Art Therapy: A Misunderstanding

Troutbeck, Windermere, UK

Let’s begin to address all that is wrong in our human world.

Play with this idea for a few minutes — a step-by-step guide.

Think about the 5 senses of Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch.

Pick one to be your favorite, for now at least.

I’m going with Sight. (No surprise, although I do dearly love the other four too.)

What if I indulged in that one Sense every single day, for at least an hour, with deep focus.

For a full hour, really look at my surroundings, notice the colors, the levels of light and dark, the textures, the solids, and the shadows. The interplay, including the movement caused by winds or shifting clouds. Just wallow in the full experience of Eyesight for an hour a day, for a week.

I might want to draw too. Or paint. But for now, for the first week, wait. Just look.

Imagine the shift I would have in my soul.

My default tempo would effortlessly downshift.

I would be reluctant to leave that delicious, yes sacred, space at the end of each hour.

I would have more capacity for kindness because I’d spent time revelling in the wonder of looking and seeing and awakening.

If your joy is Sound, you might want to meditate and just listen. Refrain from playing an instrument, and avoid the spoken word if possible. For now at least, simply listen to your world. We’re taking in the full “wow” experience of the Sense Itself, not rushing to create more data to process in those amazing ears and brains of ours.

Imagine your surprise, to meet your amazing Senses for the first time.

The world needs us all to come to our senses, literally and figuratively.

There are many famous people who have used what I call Sense Focus to replenish their souls as well as their enthusiasm for their life’s work. World leaders, social justice advocates, medical professionals, high-powered CEOs, many of them have hobbies that allow them quick access to what’s called “The Zone”: that place of guaranteed focus and fascination.

Perhaps it’s hiking, or playing piano, or flower gardening, or wood carving, or baking, or painting. For each of us, it’s The Bottomless Well of Delight. One of my favorite art hobbyists is Winston Churchill who was a brilliant writer as well as painter and statesman. Here are two of my favorites quotes from him:

“Armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose end, one cannot have several days on one’s hands.”

“I have always had a curious nature; I enjoy learning, but I dislike being taught.”

Yes, yes, yes. I love to explore, I don’t mind being led, I hate being lectured. But when my Senses are the professors, I’m a spellbound student.

**********

The world needs more painters, more musicians, more bakers, more floral designers. Not because the world needs more paintings, songs, cookies, or bouquets, but because the world needs more people who have recently experienced peace and ample pleasure in their hearts.

The world desperately needs the side-effect of art, not the art itself.

John Lennon hinted at it in his song “Imagine.”

You’ll hear the same spirit in The New Seekers’ 1971 tune, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” (leaving out the later Coke commercial add-on, of course!)

Both songs suggest what an idyllic world would look like. I’m suggesting the first baby step to get there.

After enough looking and listening, environmental activism would be instinctive.

After enough deep breathing and delicious food, self-care would become automatic.

After enough joy, there would be too much to not share.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

**************

As always, feel free to share your comments below, repost on social media if you like, join the conversation in whatever way feels right for you. The Tip Jar is always there too. Thanks.

About Bobbie Herron

I live surrounded by watercolor brushes and paints, fountain pens, sketchbooks, and journals- often wanting more than anything to write and paint at the same time. If you like what you're reading, feel free to share it with others. If you see something that needs correction, please let me know. Thanks for visiting!
This entry was posted in 3- Magic: Art Epiphanies, Musings on Life, Pen & Ink, Seeing and looking, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Art Therapy: A Misunderstanding

  1. Elaine mcGann says:

    Your writing, your thoughts are so helpful to me. I am often “ cleaning my glasses”. Now your ideas are once more gently challenging to me. You are appreciated so much. I would like to contribute but i do not do money things online. Wish i knew an address to mail to you. I am a 75 year old woman who lives in the western part of Virginia. Thank you again for your help, courage, and offerings of beauty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elaine, thank you so much for your kind words. If you would like to support this blog by check rather than online payment, just send me a short message using the “Contact” button at the top. That way, I will get your email address privately and I will be able to reply, sending you my mailing address. I am so pleased my words resonate with you, we are all helping one another down the path, aren’t we? 🙂

      Like

  2. Judy says:

    Thanks for those thoughts. I love how I feel after working on watercolor projects, I forget about time and feel calm after enjoying what feels like meditating. Even though I’m still learning and not often pleased with my “messes” it’s time well spent.

    Liked by 1 person

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