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The Artist Within

path to wholeness
The Call to Wholeness oil painting (36" x 72") by Heather C. Williams

What is the artist within?

The Artist Within you is Consciousness knowing itself as Consciousness. I know that is a mouthful of big words. And yet the time has come for us to grow spiritually. We have to explore our Inner Space in order to create a world that is livable for generations to come.

Every person has an Inner Artist. It is not your personality or ego. It is a doorway to your Higher Self. But let's begin at the beginning: We are Consciousness, even though few of us identify ourselves as consciousness. We all, at some point in the day, think of ourselves as things. Things do not have the Power to Create - but Consciousness does. Are you a thing or are you Consciousness? It is very freeing to know that you have the Power as Consciousness to create your life. Deep down inside every person yearns to experience this freedom. The world we live in is shackled to many hardened beliefs and most of us are frightened of our own depths. The "C" word stops some people cold and makes them laugh. I hope this doesn't happen to you. If it does, just know that laughter is a powerful healing response, and go get the dictionary. Look up consciousness.

Awareness is a synonym of consciousness. The artist within you sees the world a bit differently from your "normal" sense of self. On any normal day, we all see things. People, places, objects are all things we can name. We see ourselves as things. But we are far more than things. Consciousness is not a thing. Consciousness is energy. It animates things and is not stuck or limited by things. The artist within you sees the world of things as a field of directions and intersections where everything is related, connected in some way. This is more of a Right Brain way of seeing. The Artist Within does not judge things as good or bad. And it just so happens that the activities of drawing and painting are safe, effective and powerful ways for you to incorporate the Artist Within into your everyday life.

The Artist Within is who you are behind all the roles you play (sister, brother, student, teacher, mother, father, consumer, driver, worker, and more). Yes, there is much more to you than the outer shell, physical body, roles you play in life. You are a person of a certain age, with a certain hair and skin color, a certain weight, a certain personality, etc. This is your outer self and it changes. The inner self of you is an unchanging energetic self that goes with you throughout your entire life (and more). It is always with you. It is the same you, when you were a little baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager, a young adult, and an adult. It is with you when you are happy, angry, sad and any and all emotions. It is that part of you that is in the world but not of it. The Artist Within is not a person, place or thing. The Artist Within is Consciousness knowing itself as consciousness.

How do I get to know the artist within me?

Just like any person you meet that you would like to get to know better, you invite them to meet you somewhere for a cup of tea or whatever. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Find a quiet place where you feel safe sitting alone for about 20 minutes. Use your dominant hand to hold the pencil and ask any question that you can think of. A good starter is: "Inner Artist, tell me about yourself." Put the pencil into your "other" hand and relax. Breathe gently 3 times. Be conscious (aware) of your breathing. Imagine your Inner Artist using your non-dominant hand and writing a reply. Your job is to allow your hand to be moved by your inner self. The other part of your job is to listen to what it says. Be gracious even if it draws you a squiggle that at first glance doesn't look like anything at all. Your nondominant hand is definitely not used to channeling thoughts, feelings, words, squiggles. And even though it didn't go to school, it gets better with practice, like anything else. If you don't understand what it draws or writes in response to your question, use your non dominant hand to say you don't understand. See what it says to that.

To really get the relationship going strong, you'll find it extremely beneficial to set a special time every day or one day a week to meet your Inner Artist and have a little conversation.

What about drawing and painting?

Ever since I was a child I used drawing as a way to get to know myself and my world. It helped me focus my attention and work things out in a playful way. When my parents were arguing a lot (I was 8 years old) I drew individuals in family groups, cut them out like paper dolls and played house. The "daddy" and "mommy" had conversations that sometimes were similar to my real daddy and mommy. In this way I creatively incorporated the problems of my real parents and played with my paper dolls creating new solutions.

Drawing and painting are safe and enjoyable ways of incorporating the outer world into your inner world and playing with creating a third picture of the experience. When an artist draws a tree, for example, she incorporates the tree visually. She does not see the tree as a thing but as a pattern of directions and intersections, lights and darks. She plays with those patterns and in the process creates "her" version of tree.

Drawing and painting are activities that lead us through the wilderness of seeing things as separate objects in space made of material that is outside of us. This wildernes of separation and materiality is scary and difficult and fortunately, it's not the whole picture. Drawing and painting are activities that move us toward the promised land of seeing the relatedness of everything. Developing the skills and mastering the techniques of drawing and painting are a life work.

"The Universe does not care how long it takes or how much it costs
for you to create what you came here to create. It only asks,

Is it beautiful and does it benefit the world in some way".
Thane Walker