Week 1 ~ start with sacred
What if boundaries create more intimacy, not distance?
The inspiration for this course was as honest as it comes.... through feet on the ground, real life, and sometimes what felt like impossibly challenging, personal experience.
I will also be the first to say that I do not have all of the answers. In this space I will be offering a compilation of supporting resources and a creative starting point for you to begin exploring what it means to be sacred relationships with your self and the people you care about most, as well as some of the learnings I have had along my own path. Please keep in mind that all of our journeys toward cultivating sacred relationships will have similarities and differences, and we will all benefit from shared learning and a variety of perspectives. In this space we are welcome to adopt the pieces that feel true for us, and release the rest.
A little of what it means to me to start with sacred...
Orienting our selves and our lives from a place of sacredness changes everything. It changes the way we experience our circumstances, understand a sense of purpose in our lives, and fundamentally redefines the meaning of the relationships and connections we make and cultivate along our path. Starting with sacred means declaring a new base assumption; that all of life is meaningful... the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As we cultivate our hearts and develop eyes for seeing the sacred, something shifts. We begin to see the divine in all of creation. We begin to sense a benevolent energy guiding us forward, offering us opportunities to develop in strength, wisdom, compassion and courage. And most importantly we begin to feel held by a loving energy that connects us all. And, over time, we may even begin to become an expression of that loving energy out into the world.
By starting with sacred, we seek to create meaningful connection, grow in self awareness and delight in simple joys. We favour qualities such as honesty, kindness, whole heartedness, and honour the sacredness of both ourselves and others.
Together, let's explore how.....
* this visualization meditation is required to prepare you for the next steps in our process... please listen in a quiet space, with your sketchbook and pencil nearby to jot down any images, words, symbols, colours, and anything else that showed up in your meditation.
* required for week 2
Next week we will begin to put imagery on to our canvas. This means we will need to have a sense of the base image that we will begin to paint out over the next 6 weeks. We don't need to know everything all at once, but it is much more easeful if you have a place to start when you arrive to class. Ideally this imagery will have already begun to come to you through the visual imagery meditation posted above, but if it hasn't fully arrived, not to worry. Continue to sit with it over the next week.
Sometimes this is a place where painters can feel pressure to come up with the 'right' image, or find themselves censoring or denying the imagery that shows up in their meditation. Just keep in mind that it is a base starting point, and that it will evolve and take on a life of its own that it may not yet have in your mind's eye. Trust is all that is required.
Sketching Like a Pro...
The difference between people who sketch like a pro and people who don't, is almost entirely, practice. If you have a tendency to think that you have limited drawing ability, begin this practice by gently choosing to withhold judgement for a few minutes. Most of us were given very few opportunities to practice drawing, or maybe you even had someone tell you your drawings weren't good at some point. These past experiences no longer need to be true for us conscious and creative beings. Through practice, opportunity and belief in ourselves, we are about to prove that we can learn this skill too.
For those of you who might be visualizing a person or a being of some sort in your painting, I have recorded a short video to walk you through the process of learning to draw a face, Do not be intimidating at the prospect of taking on a face. When the painting process is broken down, both sketching and painting, it is really quite simple, and I am happy to walk you through it. You may also choose to use your own face as inspiration. Studying your face can be a powerful exercise. Take a photo of your face in the position that best emotes what you are trying to convey, and use it as a guide as you make your sketch. I once did a sketch of myself overlaid with a sketch of Frida Khalo... so fun!
Once you have your initial sketch, or page filled with symbols, imagery and words that you saw in your meditation, we can begin to consider composition and draw a second draft of your vision to begin to organize some of the information.
Composition is essentially the way that you would like to pull your imagery together into a visual story on your canvas. To do this, first consider the orientation of your image. Does it make sense to be painted landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) and shift your paper accordingly. If there is a central image, decide how much space and in what area of the paper it will go. Don't worry if it feels like your central image is taking up most of the space.... Big can be powerful. And there is always enough room to create small vignettes or visual landscapes around the central image.
Next, begin to play with adding some of your symbols. If you aren't sure how to draw these symbols at this point, you can simply acknowledge them in your sketch by marking a light placeholder space where they might go in relation to the central image. I thoroughly enjoy this part of the process... with eraser and pencil in hand I often move or change the composition several times on paper before it really feels alive and I know I've got something. As I notice something in my sketch that wants to shift in some way, be it small or larger detail, it re-informs the rest of the composition and everything seems to want to shift accordingly. Remember that sketching can be easeful and joyful if you allow yourself an easeful and joyful space within you to sketch from. And if it doesn't feel easeful... no problem.... this is good too... just notice your internal stories as they arise and give your inner artist a little hug each time you notice your inner judge at work.
If you are sketching something for the first time and don't really know what it looks like, do what artists do and make a study of it. Google image will provide you will near anything you will need.... a wolf, mountains, flowers, buildings. Sketching is really the practice of noticing detail.... noticing how parts relate to one another.... size, texture, colour. Once you've made a study of it, you can add it to your composition. No need to fret about getting all the information at once. We rarely do, and even when we do, spirit often changes or transforms these images as they are being painted. Don't overthink it or over complicate.... leave empty space that has yet to be filled with inspiration!
Remember, this is intuitive, spiritual art, so our images do not need to make sense to anyone but you. They don't need to be realistic or regular. And they certainly don't need to be grounded in third dimensional reality.... blue people are most welcome :)
Let your imagination go wild and see what your heart wants to show you!
This week's Suggested Reading
Each chapter of Boundaries & Protection, by Pixie Lighthorse, is an independent piece of wisdom and do not need to be read in order. I have grouped chapters together based on each week's theme, below. By the end of our 7 weeks together we will have the book in its entirety.
Week 1 - Start with Sacred
- Start with Sacred - pg.1
- Pause and Build Trust - pg.3
- Clean Relations - pg.5
- Non-negotiable Worthiness - pg.111
* What does it mean to be in sacred relationship with myself? What does it mean to be in sacred relationship with others?
* Reflections on my first two painting layers.... What do these images reflect back to me about my boundaries? What is the meaning behind the alternations I made to my energy field?
- Connects us to our higher Self
- Lifts dull energy
- Creates a more receptive state
- Calms the mind
- Brightens the overall mood
* Connect with canvas.... hands on canvas and prayer for guidance and support
* Setting your intention for this work
* Opening the spiritual/energetic field, painting a representation of your energy body. First, as you sense it is in the present, then as you intend it to be. Add any words or symbols that arise.
* Call in your vision through the meditation above. This will the offer you a starting place for your painting to evolve from.
* Sketch a preliminary image inspired by your meditation, making note of colours, energies, qualities, symbols, and beings that were present. Play with a second sketch, considering composition on your canvas.
- header photo credit: Zippy Lomax
- b&p photo credit: Pixie Lighthorse