Do you remember how you could lose hours as a child because you were caught up in painting, drawing, making or modelling something and constructing things purely from your imagination? You’d be taken off to another realm where your spirit was peaceful, free and happy because you were being completely yourself, free from rules or anyone else’s judgements or expectations.
We can all experience the feelings of freedom and joy by recreating creative time, but more than that it is a powerful way to find healing, insight or a solution to something that you want guidance with in your life. You just need to set a clear intention to do so and amazing things can happen.
Connecting with your inner landscape
By creating this space and this focus a very powerful process starts to take place. You are right in the moment, right in your heart, tuning into yourself, tapping into and expressing unconscious, and often deeply held feelings through colour, marks and texture, and it completely absorbs your attention – taking you out of your thinking mind into a momentary state of acceptance of what is, and creating a break in the continual mental commentary.
Desire for change in our lives often comes from experiencing the opposite – something difficult, uncomfortable or unpleasant going on in the present that you’d prefer not to have, and then transitioning to another more favourable state that you’ve formed a picture of in your mind.
Often we need to do some letting go before we can see a vision of the future we’d like to experience, so giving yourself a couple of hours of uninterrupted time to do this kind of work can provide huge benefits because it can be very cathartic; clearing space inside us for something new and inspiring to come in.
You don’t need to be able to paint or have any artistic ability – in fact sometimes it helps if you can’t paint at all, because it’s often trained artists who struggle most because they can’t let go of ‘doing it right’or express what’s inside them through their usual way of painting or drawing. I’ve found that swapping hands and painting with your non-dominant hand – or fingers – can help to get you out of your expectations of perfection and stuckness.
6 steps to get what’s on the inside – out.
1. Materials – Start by getting the materials you need ready, such as paper, paint, water and brushes, crayons, pastels, coloured pencils and felt tip pens. You can use anything as long as you have a good array of colours across the whole spectrum that you can use freely, and you can even use cut up magazines to collage if it helps you express what’s being experienced internally..
2. Relax – When you’re all set, you need to drop down out of your mind and connect with your inner landscape. You can do this by watching or feeling your breath coming in and out of your body, putting on some relaxation music, or any other meditation style that will help you get centred in your body and the present moment.
3. Set your intention – When you’re feeling centred make a clear statement of intent of what you would like clarity about, a solution for or a goal you want to experience. Feel the truth of it in your heart and imagine how it will feel when you have this result in your life.
4. Connect with the present – Bring your attention to where you’re at now in your current state – the place you want to move from. Notice how this feels in your body. Notice any emotions, any tension or other sensations.
5. Paint without thought and empty out – While you’re tuned into these feelings put your gaze softly on the colours you have, and without thinking, pick up a colour and make marks with it on the paper. Be curious about how it looks and feels. Once you get started you will find your flow. There is no wrong way to do this. If dark, yukky, muddy colour and splodges are what’s coming up, then that’s perfect.
Notice any emotions that intensify or change in any way, but don’t judge them Just allow them to be present and keep making marks on the paper until you sense you want to use another colour. Keep using your colours to express whatever wants to come out until you intuitively sense a completion.
You can use your hands, your fingers, you can paint big swathes of colour; you can use images, symbols or words – anything goes! It’s not an art lesson, it’s just about pure expression. You might even want to rip what you’ve done to shreds if that’s what feels right to you, and throw them away if they’ve served their purpose!
6. Rinse and repeat – get set to go again with a clean sheet of paper, and take some moments to breathe, centre yourself and focus on your intention. Then let your hands be guided to the colours again and see what else wants to be expressed. Continue to do the porcess for as long as it feels good.
So finding ways to express yourself through creativity and colour like this is hugely beneficial. The more you can give yourself permission to let go, uncensored, and empty out what may have been pushed down inside for years, the lighter, clearer, happier and more peaceful you will become.
And as you continue to do it, committing layer after layer of unexpressed emotion to the paper, you’re clearing out to make way for the new, and when you’ve created some space within don’t be surprised if you get some big light bulb moments once all the gunk of your unhelpful thoughts is out of the way!
I hope you feel inspired to go and grab some colours and have a go yourself, so you can lose yourself in the world of your imagination like a carefree child again!
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To your transformation,