ask for guidance
Five years ago, I came to a pivotal point in my development as an artist, where I realized my technical skill, and my artistic abilities weren’t quite enough for me anymore. I was not satisfied with my work. I had been painting since the 70’s, and this was a first for me. The paintings that I was producing were boring to me, and eventually (last year) I stopped painting. I did some sketching and I took a couple of workshops, but I had lost interest. This was a BIG DEAL, a crisis of the soul. There was an element missing, and I just could not put my finger on it. I began searching for help. I ASKED for help. I ran across a Wayne Dyer program on PBS, which turned my interest in a direction to seek healing and growth for my soul. Then, soon after, I found, and became friends with a group of creative local women who provided an atmosphere for spiritual growth that I didn’t know that I was so desperate for. There were workshops organized by author Linda French, and tarot classes and gatherings called “Messages and Insights” by my lovely friend Cynthia Dunn-Selph, and “Soul Collage” classes with spiritual artist Wendy Ward of “The Mermaid Muse.” Karen Crane introduced me to crystal energy, and Lisa Wolfe became a spiritual mentor extraordinaire. Isn’t it funny and coincidental that I met them just when I needed them most?? Nope! No coincidence, it was meant to be. It was a divine appointment. I have been exploring my spiritual path since then, channeling my efforts into absorbing all that I can about this “new” and exciting source of creative energy. I had to learn how to meditate. I opened my mind to new ideas, and opened my heart to divine guidance. I have been guided to learn several fascinating healing modalities, including crystal healing, Reiki, tarot, and herbal medicine. When I realized that what my artwork was missing was that spiritual spark, everything came together quickly! My work had new meaning and purpose. I was again filled up with that drive to paint! It isn’t just about me, and it is meant to be shared, so what was I waiting for? My painting has become for me a meditation, a prayer, and part of my spiritual practice. So when I say that, before I begin painting, I ask for spiritual guidance, it is for a very specific reason. Art, in all of its delightful forms, is an act of creation. It is spiritual in nature~it is born in your soul. So if I start a painting without asking for guidance, it is like showing up for a concert with my fiddle, but forgetting to invite the orchestra! Your artistic spirit guides LOVE to create with you! They are playful and sparkling positive energy. When you ask for their guidance, it allows them to play along with you, but you have to ask. They can only interact when you invite them to. You’ve heard them called the artistic muse. They don’t care what you call them, as long as you call them. When I invite my spirit guides to create with me, I accomplish more, I paint more accurately, I struggle less with the physical parts of painting (the brushes, the paint, the canvas) and I can reach that place (the Zone TrueTrue(```````````(```````````03048003048000 where I feel like it is not me painting at all, that the creative spirits have taken over, and that I am on autopilot. Sometimes I even “come to” realizing that I can’t even remember the past hour or so. It is a fantastic, magical feeling! So how do I ask for guidance? I sit quietly in my workspace, and practice controlled breathing. I count to four on a deep and quiet breath in through my nose, hold it for a moment, then count to four during my exhale through my nose, hold it for a moment, then repeat the process. I do this four times. Then I focus my attention on my heart, I find some gratitude, I let love fill my heart. You know when you feel love in your heart– for me it feels like a deep throb, and my eyes sometimes fill with tears, and a smile lights my face. Then I ask. “Will you please come and paint with me today?” You could also say a prayer, or prepare a small ritual, or recite a mantra–whatever feels personal and sincere to you. And then, you allow them to guide you. At the end of my painting session, while I am cleaning my brushes, I remember to sincerely thank my guides, and send them love. I may feel like I need to ground myself with a snack, or some water, especially if I need to sleep soon, because that euphoria can hang on for a long while. I like to record my feelings about my experience in my journal before I sleep. Have you ever had the experience of feeling like you were in the Zone, and your work created itself? Please share that with us on our group Facebook page!