An Artful Path to Mindfulness
MBSR-Based Activities for Using Creativity to Reduce Stress and Embrace the Present Moment
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
An innovative, creative approach to help you break free from the fear and uncertainty that stand in the way of genuine happiness.
When you look at your life, do you feel it’s working just the way it is? Or do you feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, and uneasy? So many of us are stuck in a pattern of living reactively rather than proactively, and feel exhausted and uncreative as a result. Fortunately, there is another way. It requires stepping off the fast track, and no longer going through your days on “autopilot.” It requires slowing down and tuning in to the present moment and seeing things as they really are.
Mindfulness-based self-expression (MBSE), offers a way off the fast track. Drawing on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), MBSE fuses art exploration—including drawing, mark-making, and creative self-expression—with meditations, gentle yoga, breathwork, and body scans. These daily practices are designed to help you cultivate a mindset of awareness, patience, trust, acceptance, and vulnerability.
This unique workbook invites you to draw, tear, mark, play, and take risks. There is no plan, no goal, and no preconceived idea to follow. The process is simply communicating to yourself who you are in this moment, following the thread one mark at a time. The book also serves as a journal for recording your curiosity, vulnerability, and creativity. When completed, it becomes an artistic expression of life as you celebrate the profound gift that is now.
Tapping into our creative self-expression empowers us to be who we are in the world, to come into deeper contact with our authentic selves, and build the self-confidence needed to take risks. The Artful Path to Mindfulness will help you find your own creative heart, and use it as a tool for living a joyful and fulfilling life.
“A practical guide to unleashing our inner artist! Slom beautifully helps us step out of self-consciousness (and everything else that gets in the way) into awareness, connection, and self-expression.”~Jud Brewer, MD, PhD
—Jud Brewer, MD, PhD, author of The Craving Mind, and director of research and innovation for the Mindfulness Center at Brown University
“This is a wonderful and wise book inviting us all to explore both our creativity and heart. Take a few moments to pause, feel into your body and mind, and experience its aliveness that seeds all possibility. An Artful Path to Mindfulness is filled with wisdom, kindness, and hope—that love and awareness will see us through and through.”~Bob Stahl, PhD
—Bob Stahl, PhD, coauthor of five books: A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Living with Your Heart Wide Open, Calming the Rush of Panic, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook for Anxiety, and MBSR Every Day
“An Artful Path to Mindfulness offers step-by-step, clear, and practical techniques for understanding, absorbing, and learning mindfulness that allows us the experience of actually being mindful. There are many teachers of mindfulness, but none before offered such detailed ways to understand the steps that lead us to mindfulness. In my opinion, the beauty of this book rests in the practicality of its content which is both concrete and softly esoteric, allowing us to absorb the tools for understanding and ‘owning’ the steps to mindful inner peace. Thank you, Janet, for the gift you have given to all of us.”~Rabbi Roger Ross
—Rabbi Roger Ross, chair of New Vision Interspiritual Seminary; executive director of the Rabbinical Seminary International; United Nations (UN) representative of the NGO, United Religions Initiative; and cochair of the Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns at the UN
“Enter this book with an open mind and let Janet Slom guide you on the path of creativity. The joys of absorption, fearlessness, and discovery await. Give yourself enough time, take patience with you—and the rewards will be life-changing.”~Amy Gross,
—Amy Gross, former editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine; and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teacher
“An Artful Path to Mindfulness—based on activities from MBSR—evokes innate, spacious awareness while cultivating curiosity, creativity, and freedom. Janet Slom wholeheartedly extends an invitation to play at the edges of not knowing, and discovery of natural rhythms through each exploration with mindful art encounters. The workbook offers the structure and inspiration to draw from deep inner resources, seeing clearly, and resting in the unfolding of intimacy and interconnection with self, others, and the natural world.”~Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA, LMFT
—Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA, LMFT, program director of global relations and professional education for the Mindfulness Center at Brown University
“Janet Slom invites the reader to consider drawing, not as an object but as a process—a personal journey. Through a series of practical exercises, she avoids teaching drawing as the acquisition of empty skills. Instead, she encourages the reader to consider drawings as a visual process that can effectively explore the space of thought and feeling. Janet Slom’s book, An Artful Path to Mindfulness, is ambitious; she believes if the act of drawing is fully embraced as a ‘mindful’ vehicle for rigorous self-discovery, not only will the resulting drawings be more meaningful and deeply compelling, they may change your life.”~Power Boothe
—Power Boothe, professor of painting in the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford
“This is a thinking-out-of-the box program author Janet Slom calls mindfulness-based self-expression, or MSBE. She encourages creativity, various art exercises, and entertaining possibilities we haven’t dared to. Instead of living reactively, Slom urges we engage life as it is to experience our true selves and live joyfully.”~Sharon Salzberg
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness
“Create, preserve, destroy in order to recreate freshly! Through an ingenious, inventive, and mature reimagining of the MBSR curriculum, Janet draws us lovingly into the dance of ‘making marks.’ Holding firmly to the essence of mindfulness, this book is a point of light shining forth from the depths of Janet’s heart and the brilliance of her art.”~Saki F. Santorelli, EDD, MA
—Saki F. Santorelli, EDD, MA, educator, meditation teacher, writer, and pioneer in integrating meditation and mindfulness into medicine, health care, and the broader society; former executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society; director of the internationally acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic; and professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
“MBSE is an invaluable and innovative practice for accessing our unique creative flow, and applying it to our lives. Whether making a mark on canvas or in the world, mindfulness and creativity are essential resources. Janet Slom is an inspiring and compassionate guide who offers an easy-to-follow methodology; even after just a few exercises, MBSE effectively replenishes and enriches us. This book is an invitation to a dynamic exploration of self-discovery and self-expression.”~Jeff Elster
—Jeff Elster, eco entrepreneur and artist who has been studying and practicing meditation in the US and India for more than thirty years
“In her outstanding book, Janet Slom invites us to set aside preconceived notions, assumptions, beliefs, and assessments, to fully engage the present moment with an open mind and heart. As a participant in her workshops, I have experienced the positive and enduring impact of her unique approach to stress reduction through exploring creativity and presenting our true selves to the world. Thankfully, now, many more people can access her theories and approaches in this workbook. Janet combines the multiple roles of teacher, artist, poet, and dancer to guide readers through their personalized ninety-day program toward a healthy life. As a psychologist assisting others in their own challenging journeys, I look forward to incorporating this timely book into my work.”~Dale Atkins, PhD
—Dale Atkins, PhD, practicing psychologist, lecturer, media commentator, and author of seven books, including The Kindness Advantage; Sanity Savers; Wedding Sanity Savers; I’m OK, You’re My Parents; From the Heart; and Sisters