This drawing is from a "mindfulness online drawing party" I joined recently, hosted by comics artist Yumi Sakugawa. The prompt was about "planting seeds of collective safety," which has inspired me to share a little more about the context of this.
I've mostly addressed my creative journey from law to illustration when it comes to public sharing (Skillshare recently based one of their campaigns around this). I haven't shared as much about an equally important journey. A big part of my life the past year or so has been my spiritual journey—encompassing things like mindfulness, awareness, selflessness, and presence. I've practiced yoga for many years now, as well as some form of meditation for a few years, but only really started to get to the core understanding of things the past year. I personally have found it to be even more important than my creative journey in terms of what's important in life, though I couldn't have had one without the other.
The creative/career journey is amazing but can also leave you with an endless feeling of "not enough": always chasing the next goal, constantly living in the future, not enjoying the present wins, constantly comparing yourself to others and/or being overly critical of your own work. I've experienced it and heard the same story from so many others now. And it's reflective of our society's mindset in general.
Meanwhile, the spiritual journey has given me a heightened sense of peace, purpose, and energy even in times of difficulty and challenge that I did not have before. It's an ongoing practice but has already improved my creative life/mentality drastically, and really my entire life when shit started hitting the fan this year in terms of the news (I'm writing this in the year of Kobe and Gigi's death, the coronavirus lockdown, the Black Lives Matter protests, and impending 2020 election).
While I've always been a positive person who looks for the silver lining in everything, I was not so good at truly addressing difficult emotions as I was in just trying to magic them away. I also had some misplaced priorities due to years of idealizing perfectionism, achievement and that startup go-getter mentality. So many things we glorify are actually so harmful to us.
The past few months have been obviously tough but I feel a meaningful shift amongst our collective consciousness. I personally feel more aligned than ever in my purpose and work in developing a creativity and mindfulness practice going forward.
More to come. In the meantime, for those interested in learning more on their own, I highly recommend starting with The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as The Art of Living by Thich Naht Hanh. And to start incorporating a meditation practice into your daily routine. Even 10 minutes a day is enough. A free trial with an app such as Headspace can ease you into it, and then you can just use the free timer on Insight Timer to continue.