Creative Meditation: 'How do I get from here, to there?'
Drawing your dreams
Over the years I have come across many different self-development techniques. Each has its foundations in either psychology, meditation, art or mindfulness.
One angle, from which I have found it to be particularly fun to explore, is the creative one!
The good news is that you don't have to be good at art to take part. O’ contraire! You don't have to have any artistic skill because the only person who need understand the meanings and insights delivered by your drawings is you.
Here’s one such exploration that I have enjoyed over the years. Grab 3 pieces of paper and some coloured pens or crayons (if you don't have these, a pen and paper will be just fine too) and bring to mind a topic to focus on. It might be a specific goal, for example: to write a book, build a house, or learn to sing.
On the first paper, draw how things are now, in relation to your chosen goal or dream. (How you are, your life situation, whatever feels right.)
On the second paper, draw how things are when you have achieved your goal, whatever that may be.
On the third paper draw a representation of what happened between the above two steps. IE: what happened for you to get from paper one to paper two? Include in this picture all and any help you received from others, life, the universe and your own inner resources.
(Note/ When I say draw, what I really mean is ‘make a visual representation’. You might use pens, paints or crayons to make little dots or lines, colours or shapes. What you draw may look like an actual picture of something sensible like a person or a house or it may be abstract and make no logical sense. Either way, It might be nice to be free to express what feels right in that moment.)
Here is a photo of one I made earlier. I have shared this exercise with clients many times over the years, and I have also taken part in it many times. I did the following drawings in 5 mins, just real quick. Sometimes I feel that way is best, it gives me the most intuitive insight.
While I made my little drawings I noticed a few things.
- I had no idea what I was going to draw until I sat looking at the finished article. I put my pen on the paper and drew a few things, without forethought.
- As I drew I noticed my mind thinking ‘Well I don't know where this is going, this doesn't make any sense at all.’
- As I began to draw the circles with the little lines around them (picture one), I felt my mind try to cotton on and work it out. I felt it try to make sense of what I was drawing, to find a pattern and draw a conclusion.
- I noticed my mind doing this and I just let that go, I didn't go with it into an analysis. Instead, I made a conscious effort to stay spontaneous and look not for meaning; not yet anyway.
- I drew what I felt like drawing.
- Drawing picture 3 felt the most difficult. Perhaps because my mind was trying a little bit to reveal the solution, to decipher how to get from picture one to picture two.
After drawing your goals
It can be nice to have some sort of visual representation of your dreams. It means something to you, even if it makes no sense to a friend. Once drawn, you have a set of pictures to look at when considering your dream. Maybe they would go nicely when pinned inside a diary or journal, or maybe on the wall next to your desk.
One thing I like most about this exercise is that it enables us to communicate with the inner self and inner wisdom, as we do in meditation. In this, you don't have to explain or find a word for your dreams, you can draw or make markings and express yourself differently.
I enjoy doing this activity on my own, although I really value the help of a guide or teacher when they can explore the pictures with me. When I work one to one with people we might also explore an activity like this; depending on what they are looking to explore and if it’s relevant to them.
IHave you tried something similar before? I would love to know so do leave a comment.
ps. If you enjoyed expressing your dreams in drawings, you might also like to capture your moment in a few lines. Learn about my mindful haiku here.