Recently I've been interested in a few topics that strangely relate to each other fittingly: calligraphy, meditation, and music.
About a month ago I read an interesting article on Alan Watts, a philosopher and writer that is often credited with introducing Eastern philosophies (primarily Zen Buddhism) to the West. The article prompted me to read one of his works titled, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. While many of the concepts introduced were not new to me, Watts did remind me of something I often need to remind myself of: simply living in the present moment without constant worry for the future.
I think we all can find ourselves at times obsessing about outcomes and potential future events. Especially for creatives, we are constantly reminded of producing end results. While there are things that we should definitely think about for the future and remind ourselves (paying bills, saving money, attending important family and life events), many other worries we carry with us are not worth the weight we give them.
Around the time I started reading Watts' book, I began taking a class on calligraphy by Bryn Chernoff. Initially, I found learning calligraphy to be a bit stressful. Learning how to hold a dip pen and how to properly write with a nib was difficult at first. I can only liken it to learning how to write all over again. But after a few sessions, I found myself enjoying the process. One thing I didn't anticipate was how much of my focus had to be on each stroke I made. There were so many factors that could mess up a piece: the ink drying on the nib, pressing too hard, not dipping the pen enough and running out of ink in the middle of writing, misspelling a word, smudging, a shaky hand, etc. But strangely enough, I didn't find myself worrying so much about these factors as much as concentrating so as not to make those mistakes. Allowing myself to be consumed by only the task at hand gave me a sense of peace; I found something unexpectedly meditative.
I will leave you with lyrics from a song I have been listening to over and over again by The Head and The Heart. I find this phrase to be a helpful reminder: "Just for a moment, let's be still." Whether it's a five-minute coffee break or those ten extra minutes of sleep, it's okay to allow yourself for a moment to be still and simply be in the present moment.
Do you have an interest in meditation, calligraphy, or music? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment or connect with me through any of the social links in the footer below.