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Painting Series: Mindfulness

Paying attention to what is going on in the moment is a challenge but the rewards are significant in terms of health and happiness. This painting series inspires us to stop and pay attention, both without and within.

Why am I mindful about mindfulness

Bev Alldridge

My Mindfulness Series of paintings coincides with my interest in learning more about the health benefits of being mindful. Each of these moments captured on canvas are reminders of the benefits of experiencing the moment at hand, being aware of both what is going on internally and what is going on around you in the moment.

Mindfulness Series #3 Still of the Night (sold)

I must say, I had no idea what I was getting myself into with mindfulness practice. It is hard work! Our brains are so conditioned to just keep churning along that developing skills to pay attention to those thoughts when necessary and taking a break the rest of the time is no small task. I take to heart the advice that mindfulness is a practice and we just do the best we can at any given moment.

Why am I sticking with it? Well, mostly because the benefits are both immediate and longer term in terms of psychological, emotional and physical well being.  Here is a partial list of benefits that I came across on The Guided Meditation Site:

1. Stability of Mind
Mindfulness benefits include a much more balanced outlook on life, and a state of mind that is less likely to bounce around from one thought to the next.

2. Flexible Awareness
Mindfulness will help train you to take command of your awareness, so that you can shift your attention from depressing or angry thoughts to more positive ones with greater ease.

3. Self Awareness
Mindfulness trains you to become aware of what is going on inside you and how your inner world of thoughts and feelings is reacting to the events that are taking place in the world around you. When you develop this kind of awareness, you will be more aware of inner disturbances if they arise, and therefore more able to take steps to maintain a positive outlook if they do. Oftentimes, stress and anxiety build up over a period of time because we are not paying attention to what is going on inside us.

4. Non Reactivity
Through mindfulness, and especially through the practice of mindfulness meditation, you learn to observe your thoughts and feelings and any environmental circumstances with a more detached outlook. You learn to stop labelling the events in your life as “bad” or “irritating” or “boring” and so on. Instead, you learn to simply accept things as they are without reacting to them. Of course, this does not mean that you stop working to change the things in your life that problematic for you, but it does mean that you will not be so burdened by problems that you may once have deemed to be intolerable.

Mindfulness leads to a strengthening of your ability to concentrate, and a dramatic reduction in stress. Through the practice of mindfulness you will experience a greater sense of wholeness and aliveness, even during seemingly mundane moments in life, and you’ll find that your mind begins to disentangle itself from negative thoughts, negative reactions and negative judgements.

You will become aware that your thoughts and feelings are not the sum total of who you are, and that you need not be a victim of your own thinking. There is a great sense of freedom in this realization.

You’ll also find that you greatly improve your ability to deal with any major upheavals that might arise in your life. But mindfulness is more than just a good coping mechanism. It is also very powerful for clearing the mind and developing space for deeper awareness, spiritual connectedness, and deep meditation. (

So, I'll stick with it....

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Monkey Brain

Bev Alldridge

Some of you are already aware of my painting mission—enabling my clients to experience the happiness that comes from showing their loved ones how much they care through a unique piece of art.

Most of my recent paintings have been these private commissions. The experience has been very rewarding and I love hearing the wonderful feedback from clients about the reaction of their family member when presented with their special painting. Interestingly, to date, clients have selected landscapes which have meaning for both the client and their family member.

When not working on a commissioned piece, I am working on my Mindfulness Series. As with my mission, each painting in the series captures a moment in time and triggers an emotional response.

Mindfulness can best be described as paying attention. I find certain moments in nature are so beautiful they make me stop and take notice which is the essence of mindfulness. Our busy thoughts fall to the wayside, or they hover in the background as we experience the beauty or mystery of the moment.  The feeling of peace comes not just from experiencing the special scene, but it is also the result of our experiencing a wee respite from the churning thoughts that relentlessly ply their way through our consciousness. You may have heard the term, “Monkey Brain” used to describe it.

With my paintings in this series, I hope to capture scenes that make the viewer stop and breathe in the wonder of nature. Comments to date such as "I can feel the heat from the sun", "I feel surrounded by the trees, like a comfort blanket" assure me I'm on the right path. As we stop and pay attention,  we diminish the impact of our Monkey Brain.

You may view them as follows:
Mindfulness Series #1 Sunset

Mindfulness Series #2 Mystical Trees (sold)

Mindfulness Series #3 Still of the Night (sold)

In April I will begin a monthly posting of Niagara Celebrity Insider Tip of things to see and do in the Niagara region. If you would like to receive these, please subscribe below. Cheers!