An Artful Path to Mindfulness: MBSR-Based Activities for Using Creativity to Reduce Stress and Embrace the Present Moment
By Janet Slom
New Harbinger Publications 2020;
208 pp., $24.95 (paper)
In An Artful Path to Mindfulness, artist Janet Slom presents a nine-week course dedicated to mindfulness-based self-expression (MBSE), an approach inspired by Jon Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program. According to Slom, “MBSE combines traditional mindfulness practices, such as meditations, body scans, and gentle yoga, with art-centered exercises to help you direct your awareness to the present moment.” Artistic skill, assures Slom, is not required. Rather, she offers a path to exploring the inherent creativity that we all possess. Each section within this unique and innovative workbook follows a set pattern: the reader is thoroughly introduced to a concept, and this is followed by a list of intentions, a series of practices, a daily mindful art encounter, an end-of-week reflection, and journal prompts. Though it’s certainly possible to pick and choose the content at random, the exercises do build on each other. Additional support materials are available on the publisher’s website.