When in the midst of self-healing, discovery and waking up to your inner potential, I recommend doing this exercise. I have no idea what led me to try it out but it worked beautifully. I am no artist but I am an avid researcher into the meaning behind our existence. Doing this exercise was a way for me to see what lies in-between me and being happy. What is going on in the depths of my being; my thinking, my suffering and attracting so much stagnation…?
I got my acrylics out and an A3 page. Then I started with no plan. No outlines, no idea where this was going! All I was armed with was a determination to complete something. What was going to stand in the way of me, this paintbrush and actually finishing a picture?
Well my friends – plenty stood in the way! Yet the more I was clear on finishing and trusting the process, the more the critic, ego and fear gave way to the wisdom. The process somehow gave birth to immense clarity on my patterns of thought.
These are my suggested steps:
1) Grab a large piece of paper, A3 works well and whatever medium talks to you for painting/ drawing etc
2) Create an intention to finish the work no matter what, even if it’s all night long. Finish it.
3) Leave some space to jot down the voices that come up. Remain unattached to them by continuing with your intention to finish the painting.
4) Do not plan the picture – simply begin to paint. Let your intuition, inner child, the colours, your paintbrush, your inner visions lead you. Allow yourself to paint!
This is an exercise of awareness to help you see what lies behind your moment by moment existence especially when you’re creating something from nothing. Attempt to enjoy it, be light in your judgments and use it wisely. Let it be a process for whatever it is that you need. It’s your life – you own it, not these crazy thoughts or judgments!
Not having a plan or idea where the painting was going led to a bright, beautiful and freeing experience. I had to trust myself and I had to let go. I allowed myself to pick up the pen when necessary to write down the louder and more dominant thoughts but I would return to the painting and ensure it was my leader. Eventually the fear became wisdom.
The conclusion from this painting: If you turn your back on yourself, you turn your back on the world.
Some of the words that came up during my painting were:
“These voices crept in when they were not welcome, instilling the masterful fear of failure. Just stop. Don’t try – you don’t know how! You’re awful compared to so & so. Trust flew away as fear took the reigns and I wave goodbye to Natalie as something else stood its ground and declared this territory is mine.”
“To create from nothing is to see it all”
“When one paints, one hears the whole world screaming their opinions”
“Trust with no doubt is the gateway to full self-expression”
“Panic steps in – a need to run when I stop trusting the paintbrush. When I can see the beauty of a picture & become afraid I’ll ruin it. The paintbrush represents life & the intent behind its movement lies deep within you. Work with it. Trust it. Love and encourage it.”
I did a similar exercise many years ago with a self portrait and found similar, surprising results. So if you’re up for that, you can attempt to sit in front of mirror and paint what you see. What does the paint reveal? What comes up for you?
Let me know how you go and enjoy! Please share any pictures and be gentle with yourself.