I’ve been feeling a little off-kilter for the last few months—maybe since my dad died in January—wallowing a bit and not focusing enough on the things that make me feel like a healthy version of myself. I’ve been drinking more coffee than water, eating whatever (hello, ice cream!), exercising sporadically, and going down online rabbit holes of bad news. So when the Summer 2022 Whole Life Challenge rolled around, I knew that I had to sign up. The Whole Life Challenge is the thing that jumpstarted my wellness journey and always helps me reset my body and mind.
So here I am starting Week #2 and already feel so much better! My clothes fit a little looser, I’m kicking the ice cream habit (yet again), and am once again walking about 2.5 miles every morning. (The birdsong on those walks is a true delight!)
What’s been especially helpful are the weekly well-being practices. Week #1 was a “No News” week. Oh, how I needed that!! The news apps came off of my phone and I walked around the house shouting “NO NEWS!!” if I caught wind of some on the TV. (One does what one has to do.) The only news I took in was via word-of-mouth and, believe me, that’s plenty. Even though I’m now into the second week of the challenge, I’m sticking with this one.
The well-being practice for Week #2 is “Stillness in Daily Life” in which we are to focus on a hobby or activity that we enjoy, for at least ten minutes a day. This is meant as a way to achieve “stillness” without sitting motionless, as in meditation. It’s an attempt to introduce some peace into our noisy and whirling dervish lives. Who couldn’t use that?! Oh-and the best part is YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GOOD at the activity you choose. The goal is to simply do it.
Journaling would be a good practice, but I already do that every morning so that felt like cheating. And I wanted to try something new, maybe something that I’m kind of bad at but enjoy. Lightbulb moment—I’ll DRAW in my journal. Just as I had that thought, I noticed the little “viewfinder”—the subscriber extra for Blackwing Volume 93—that’s been collecting dust on my desk.
And so my “Stillness” practice was born. I use the viewfinder to draw a small box, then sketch something from my day. Like my breakfast…
Or some flowers from my morning walk…
Tiny flowers in tiny mulch.
What’s cool, is that I’m noticing the little details on my walk rather than focusing on the loop of troublesome thoughts in my head.
AND—I do not have to be good at this. I simply have to do it.
Like the “No News” practice, I plan to keep this one going. Finding stillness and embracing imperfection has become just as important to me as kicking that ice cream habit.
What would you do for your “Stillness” practice?
Updated to add the rest of the week’s “gallery”:
This really has been a blast—much more meditative for me than meditation.
If nothing else, I’m finally getting around to sharpening all of the colored pencils in this box that I’ve had for years, probably decades. (Why rush, eh?)
P.S. Blacktop is really hard to draw. (That’s a leaf in the road, next to the colored pencils. Tough one today!)