Ramblings and Beginnings

Jessie Wilcox Smith Illustration

I’ve made a commitment to create a habit of writing in the morning.

Small but consistent habits are something I struggle with. But I never miss morning coffee. First thing.

My morning coffee ritual is something I look forward to going to bed at night. It’s an indulgence to pause and sit quietly. It’s an instinct to carve out sacred time to think. To just be.

Except too often, I end up scrolling Instagram.

Jessie Wilcox Smith Illustration

As an artist and designer, scrolling my social media feed is more productive than not. Inspiration, ideas and visual learning. It feeds me. It’s not my experience that the net effect is comparison and feeling inadequate.

My visual brain is voracious. It drives me and it feeds me. I’m addicted to coffee, I’m addicted to visual input. How healthy both these things are is up for debate. They don’t make me unhappy, or diminish my ability to function. I’ve never felt the need to take a social media break.

But scrolling is a passive practice of consumption. (So is drinking coffee). And, honestly, too often I end up buying some needful thing I had no idea I needed before. That, is the real risk of my scrolling habit. the ad pressure.

So instead of receiving the random content in my feed first thing, I will sit down to write here. Most of it will never be shared. But it’s fascinating how blogging is similar to the practice of keeping a diary. It’s a practice of finding out what’s at the top of your mind and sitting with it. Examining it, and seeing how it comes out on the page.

It’s a practice, like meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is the top recommendation for someone who struggles with anxiety. But a trigger for mine is the feeling and sound of my heartbeat. It’s so fragile and unlikely. It’s too often pounding too hard, too fast. How will it keep up?

Breath works better for me. Yoga. I need to move physically. That’s the closest I get to meditation.

Writing, I think, is another form of meditation. It’s a way of examining and structuring your thoughts. And releasing them. A healthy habit.

Today I commit.

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I am an artist and designer based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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