Expand Your Creativity: 5 Spiritual Principles of Intuitive Painting
I feel blessed in the creativity department. I love to paint, dance, sculpt and chant. I know that many people don’t feel this way, though. When I invite them to a workshop in creativity (usually centered around painting), the response is one of embarrassment because of the potential “self-exposure” of the final painting. We think we are being judged, we don’t like the result, it didn’t turn out the way we thought it was going to turn out, what we produce looks child-like, etc.
Our insecurities as human beings can be triggered by something as small as attempting to play with paint. This feeling probably holds true for 90 percent of the population. Even if we really think the result is pleasing, we can be shy… It is creativity in action that shows a small piece of who we really are. The subconscious mind becomes more conscious, based on what comes out, and what is happening in our minds can also be revealed when painting with intention.
Like anything in life, we can simply “do” it, or we can take the principle of meditation and apply it to what we are doing. That is, set an intention to the action, or consecrate the action in the name of the divine, to make it more purposeful.
It is this methodology that has lead to Intuitive Painting. It has been the combination of meditation, development of my own intuition, and setting purposeful intention that has completely changed my style of painting, from one that was of tangible renditions to more colorful, lively and more aesthetically pleasing pieces.
What starts coming out when a person begins to train in both meditation and different painting techniques will often begin to be seen as child-like. They may be held by societal conditioning and the perceived notion that we are now adults, and should act “mature.” A messy painting done with our fingers simply cannot be seen as a representation of maturity.
It is this mess though, that is needed not only to de-condition us from how we think we should act (which generally leads to less fun in life), but is also required as a process in which to forget about what you think you are going to paint and how it is going to look.
Drawing something before you actually paint it, like a paint-by-number, is not the point of Intuitive Painting, or meditative and intuitive creative development. The point is the let go of the outcome and a focus on going deeper into process, looking internally upon the self to reveal what may be repressed. Inner reflection and freedom of expression happens through meditation.
Meditation and its continued practice can be the largest altering factor in people’s lives. It is meditation and learning how to combine it artistically in almost everything I do that assisted in having the confidence to be bolder in the energy of my painting, and also to truly live out my dreams.
If you are now wondering about the why’s and how’s of meditative painting, try not to “think” about it too much. One of the things that will happen with meditation in your life is that you will finally learn how to stop thinking, and move into the realm of experiencing – the rational to the unknown, in-the-moment experience.
Try to consistently bring yourself back to this concept when you are painting; be in the moment, not worrying about the outcome. Something magical will eventually happen, in your meditation, in your painting, in your life, if you follow these simple principles:
Be total in every action, especially when you’re painting.
Be in the moment. Don’t think about what you couldn’t paint before, or what it’s going to look like.
Observe what’s happening in the mind, and what’s happening in your painting. Take breaks to do this and meditate by starring at the middle of your painting, then close the eyes as if you were still starring at the painting. Try to remember what you were looking at with eyes open.
Make no judgment, for judgment limits everything, and perpetuates more judgment. Enjoy every moment of change while you continue to paint.
Intuition-over-mind: make the attempt to reach a “no-mind” state while you are in the process of creating something. Take any preconceived ideas of what it might end up looking like and simply “go with the flow.”
A few more tips for Intuitive Painting: Only finish when you are happy. If you are not happy with how it looks, keep painting. Use acrylic paints; the paint covers what is underneath. If you are going to use black, which is a dark energy, wait to use it until the final touches, for emphasis rather than a full feel. We are doing this not only to develop creativity, but also to raise our energy through the process and heal what may be hidden in the body or the mind. Positivity generates more positivity, so see each painting session as a learning opportunity and a time for deep reflection and expression. High intentions will yield high results.
How to Follow Your Dreams
The Seven of Cups is one of my favorite tarot cards. It represents dreams flowing to us. Not just those we actively pursue but those set within our destiny with no effort or exertion required.
As children we follow these passionate impulses without fear or hesitation. The world, our parents and society slowly dismiss these destinies as fanciful and set us on more productive pursuits, thus squashing that which is most innate within our hearts.
To follow your dreams is not the stuff of legend but the very purpose of life. However, you can recapture that destiny which allows you to fulfill the illustrious nature of your true being.
AN INVITATION TO REMEMBER
How do we begin to find our dreams if they have slipped from us? While some blessed souls may have it charted out with great focus, others may find dreams to be a bit elusive slowly fading from our view. Rarely do we have parents actively championing our dreams, inserting instead their own morals and issues to help us avoid their missteps. Yes, this is done from love, but rarely from awareness.
The “why,” the logic, often obfuscates the seed of the dream. “How will I get there?” or “Who will be interested in hearing what I have to say?” shades the passion. Vulnerability, fear and doubt set in.
To recapture that which has always been with us may require creative exercises of daydreaming. What was it that excited you as child? What were the longings of the innocent heart before practicality was interjected? Passion and curiosity are the surest ways to find your abandoned dreams.
