I’m so excited! I haven’t written here for so long and I’m thrilled to write a new post! I was inspired to share with you how I use art for coming back to myself since I tend to spend way too much time in my head. It’s a great way to bring me back to my body, to my heart and to the present moment. It allows me to get in touch with my feelings, creativity and inspiration. This is the space of non-resistance which is where the healing happens. This is also where the magic happens. Since stress has been a big part of my journey in these last couple of years, this is one way I use to get back to myself and out of my controlling mind.
What made a huge difference for me, was the way I approach to making art. I use ‘making art’, because I don’t just paint, but I like to try different things like drawing, doodling, geometry etc. The way I ‘traditionally’ create art is different from what I use for mindfulness. Generally I would have some kind of idea before I start or I would use others’ art as an inspiration, sometimes I copy from another painting/doodle or from a photo. If this is the case, I’m very much attached to the outcome and sometimes adds more stress to the process than necessary, which is also fine, but that is not my intention when I use art for mindfulness, for coming back to the present moment.
When my purpose is to come back to my body, come back to my heart with the tool of making a painting, for example, I have no strings attached to the outcome. My intention is to let the brush flow freely and keep my mind out of it as much as I can. Every creation is different, I like to look at it as a journey. If I paint something I don’t like, I paint over it or transform it into something else, it’s like fixing an old tattoo. The inspiration kicks in and I just know what to do next. That’s the flow! There are no rules to this!
You pretty much do what ever you want. The purpose is not create a piece of art you want to put on your wall or exhibit in a gallery, but to feel peaceful within the process. And in my experience, this happens, when I’m not attached to the outcome. If it doesn’t matter what the outcome is like, you might as well enjoy the process.
And by peaceful I mean accepting. I may have strong feeling arise which are far from the concept of ‘peaceful’, but observing and accepting those feelings and then focusing my attention back to the activity. This is awesome for stress and anxiety, because I have a focus point outside of myself, but at the same time, it takes me back to myself. Because it takes me to the here and now, I don’t really distract myself from myself. Sometimes thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming, but when you put your focus on something you enjoy, it gives your mind and body time to relax.
This is the difference between relaxing and relaxing. Let’s say you sense something unsettling in your inner world and instead of being curious of that feeling, you choose to ‘relax’ by watching some episodes of Family Guy. This is usually an unconscious choice if one has not practiced mindfulness. It can also be a conscious choice and that’s fine too. That means you are resisting a feeling, which causes that feeling to get bigger or transform into a more intense unpleasant feeling so that you have no choice but to pay attention to it eventually. This is abandoning yourself, but it is so easy to do. I’m no angel, I still do it and that’s fine. You don’t really relax when you are in the state of resistance, even when watching Family Guy can fully consume you. ‘What you resist, persists.’
But when you choose to relax by expressing yourself through art, you can’t really get away with yourself, you are faced with all of with that chooses to surface in you today and you will practice allowing which has the power to transform negative emotions. You stop resisting it and it ceases to persist. It might or might not stay for a while, but it doesn’t really matter, you don’t allow it for it to leave, you allow it to allow it.
Allowing brings me back to the flow of life. I allow my emotions to flow like they’re supposed to, there is movement in that word e-motion! This is where all the creativity and inspiration creeps in, which is the opposite or resistance and control that cause stress. I love it!
I’m so happy to be writing in such a long time!