Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Letting Go" Series

My participants and I pose holding our drawings

Last night was my last "Learning to Let Go" workshop in this four-part series. What a lovely conclusion to this workshop experiment! In this final workshop, I incorporated some expressionistic drawing. After doing some deep belly breathing and scanning our bodies, we chose a part of the body that needed some attention. Then, with crayons, we drew what this part of the body felt like to us. Was it sticky, dry, hot, cool, pinched, open, scattered, focused?

Then we did some guided meditation with hot basalt river stones placed on our bodies and also some chakra opening exercises.

We then revisited our drawings at the conclusion of the workshop, adding and/or changing aspects to our drawings based on shifts that occurred during our meditations.

Here is my drawing:

In this piece I was focusing on what my anxiety feels like in my chest. The saturated red running top to bottom is the raw feeling and the red stars are like sparks that reverberate out and create anxiety in the rest of the body. After some deep breathing and meditation work, I revisited my piece and created a cool, blue opening that also radiated out, helping to soothe the hot, uncomfortable red spots. I am going to visualize that cool blue opening from now on whenever I feel my anxiety running through me like hot lava.

Try this:

Visually depict your bodily discomfort through art-making. This creating is not meant to be "good." Instead, it's expressionistic, messy, and full of personal symbolism. Once you have depicted this pain on paper, do something physical: deep breathing, walking, jumping up and down, meditating, doing yoga, primal screaming, drinking water, etc. Now return to your drawing to see if anything has shifted in this area of your body. Is there an opening that wasn't there before, as I experienced with my piece?


  1. Thanks for your message, Couture de Papier (beautiful blog, BTW)!

    One thing I like to do with drawing my discomfort is to address both physical and emotional discomfort. I sometimes do a series of drawings in which I represent my different discomforts in order to better understand them.

    Sometimes I also journal after drawing so see if my writing brings about some insights.