Last year, I began teaching a new class that brought me back to the origin of my life as an artist. Drawing as Meditation had such a powerful impact, and yet it was so simple. My students showed me that there is a great hunger to slow down, savor, and feel more attuned creatively.
It’s amazing – in the true sense of the word – how our senses can offer us a new experience in any moment. Yet we allow our senses to be dulled. We fall prey to:
• Too much information
• Moving too quickly
• Doing more than one thing at once
• Overeating, overdrinking, over consuming anything
We are at the same time overloaded with input and starving for true, first-person information that really fuels us. With an abundance of sensory input, we crave depth. For that, we can start with something we all have access to anytime, anywhere: our senses.
By the end of my Drawing as Meditation class at Camp GLP, participants claimed a greater sense of freedom and permission with their drawing, and their creativity in general. The process I lead is very simple but had a big impact. I credit it to beginning the workshop with this meditative exercise.
I use this at the beginning of my Capture the Wow and Drawing as Meditation workshops. It helps us shift our state of being quickly and easily. We’re then more receptive and appreciative of what’s around us. The exercise is called Sensual Atunement.
Engaging our senses intentionally allows us to experience life more richly in any given moment. And they’re there for us always. When we atune our senses, we experience the world more vibrantly. This helps us to feel and be more creatively inspired.
Sensual Atunement exercise
Here is the exercise for you to try – it can take as long as you like and as little as three minutes. Read all the instructions first, then guide yourself though this simple process.
Before we begin, write down three words that describe your state of being. These words could be: overwhelmed, anxious, calm, stressed. No judgement, just jot down the words that describe your current state. Set that aside.
To start, find a place where you can be uninterrupted. You will be closing your eyes, so make sure you are in a place where you feel safe doing so.
The meditation usually takes up to five minutes. What we will do is go through each sense, one by one, asking two questions:
• What do you notice?
• How would you describe that?
Now, close your eyes. Start with smell. Take a deep breath in. What do you smell? Continue looking for smells, both subtle and gross. Take a minute to smell everything you can.
How would you describe that? Play with putting words to what you smell. How would you tell someone what you smell? What words would you use? Be as creative as you want.
Next, let’s go to sound. What do you hear? Tune in to the sounds in the room, outside of the room. Listen to the small sounds and the loud sounds.
How would you describe what you hear?
Now, taste. What do you taste? There might not be an immediate taste…keep exploring. What do you taste in your mouth right now?
How would you describe that?
Next, touch. What do you touch? What does your body touch? Your clothes? The place you are sitting on? The air on your skin? Feel it all.
How would you describe the touch now?
Before you open your eyes, tune in to the sixth sense. Intuition. Vibe. Energy. What do you notice?
How would you describe that? Again, be creative here.
Lastly, open your eyes.
What do you see? What do you notice that’s different from before you closed your eyes?
How would you describe that?
You can use this exercise whenever you feel frazzled, overwhelmed, confused about what to do next, or whenever you want to feel more present and grounded. It’s easy, portable and doesn’t require anything but a few minutes of your attention.
You can use free-writing to capture your experience from this exercise. Try it and let us know how it goes below.
Ommmm out with us in person
Practice this exercise and other fun games to wake up your inner artist. I love leading the way to reunite you and your creativity.