Being present with yourself is a day-to-day practice. Even an hourly practice. With all of the extraneous noises going on in the world, our minds have so many layers of things to worry about that we tend to lose sight of the peace that is found in the present moment. A lot of our stress comes from being so involved with the concept of time. Whether it is what am I going to do an hour from now, 5 hours from now, 5 days from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, that is taking you out of the present moment. Though it is good to think about your future and where you want to be, if it is done in an anxious state then you are not experiencing the peace offered in the present moment. Coming back to the present moment is a mental muscle that must be strengthened, it takes practice just like any other hobby.
Everyone is extremely deserving of some time to be still with their soul. Setting aside some time in your day to put all of your worries aside and check in with yourself will make a huge difference in your inner reality and by default, your external reality. The present moment is all we will ever have and everyone deserves to experience the peace that is found within it. So many of us are stuck in the anxious webs of the mind which prevent us from having our 2 feet planted in this life, fully in the Now. Doing tasks as simple as doodling can help tremendously with putting our ruly mind on the shelf and experiencing the aliveness and beingness that replenishes our soul.
With this watercolor, my main focus was to lead with my heart instead of my mind. Sounds confusing but it’s about trusting your intuition! Intuition is only found in the present moment, so this exercise will be a great practice to help you return to a peaceful state. By leading with the heart, you are then no longer possessed by compulsive thinking. You become the awareness behind all of that and therefore become separate from the conditioned mind. This exercise is not about making things be fundamentally correct, trying to make things look pretty or pleasing to the eye. This is solely a way to connect with yourself free from the judgment of restriction practice the acceptance of the present moment and surrendering to what is. That is how peace is found, by accepting things for how they are and not how we think they should be.
When I was in the creative process, I found that it went hand in hand with the healing process. By being able to express myself authentically through the movement of colors, the amount of tension that was released was astonishing and truly what inspires me to continue on this path of expressive arts therapy. I was allowed to fully be present with myself and enjoy the sacred silence the Now has to offer. By letting go of the future outcome and what you think the end product should look like, a space for self-discovery opens up, and the past stories that your mind has told you to be true no longer have a grip on you. Even though I have only been doing expressive arts therapy for a year, I can say that it has helped me in so many ways and has deeply influenced who I am today.
This kind of practice is not secluded to artists, anyone can do it and be able to connect with their divine guidance and light within them. The goal is not to have a product that looks pretty to the eyes, even though that is what the mind is surely going to want to do. As this is a form of release, it should make you feel. Authentic expression is about having your artwork being an experience as you unleash your true self in the process of creation. It does not matter in the slightest about what it looks like. If you created without restriction, judgment, or rejection, you followed through with the acceptance of yourself and the present moment. And that is all that matters. Happy creating:)