to you. Be in the moment with that creative talent, and enjoy the process of painting one stroke at a time.

Ditteke Ederveen-Gorman writes from Keene. She has been helping people to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives, so that they feel happier and more peaceful. A former model and actress, she writes, teaches and speaks about mindfulness to adults and children. Visit her blog at www.dittekeyogablog.wordpress.com.