Mindful Drawing Month: My Story

Wendy Ann Greenhalgh Mindful Drawing

So what was my experience of Mindful Drawing Month?

Well, what I learned yet again is this – if you build it, they will come! Indeed mindful drawing month wouldn’t have happened without all of you. It was a member of the Art of Mindfulness community who inspired me to suggest it in the first place, because he shared on our Facebook page that he’d done the Mindful Drawing Meditation on Insight Timer App for 34 days in a row. I shared his post more broadly and asked – who fancies a whole month of mindful drawing? And so many of you took me up on the suggestion.

The result has been a glorious 30 days of mindful drawing on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter – and more importantly a month of you creating mindfully, sharing mindfully, supporting each other creatively and inspiring me. A deep bow of thanks. It does my heart good to know that if I make a space, you fill it with creating of such beauty, sincerity and integrity.

Mindful Drawing – if you build it they will come.

What I was also reminded of this month – and I think many of you were too, is that when we build it, in other words, when we make a space in our life for mindfulness and creativity, when we hold that intention without knowing quite what will happen, or what will emerge – well, then they come. They come – the inspiration, the drawings, the insights into our selves, into our creativity, into the nature of your own minds.

They come – and they change us, they take us in new directions, open doors we didn’t know were there. I was head-down in building a new Art of Mindfulness website at the beginning of mindful drawing month, I didn’t think I had much room for daily drawing. But I made a space (and was kind to myself on the days I didn’t manage to) and what has emerged (and which I see now was moving towards me even when I didn’t know it) is a new series of drawings that have got me all fired up.

Red Thread Drawing Series

In #Zen the #redthread represents the embodied human life of passion, blood, birth, love, death and everything in between. How can we keep hold of the red thread – living life fully, and yet let go, recognising the impermanence of life and realising the nature of awareness and no-thing-ness?

I’ve been making these 4 page #books from an old #book I found on the street. The 100 year old paper is beautifully thick and textured. Just seeing how the paper has aged and yellowed is a reminder of impermanence. Thinking of the tree that was cut down a 100 years ago is a reminder of the thread of connection that links me to it, and to the air it breathed, the water it drank to grow. I tore the uncut pages at random and then cut them in 1/2.

Process? I highlight one word on each page that resonated for me on the evenings I was making the #drawing. Then #gesso over the top, before finally picking up my red pencil.

Each drawing is made using body mindfulness and Focusing, feeling into the sensations in the body that resonate with the words I highlighted, and then making a continuous red thread – or line – on the pages. Some I drew right to left, some left to right. Each is a #meditation on selfness and no-selfness that lasts as long as the paper, as long as the line I’m drawing. Each captures who I am – unspooling – in a brief moment.

 

I feel I’ve only just started with this project and am looking forward to seeing where it goes as I continue to make space for the unexpected to emerge.

What next?

Some of you have agreed to blog about your own experience of mindful drawing month – and these will be popping up over the next few weeks.

And we’ll be building more space for mindfulness and creativity in June – when I launch the new Stop Look Breathe Create 3 Challenge – a three week creative mindfulness course you can join for FREE. If you want to be the first to get this – it includes 8 MP3 Audio Tutorials and Guided Meditations – along with a 40 page course book – then make sure you’re signed up to the Art of Mindfulness community ENews.

Until then, do keep posting your mindful creating on the Facebook page or on your own social media using #stoplookbreathecreate – so we can keep the momentum going.

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