The first few days of each year are usually moments full of positivity, resolutions, and high hopes for the incoming year. It is an inevitable time to reflect on the year that was, and how it has changed our lives for the better -- bringing us new lessons, more life experiences, and the necessary challenges to make us stronger. It's the time when everyone is in unity in looking back at the year that was with gratitude and a heart full of hope for the new incoming year!
I believe that the most important factor in bringing in a great change in our lives is to be mindful of everything. Mindfulness can create a positive ripple effect in our lives that allows us to see the good things, even in the direst circumstances. Despite the challenges the coming year will bring to the table, you can always choose to stay on top of things as long as you keep the right mindset. Here are 5 simple ways to kickstart a mindful living!
Our physical space deeply affects our inner emotions and mental state. To begin with decluttering your mind, purge your space of all the inessential things, and make way for what is only truly important in your life. Start with your closet, as it is easily one of the places where we gather too much stuff without even realizing it!
Pro tip: Remove clothes that you have not used even once in a whole year. This tells you that you don't really need it. You don't have to jump into the minimalist mindset, but recognizing that you don't need material things to live life to the fullest is one of the ways you can start being mindful. You may also incorporate the KonMari way of life, and try to give a proper home for each one of your things.
2. Make time for your passion
If you have (a) passion/s that you were forced to leave behind because of certain reasons -- may it be because of work, responsibilities, lack of time, etc. -- try to start your year by revisiting them one by one. Whatever they may be, and whatever people's opinions on them are, don't be afraid to go after them once more. Our passions make us feel alive and in touch with ourselves. When we feel this way, we feel happy and content and this is very important as we navigate through our lives every day.
3. Write and paint
Writing and painting truly do wonders for our souls. They say that writing is thinking on paper. We oftentimes feel like our minds are cluttered and that our thoughts are all over the place, especially when we are stressed. In order to help put some order into your thoughts, try writing them down on paper. At ZenART Supplies we have quality flexible notebooks that can be used however you please -- as a sketchbook, bullet journal, or as a daily planner. Whatever emotion you feel, grab some paint and put it out on the canvas! Play with oils, acrylics, or watercolours, and explore the different types of brushes. Doing something tangible with our hands bring us back to our basic instincts and this also allows us to explore more of ourselves that we haven't discovered yet before. It serves as therapy, stress reliever, and a gateway to self-discovery.
4. Look closer into nature
When we look closer to nature, we discover and understand more of the world. Tend to your garden; grow some herbs that you could use in the kitchen! Go for a quick run towards the sunrise. Most of the time, we tend to overlook the blessings that are in front of us in our desire to look for better options, for greener pastures. This coming new year, let us keep in mind that each thing is a blessing on its own, and seeing the good in our environment, our houses, our work, our family, and everything around us -- appreciating all of them to the best of their potential is also a great way to begin practicing mindfulness.
5. Let it go
It's not always easy to let go of the things that have caused us distress in the past. Creating a Vision Board could be extremely helpful to develop self-awareness and promote positive thinking. It makes you recognize that if there's something in your life that you don't enjoy: YOU have the capacity to change it! By now, we realize that there are things in life that are out of our control; all we can do is to learn how to let go of these things, and let the universe do its job! As they say, the universe is never too soon or too late. It's always right on time. This coming new year, begin by choosing to let these things that weight us down go and instead choose to strive to do our best, every single day.
As you advance in your journey on mindfulness, you will see very positive changes in your daily life. Begin by practicing one of these mindfulness tips, and the rest will follow like waves. Soon enough, you will look back at these moments fondly, and they will surely be worth it. Happy New Year! Here's to a more mindful living for all of us! Join our friendly art community Painting Inspiration Daily on Facebook. You can share your art and ideas, watch LIVE tutorials, and be inspired to paint!
What about you? What are your special tips to start the New Year in a mindful and positive way?
- MEET THE AUTHOR-
Ardak Kassenova is a London based contemporary artist, co-founder and creative director of ZenART Supplies. Her visual style-contemporary impressionism-share similar aesthetic qualities with those by the French Impressionists. After 20 years of a successful corporate career, becoming a mother to two wonderful girls, and with the continuous development of her practice by taking private lessons from the best artists she could find; Ardak decided it's time to align her life with her true passion, Art. Driven by this passion and her corporate leadership background, she co-founded ZenART.
"My heart and soul were always with Art, and since my childhood as long as I remember myself, I was dreaming to be an artist. I was painting after work, when I had time, and teaching myself through the books, videos, visiting art galleries and museums. I've been very curious about different techniques and styles, and therefore accumulated knowledge and experience on a variety of mediums."