Making Meaning from the Mess
In a lot (if not all) of my art making posts I talk about what insight I received from or during my art session. I didn't always realize that I was doing this or even seek it out. I turned to the canvas or sketchbook because I knew one thing.... It made me feel better.
Sometimes I would make up projects I wanted to do because I wanted to decorate my house and didn't have the money to buy someone's art. Sometimes I would be in a deep emotional cave and feel like I had no way out so I would draw, write horrible poetry (this was more in high school) or scribble doodles. I didn't examine the art or the experience I just let it be the thing that lightened my load for a bit.
I saw over time that it was a relief for me so I started to examine why and how. I wanted to learn how to do it faster and more directly. It took me a long time and lots of experimenting to tune into how my insights would show up.
This is how it looks for me. Notice your own creative practice and see how the shifts or insights occur for you.
1. I would feel the emotion loosen its grip. The stomach ache would fade.
2. I would be thinking (constantly) and when I started to listen to the thoughts and sift through the critic's comments I would hear something helpful.
3. I would ask a question of the art and realize the same question could be applied to my life. When I answered it from a calm space (while pushing paint around) I would be honest and able to hear the truth. (even when that truth meant I had to take responsibility)
4. I would return to the art just to see what it needed or how I liked it and a thought would pop in my head of what it meant.
5. Images would appear in my abstract painting and I would ask what in the world it meant and listen to my own answers that would whisper through me.
Start making art for yourself and pay close attention to everything within you. When you stop thinking so much about the product or the result you start asking yourself better questions. Start listening to the whispers of supportive or insightful comments and ignore the hurtful critic that bounces in your head. The more you monitor what you feel and think and sift through the mess of them you will hear, see and know the answers you are seeking.
No one can do this for you. You have to sift through it yourself. You are not alone though! The most helpful thing is to have a guide that can tell you where to look, what to let go of, and what better questions might be.
I am revamping my monthly newsletters to more fully embrace this process of Making Meaning Through the Mess. Each month will explore an idea that can lead you healing, insight, intuition and greater versions of yourself. If you want to explore these with me just sign up for my emails and we can get started at any time.
If you want more direct guidance, this is where getting a coach or joining a class can help you. Don't feel like you are alone in this! There are people like me waiting to show you a path that could help. Waiting to hold your hand and hug you when the thoughts and emotions get messy or confusing. Reach out. If not to me then to someone you trust to help guide you or support you while you do this for yourself.