We are drawn to those things that match our destiny. Like some phantom limb, we can always feel them when we seek them. Find the whisperings and this is the key to find the dreams long forgotten. Regardless of the sensibility, seize the dream and breathe life into it. Even if this is not the ultimate path, these curiosities will bring you home.
GENTLER THAN YOU EXPECT
Expectations will likely pulverize the dream. Fearless pursuit and relentless determination are no way to chase your dreams. Inherent in the chase, is the disappointment or the exhilaration, both addictive. Chasing is not the way.
Dreams do not like to be quantified and work outside of the realm of logic. Treat it with curious devotion and the nature of dreams has its own magic which will find you. Your destiny is already set, my love.
Like the blueprint of the oak within the acorn, you are sure to succeed in those pursuits you most desire.
Feed your dreams through gentle nurturing and quiet attention. It is faith – not discipline – that will bring your dreams to you. Follow the dreams; don’t set course for them with careful planning and detailed attention, for then it becomes a task. It is the process of discovery that fills us with such joy we cannot bear to let it be forgotten.
ABUNDANCE OF BLESSINGS
Once the dream has been pinpointed, the universe quickly confirms you are on the right track by sending blessings your way. Synchronictites begin appearing that confirm your path. You find things come to you easily. It is a matter of alignment after all. When we match the frequency of our destiny and follow our dreams with loving gentleness, the world conspires to help us achieve that which has been ordained for us.
You could call this fate. But fate feels firm to me – fatal – lacking in free will and with plodded course. Destiny is the blueprint. How we arrive there is the journey of each soul and the delight of being.
The energies that find us when we follow our dreams feel good. This sense of peace, contentment and excitement are sure signs we are in alignment with our dreams. When we are in rhythm with the truth of our hearts, we cannot be but lifted by the path ahead. Even if we are unable to see the outcome, the process of creation feels too fulfilling to abandon.
Following our dreams gives us life, vitality, passion and becomes the purpose of our lives. We will feel more joyful and attract more of the same to us. Without effort, with loving attention, when we find the vibration of our destiny, and tend it well, everything unfolds just as planned. It is faith, not a detailed plan, that will feed our dreams and bring us to our destiny.
PRINCIPLE OF PRIORITY
We have many demands on us on any given day. Bills, self care, family and professional obligations at times seem to fill our to do list. If we feed these necessities only, the dreams will begin to wither. The trick is that the dream is always near, waiting patiently to be nurtured. Paying attention to that which gives us passion daily is the most certain path to following our dreams.
Like a muse, the dream is always faithful to us and expression its only purpose. To come into being is its destiny and it has chosen to become through us. Our obligation is to make it a priority. Want to write a book? Commit to writing every day even if only a sentence at a time. Want to be a great artist? Buy the canvas and have the tools at the ready when inspiration does strike.
Without our due diligence we are poor stewards for dreams. Be ready, be receptive and welcome the dream to move through you. This is the path of defiant self love which emboldens us to rise to our destiny.
FOLLOW YOUR DREAM AS AN ACT OF CREATION
No great work happens overnight. The Sistine chapel did not just appear. It took devotion, love and consistent attention to complete. We are often dissuaded from our dreams because we cannot see the veracity of its final product. We look for confirmation that we are doing it “right” when the only validation is the joy it brings.
Creation is a tricky process. Sometimes it is pulsating with life ready to burst forth from us. Other times a quiet murmur that awaits breath to come back.
SET AN ALTAR FOR YOUR DREAMS
A vision board may be one expression but I like a bit more deep ritual. In my home, I have an altar to my business and my book. Both receive attention and are tended. I thank them when the muse is loud and honor them when the dream feels far off.
Faith fills me knowing the fulfillment of my dreams is coming even when I cannot possibly see how it comes into reality. Following the dream brings such delight I have no desire to stop even if I cannot grasp how the final product will reach the world.
ALL IS ATTRACTED TO YOU
When I began this path as shaman, I could not imagine where it would lead. I only knew it was the only pursuit that brought me joy. As a child, I would become excited talking about ghosts and aliens. With each step I’ve taken to honor this dream, more reveals itself. The destiny is set and my only job is to follow the clues and remain devoted. I could not have hoped to sit here now writing about such esoteric matters, moreover, that you would even read them. And yet with each unfolding, I find there is little for me to question. It seems the only “logical” next step. Follow the dreams, breathe life into the passion and all will come to you.
The converse of this is also true. In following your dreams, the fears, doubts and challenges will arise. With courage, we face these with the same gentle loving presence and the illusions which seem to block us begin to dissolve.
Rather than feeling discouraged, see the obstacles as exactly the trigger than will help us heal and overcome the doubts deep within. When these “icky” energies arise, it is only asking to be loved, acknowledged and brought back into the fold of your total whole self.
YOUR DREAMS ARE SACRED
When you treat your dreams as a holy quest, a path of sacred devotion, interesting things begin to occur. As if by magic, everything appears for you. Destiny unfolds before you requiring no stress, no effort. This is the way and is ready to remind you of your brilliance.