Natalie Hale has practiced meditation every day for the past 28 yearsincluding on the days that her two children were born. Apart from the purely creative aspect of meditation, Hale says that the ability to remain centered and energized are also invaluable given her life schedule. “I’ve got a lot of family duties and a handicapped son, so my time has to count,” she says. “For instance, I also work part-time as a freelance graphic designer. And I can’t afford the time to sit and draw a dozen designs for my client. I’ve got to have one that really works, and that’s the one I do. Meditation, for me, is an enormous shortcut to the design. I just don’t have the time to sit there and figure it out. It’s got to be there. I’ve got to have access to it very quickly. That’s one of the side benefits of meditation. Because if you sit and meditate day after day after day, and you’ve got a really good techniqueone that’s solid and that worksyou’re very used to focusing and concentrating and you just apply that to your work. Sometimes you make mistakes, but you don’t waste time. You may have to go back and redo something because you spilled paint on it. But you don’t waste time going in the wrong direction.”
Martha Newfield is an artist and teacher based in Cincinnati, Ohio.