I find calm in the tip of a pencil. I always have. Once that pencil hits a blank white piece of paper and I see a small dot that transforms into a line my heart rate eases. It has always been this way. Even as a young girl when we would travel somewhere in a plane and the turbulence would start to jolt me, and my mom would grab my arm in panic I would open my sketchbook and start to draw, everything would fall away. I got lost in the drawing in the process, in the unfolding.
I know for many people the thought of drawing itself can cause the opposite of calm and peace but can instill terror at the thought of drawing something, anything. For the past 20 plus years I have been helping people feel less fear when they pick up a pencil and start to draw. With the refrain of, " I am scared to draw" following me I felt compelled to change people's narratives in their head and replace that fear with a sense of possibility. I feel this urgency now more than ever. The need to turn off the switch of fear, that almost pre-conditioned, "I can't draw" to "oh wow I feel so calm doing this."
Right now we all need to draw. To find calm in the simple act of getting lost in a line. We are all living in unprecedented times. We need an outlet, a form of connection with ourselves that is readily available and does not take a lot of time. The act of drawing can take us all back to a time when we were letting ourselves scribble to express ourselves. Not to draw perfectly but to feel the crayon or marker on the paper and to feel connected and to feel good by the movement of the pen and our arm and the the pure act of expression. In a judgment free zone, we were not worried if our drawing was good or bad we were in it for the visual experience. For most of us it felt good to just draw. Once we let go of the idea of "perfection." It is a kinesthetic experience.
Give this a try:
1.Turn on some classical or jazz music.
2. Pick up a pencil or pen.
3. Close your eyes and let your pencil dance on the page to the music. Feel the music come out through the tip of your pencil.
4. Open your eyes and look at YOUR marks. No one would express this experience on the page the way that you do. Your marks are one of a kind.
5. Try it again.
6. This time use your opposite hand.
How do you feel?