Notice Your Breathing - Creatively

And What I Learnt From Painting A Song

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In my world I have had a whole week - the first since 20th March with both my children at school. The first week they went back on a Wednesday, the second week my daughter was unwell, then we had to all isolate for a few days until a thankfully negative Covid test came back. Then they both went to school for a week - the next week, this week, my son had a couple of days off with a cold. So it has been a bit stop - start for me. 

One exciting development is that I have hired a beach hut. Back in the summer I had the idea that it would be nice to hire a beach hut to do NaNoWriMo in November, so I inquired and found that over the winter you can only hire them for six months. So I did! I sit here in my little space free from distractions, listening to the sea just a few feet away. I have a bench/shelf to work at, a chair, cushion, a rug and a yoga mat. When I’m not writing and editing, I drink turmeric and ginger tea and unravel psychological knots and emotional tangles with a freedom I don’t find in my home. I’m fascinated to see where it leads me as we head towards winter. 

I have a confession to make: This reflection I’ve been doing and many of the exercises I create to untangle my life have shown me that I am not always very good at finishing things, as a result I find myself trying to work on too many things at the same time and many of them don’t get the attention they need, so I am embarking on a period of editing and finishing these projects. I’ll let you know how I get on...

Last month's challenge,

It was about painting music. I chose a song by St Vincent called Prince Johnny. I listened to it a lot when the album came out a couple of years ago, there is a theme in this song about being made a ‘real boy’ - a la Pinocchio. Then it goes on to asking the question to ‘make me a real girl’ and this used to hit me hard. When I looked into it through painting the song, I found that over the course of my life I have experienced a situation called dissociation and depersonalisation. Not all the time, but here and there I have the sensation of questioning whether or not I am real. Put like that it sounds very far fetched but it is actually not uncommon. It is usually a symptom of stress, anxiety or a previous or ongoing emotionally abusive situation. I have hesitated in sending out this blog as I was nervous about admitting to experiencing something like this, but one of the main points of the work I do is to create dialogue and openness about exactly this type of situation. This is the reason I do my work, and I can’t do it if I don’t speak about it.

So this is one of the tangles I’ve been decoding lately using the painting and the song as a vehicle to reconnect with myself and unpack the emotions behind the weight of the song on my system. If you have experienced anything like this and would like some guidance on how to go about this process, you can let me know privately HERE and I can assist you in navigating this terrain with paint and colour and music. My experiences and subsequent ongoing study of them enables me to understand yours from a place of validation, empathy and support.

Next Month’s challenge:

Draw your breath:

Take a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Next close your eyes and move the pen or pencil across the paper as you breathe in and out for two or three breaths.

Look at what you have drawn and see if you are breathing rapidly, from the top of your diaphragm or slowly and deeply into your belly. Make what you have drawn into a picture and while you are doing it focus on breathing slowly and deeply and allow yourself to become relaxed as you create your picture. It doesn’t matter at all what your picture looks like it is all about how you feel and that you enjoy the process. What have you drawn?

Due to the ongoing uncertainty we are still living with, Self Discovery Sessions are again half price. Find out more HERE.

Have a great month. X 

Sophie Walker

Multi Disciplinary Art and Design, Creative Life Coach and Business Mentor, Attentive Art

I'm an artist, photographer, designer and writer. I had enough of trying to be one thing so I decided to embrace it all. While working this out I studied psychology and mindfulness to help myself overcome some of life's challenges. Now I help others to do the same using creativity and psychology. I believe creativity holds the key to the enjoyment of life and I want to help everyone to feel good about yourself and your life.

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