Creating Stillness: Mindful Art Practices and Stories for Navigating Anxiety, Stress, and Fear

North Atlantic. Mar. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781623177591. pap. $17.95. SELF-HELP
This work focuses on leading readers to mindfulness and meditation through the act of creating. Author Rose is an arts educator, and she focuses here on using art to confront things that may weigh us down in our everyday lives. This includes dealing with anxiety, letting go of expectations, and overcoming feelings of being disconnected from oneself and the natural world. Sections include creative exercises, processes for preparing for meditation, and questions to ask while working through the processes. The author discusses different approaches and cultural perspectives, including Indigenous peoples and Eastern cultures. Each chapter contains stories of individuals with whom the author has worked, but occasionally these stories make the book feel unfocused and it’s sometimes hard to see how each ties into the processes she describes. There are also moments where she veers too far into the scholarly, for a less accessible read.
VERDICT Overall, this book seems aimed at readers for whom traditional meditation may not appeal, or who are looking for a more creative path to mindfulness.
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