I’m struggling in my meditation practice these days. My mind is not settled and this may sound like a bad thing but for me it means I’m at an exciting point in my practice. For me, meditation is about getting to know myself deeply and intimately. So when my mind is not settled, its time for exploration off the mat. At this time continuing to sit on the mat for longer will only lead to frustration. My mind is offering me a gift. It’s telling me something is up that requires my full attention and openheartedness. This is the time when I will go to art. I will ask my younger self what materials it wants to work with drawing material, paper, construction paper, tissues paper, collage. The list goes on and on and I ask until I get a positive response. It’s like the part of me that needs attention isn’t always able to say what it wants, so offering suggestions is useful. And once that is decided, I sit quietly and observe my feelings and watch what comes out onto the paper. Sometimes preparing to touch this place will bring me to tears and I will get information about the current struggle. Other times I will notice my mind desperately search for something else to think about, anything else, everything else, and this is when I need to be more persistent and patient. I remind myself that I am safe, that I am here, and open to feeling the feelings. It’s hard work. Ther is no doubt about that, however, not doing the work only makes things more messier. The relief that comes when I am able to move the feeling is definitely worth it.