Good morning, everyone! It’s a beautiful day! Don’t you think it’s a beautiful day? It is a beautiful day! Despite the fact that it is raining and a bit chilly where I am as I write this, and ouch, I just hit my hip on this desk—Hands down, this is the best freakin’ day of my life.

So why am I so chipper? Because I’ve been up for four hours already painting! Aha!

Have I lost my mind?

Maybe so!

But that’s kind of the point of painting for me. Let me explain.

In a previous post I told you guys about a little theory, championed by many brilliant minds throughout history, that when you wake up in the early, early hours of the morning, this is the time for creativity; this is the time for magic.

So this morning (using the term morning loosely here, as it was about 4 a.m.) when something drew me out of bed, I decided to stay up and do some meditating. I sat down in my meditation chair, feeling all proud and oh-so-spiritual for dragging my ass out of bed at 4 a.m. to meditate. And I sat. And I sat.

And I just couldn’t quite get into meditation. My mind was racing, I felt a bit keyed up, and there was no way I could get back to sleep. So I decided to meditate… in a different way. I put in some headphones, turned on my Skrillex Pandora station, and after about two songs of dancing around my bedroom like a psycho, I pulled out a set of paints and my largest pad of paper. 4:45 in the morning and time to paint? Why not!

My hand moved across the large paper, colors and lines forming into shapes, shapes into features, features into what would apparently be a portrait. When I was finished I was surprised to find that three hours had passed, and even more so to behold the face staring back up at me.

See, when I paint, I do lose my mind—that “brain chatter” that we’re so accustomed to simply fades away, I lose track of time, and I am that moment. I am truly inspired, in spirit, and if that’s not meditation, I don’t know what is.

Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting still and quiet. Meditation doesn’t have to look like anything in particular really. The whole point is to lose your mind—quiet the thoughts, be present, be here, be now, no matter what. Yes, even when you have dubstep blaring in your ears.

So find that something that stills your mind but thrills your heart. Whether it’s painting, running, playing music, listening to music, improv* comedy, or just sitting in a spot of sun with your cat; if it keeps you present and quiets your mind, well then you’re meditating—I don’t care what certain yogis say.

If you’re interested in checking out some more of the results of my “meditation,” check them out here.

*If you don’t already have a go-to activity to quiet your mind and keep you present, or even if you do, I recommend taking an improv class. Yes, really. The whole point of improv is to stay present, be aware, quiet that mind chatter, oh, and have fun! It is my spiritual playtime and I think you should do it too—yes, especially if the thought of doing it terrifies you! Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” That’s where life happens.

What do you do to “lose your mind”? (Let’s try to keep it legal here, people!)