Drawing helps you to see things more consciously – with less limited conditioning.
It is always a liberating experience to see more consciously. True liberation is sacred. In my classes and in my book, Drawing As a Sacred Activity, we draw together our inner and outer lives, telling our story, and becoming friends with our inner Eternal Self. This sacred friendship transforms our life, empowering us to write a new story. Drawing is a sacred, safe, effective, playful, and powerful activity – for everyone!
My story begins a long time ago, when I was a teenager.
I knew that my calling involved three things: Art (specifically drawing and painting), religion (then I did not have the word for spirituality) and Psychology (understanding the unconscious aspect of mind). I wanted to create art and teach from my deepest self, but I encountered a big problem: Art teachers do not teach religion or psychology. Religious teachers do not teach psychology or art. Psychology teachers do not teach art or religion. I did graduate with a degree in Art from the University of Wisconsin, but, I was forced to explore education far beyond the accredited educational system.
My pathway included 12 years in a 4th Way School of Ontology where I learned to use everyday life as a doorway for liberation. I was an apprentice for 5 years to a Master Painter and Gnostic Priest. And for 17 years, I volunteered and worked paid assignments as an artist. I facilitated thousands of painting and drawing workshops for all kinds of people. (University students, counselors, teachers, therapists, people living with aids, cancer, schizophrenia, eating disorders, manic depression, bipolar disorder, and bulemia.) I presented art experiences to people living with traumatic brain injury, homelessness, poverty, developmental disabilities, learning differences, alzheimers, teens in recovery from drugs and alcohol, and men and women incarcerated in jail. I approach all people as sacred beings with a unique story.
Here is a short exercise to get you started.
I call this the Three Directions Exercise. You can do this exercise wherever you are – standing in line at the bank, sitting before your computer, selecting zucchini at the grocery store. Look at the world before you and notice vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines. Let go of seeing objects. Instead, see the edges of things as directions – vertical, diagonal, horizontal. Judgments dissolve as you let go of naming things. Instead of silently judging a woman’s eyebrows as being too thick or thin, begin to see her eyebrows as a direction (perhaps diagonal). Instead of judging a man’s hairline, see it as a direction (perhaps horizontal). Instead of judging window drapery as tacky or gorgeous, see it as a direction (perhaps vertical). Notice the muscles of your tummy soften as you see the world in this new way. Look at verticals and feel a strength growing in you. Look at horizontals and feel a peacefulness growing in you. Look at diagonals and feel a depth moving you forward. Pick up a pencil and draw the directions you see. How liberating it is to go beyond judgments and see things in a new way!
Heather C. Williams
Drawing As a Sacred Activity:
Simple Steps to Explore Your Feelings and Heal Your Consciousness
by Heather C. Williams
New World Library, September, 2002.
From the first page that dedicates the book to “every individual who yearns to see her or his world in a new way” to the sections on Pencils and Perception, Crayons and Consciousness and Ink and Intuition, artist Heather Williams inspires, encourages and teaches.
Unlike many books about self expression as a spiritual practice, this one covers both aspects in depth and with understanding. Just reading it was like a meditation. Williams says it best: “When I look with my artist’s eyes, I feel good. Judgments dissolve. Memories and criticisms fade. My heart opens to the present moment, and new possibilities pop into my mind. Try this and see for yourself.”