I recently discovered in a box an ancient paper on which I was asked to write an autobiography at age 6. I am not quite what the teacher was thinking to ask a 6-year-old to write their life story, but the main point I bring to this post is this:
“I will be an artist when I grow up.”
Not “I want to be an artist” or “I like art,” but “I WILL be an artist.”
The thing is, since age 6 I have not drawn a thing other than some very occasional doodles and have given very little time to art of any kind (aside from knitting patterns created by someone else, which I feel is more meditation than creation) until something was triggered inside me by encountering the example provided in the work on Kindnessville and this interview about the artistic process.
One night 10 days ago, I asked to borrow my daughter’s box of 96 crayons and started drawing images important to me. Images of people who have come to me in meditations over time, which I never in a million years dreamed I could sketch. They turned out surprisingly people like! (They want to stay anonymous for now).
The next night, I convinced my daughter to sit at the kitchen table, away from her technology, and try 10 minutes of drawing time with me. She reluctantly agreed. We had a blast choosing a topic to draw and doing our big “reveal” to one another after time was up.
The following night, she came up to me and asked, “Mom can we do drawing time tonight?” I nearly fainted. This is a TEEN we are talking about here.
Any time we make a point to do something that grows our soul, the universe supports us. Case in point: I was sad my drawing time was interrupted because we needed to make an unexpected ferryboat trip to transport some items. What was the first thing offered me on the ferry that day? Crayons!!!! The state ferry system had printed a new coloring book for children and was passing them out with crayons. I was the only adult who enthusiastically accepted.
Now I make a point to have daily crayon time in my life, and it has made a huge difference in my relationship with my child and my overall gratitude for a way to process life without words.
I shifted* from hesitance about creating anything due to a need for it to be perfected or professional or for me to have gotten higher than a D in Art History in college (the lowest grade in my entire 16-year school record!). It feels like a high form of self compassion to make creative time in your life. People in my family have been telling me that for years but I get it, all right? I get it loud and clear!
Crayon time is here to stay.
*Next post will be about beginning self-mentoring, how it is helping me and can help you make shifts in compassion and kindness toward yourself.