Friday, February 2, 2018


Who's to say
the real effort to be real 
isn't the beginning of wings?

The above is an excerpt from Mark Nepo's THE BOOK OF AWAKENING. It met my Brooklyn studio in the stifling summer of 2013; a gift from a dear friend who knew I needed a change. It set me on the path of making and breathing and living happily in the moment.

My impression of meditation had always been enough to keep me from trying it. I couldn't imagine what crossing my legs, and muttering long vowels would possibly accomplish.

It turns out, meditation is a twisty-turny thing, and there are as many ways to practice it as there are to make a picture book. Among other things, it is scientifically proven to help its practitioners alleviate stress, depression, and anxiety, improve self-confidence, increase focus, develop positive social connections and prevent arthritis. Writers and illustrators are my favorite kind of people, but I'm yet to find one that couldn't benefit from that industry-specific list of preventatives. If you're uncomfortable with OMs, consider guided meditation, that's where I started.

Daily mindfulness practice has taught me that one thing done with patience and peace is much better than ten things done in a panic. My life and my art are more effortless, comfortable, and fun when I quiet my mind for 5-20 minutes every day.

Meditation is my key to living creatively. It might be what you're looking for too. Not ready to dive into the deep end? Consider dipping your toe in the lotus pool.

Try an app:
・Aura on iPhone and Android
・Aware on iPhone & Android
・Calm on iPhone & Android

Or a podcast:
Deep Energy 2.0
Meditation Minis
The Meditation Podcast -
 a $2 a month Patreon subscription pays you back ten-fold in happiness. Choose an episode for what ails you. The CREATIVE FREEDOM episode is a new ritual. They make their most recent episode available free on their website 

Try a meditation for the painter in their studio:
・Place a dry sponge and a glass of water before you.
・Center yourself by letting the energy of all that feels urgent rush through you. 
・Exhale and try to let it go.
・Now drip a small stream of water on the sponge.
・As you breathe slowly watch how the sponge opens.
・Keep dripping water on the sponge as you breathe slowly and feel your heart open

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Twitter @shesureis

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