January 21, 2011

ART AS self-Healing

Love and Light to You Today!

I hope you are all enjoying your life, and as hard as it may be at times, I hope you are embracing the challenges of life.

As most of you are probably well aware, most of our challenges stem from not getting along with ourselves and other people. Plants and animals are generally very forgiving and easy to get alone with (though they often wonder what went wrong with us!), yet, we tend to reinforce what we don’t want repeatedly through self-judgment and judgment of others. Though this mode of being is potentially health-robbing, it is actually a natural state that emerged from our life in the wild.

When we lived in tribal societies, we had to be much more conscious of what was around us for the simple reason that we too were potentially food for big cats, wolves, bears, etc. We had to be conscious of weather shifts because we could much more easily die of exposure – there were no AC/heating systems in our tents and huts. There were others not in our immediate tribe that were hungry and willing to kill us for our food. The concern for survival goes all the way back to our primordial beginnings as single-celled organisms in the ocean – a story which is well recorded in our DNA. Every single-celled organism knows what it wants to eat and what may eat it, and that awareness still exists in every cell of our body.

To increase our chances of survival, our ancestors always taught us as children what to be aware of; the potential dangers of life so that we survived when alone in the wild. Today our parents do their best to teach us to survive the people that society considers to be “wild”. The result is a perpetual tendency to focus on what we don’t want, particularly when the media bombards us with perpetual threats to our survival. This leads to hyper-awareness of what is outside us without realizing that we are creating threats inside us and projecting them onto others. This behavior can, and does inflate our shadow-self, making the world a much scarier place than it actually is, which is highly profitable for many establishments, such as the medical, security, drug, insurance and defense corporations. Therefore, with all the focus on the “outside,” there is little effort being put forth to create a more balanced system of teaching people to create safety “within” themselves, which is ultimately the territory of authentic spiritual teaching.

For example, you can see in the photo here, that there are many yogis still living high in the mountains, many alone who survive and who often live longer, more spiritually rich lives by simply being in harmony with nature. It is their spiritual teachings that give them inner-strength and inner-safety and security; they don’t carry hunting rifles, and many don’t even have knives, just their bowl and a deep trust in God and Nature, which sustains them even in the harshest environments.

In today’s modern environment I have found the spiritual practice of healing art therapy extremely powerful and valuable for alleviating stress and exposing our shadow tendencies. I have been teaching healing art seven years now, and have been blessed to see many amazing transformations in my students body-mind state, becoming much happier, whole individuals through the practice.

In the photo you see me enjoying a day off in the sun at home. The way I use my time to practice healing art to heal myself.

1. I free myself from any attachment to how my art looks. Because art essentially has no value other than what we or others assign to it, it is a lovely practice of learning non-judgment. After all, the worst thing that can happen is that you start over.

2. I give myself permission to not think. This is a lovely way for beginners to learn how to meditate. I move my consciousness into my feeling body, which allows me to feel the influence of each color or shape on my being. Through this practice, one’s awareness of how powerful color and shape are with respect to our inner-flow of energy emerges. Soon, we realize that the color of clothing, the foods we eat, and how we decorate our homes and offices either nourishes and balances us, or dis-integrates us; whatever dis-integrates you magnifies the tendency for what I call stinkin-thinkin.

3. I allow myself to become a child again and PLAY! By allowing ourselves to play with art, we can be in the middle of a coffee shop, on a train or airplane, at work during lunch hour or a break, and we can be a total child without others recognizing it or passing judgment. As we become better at playing, we realize we do indeed have the power to create our own joy; by creating joy, our joy radiates outward from our core, shifting the energy in an entire room, office, plane, train, etc. This is truly a gift of Unconditional Love. And, it’s a free gift to all.

4. Left to right brain conversion: I love taking complex topics and teachings from books that most are unable to understand due to a lack of depth in their knowledge and create diagrams that simplify and “picture” concepts. Our brains are actually picture generators. If we don’t understand a concept, we can convince ourselves we do, resulting in inauthentic picture-representation in our minds, which leads to confusion when we apply what we think we know and it doesn’t work! If we think we understand what we don’t (without having to deal with the ego’s need to be right), then the images we form reflect our false perceptions, again leading to confusion when its time for application. I teach my students to focus on a given concept and chunk it down into working principles. Once we have a working principle that we understand because we’ve had the help of an authentic teacher, drawing it serves to import the symbolic representation of written language from the left brain into the right brain, where the concept can easily be diagrammed or mind-mapped, showing how that concept relates to both over-arching concepts or how the concepts inter-relationships work.

5. Healing art can be a feminine expression of self: When we do healing art, or play art, we are expressing ourselves without the need to defend, score goals, meet expectations, or worry about what our parents, friends or others think. This allows us to stay in our feminine (yin) nature, improving digestion, elimination, sleep quality, immune function, and many other physiological and psychological functions, and its FREE!

This weekend, why not try some healing art alone, or with friends, children or others who are stressed or otherwise unhealthy? You have nothing to loose but a few pieces of paper and you have an abundance of love, awareness, wholeness, peace and calm to gain.

I’ll be right there cultivating love and joy with you, because that is what I desire to create within so I can do my individual part in helping humanity heal.

Love and chi,
Paul Chek