What We Can Learn From Our Creatures

And did you find your inner genius?

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How did you get on with the inner genius challenge? It was quite a personal and intense one last week so this week I will keep it a bit lighter. 

For me the task of recognising and focusing on my strengths is always a challenge. If I were someone who found those things easy I wouldn’t be doing the work that I do! 

But I made myself meditate on it. 

I felt pretty uncomfortable and had to push aside some resistance. Eventually I was able to clear my mind enough to sit down with a pen and sketchbook to see what happened - which was this:

                                                   

It seems fairly fragmented and busy, a bit scattered really. These descriptions apply to me in general. Maybe if I tidied up my life a bit better my inner genius might tidy up too. It also struck me as being slightly representative of the seven chakras, which was completely unintentional but perhaps significant in that my inner genius could be a depiction of my energy - again busy and scattered, but I think it is quite pretty too, naive maybe?

I played around with some coloured backgrounds using watercolours on card and then I ran them through the printer, my son enjoyed watching them come out to see if they had ‘worked’, the printer wasn’t all that happy about it but I was pleased with the results:

With regard to the intuition side of the exercise, to begin with my feeling was that of not being very connected, but as I kept the project in mind I found myself recognising my ‘higher self’ at moments I didn’t expect to; in the shape of last minute solutions, clever interventions and creative inspiration. I didn’t know it was there until I began to look for it.


This week we have noticed that our two cats, Sid and Nancy are seemingly in lockdown too. They rarely go out any more. Sid used to be out all night every night but now he sits outside my son's bedroom for a while and eventually finds his way to my daughter’s bed; Nancy has taken up permanent residence on my bed, except for when they are demanding food and having a quick potter in the garden during the day, I realised how much they provide us comfort at a time when, I won’t lie, we are all feeling uncertain and stressed out.

When I created the blind contour drawing challenge last week, I had no intention of drawing my cat, but, as I copied the image and have looked at it more during the week, it has made me think about how much I love both the drawing and the cat. She is a lovely, funny and good natured creature who likes to sit on me at any opportunity. I have taken to sketching them more, some of them are cat like, some not, but the act of observing them feels good. I see them curled up somewhere cosy, fast asleep, not caring about much. No housework to do, no work to fit in around frazzled children. I race around trying to do all of the things by yesterday and my cats have been saying to me ‘slow down, it’s okay, it is safe for you to stop, to rest, to think without worrying, to not have to plan and take the time as it is, relish it

So this week I invite you to commune with an animal....

This week’s challenge:

Observe an animal that you feel a connection to. It might be your pet, if you don’t have a pet maybe you know an animal locally? My children were delighted today to see some Shetland ponies in a field that they hadn’t seen for weeks because we hadn’t ventured that far, even though it isn’t far, or at least it didn’t used to be.

Maybe you love watching documentaries about exotic creatures from far away places. Do you identify with a spirit animal? Choose a creature that inspires you and depict it in any way you want to.

You could try a collage, or a stick drawing; an abstract or oil painting. Anything goes. Ask it what it has to teach you and see what you can learn about yourself in this exercise.

As always, the pleasure, the questions and the answers are in the doing, not the end result.

Enjoy it and allow yourself to be nurtured.

Have a great week.

I’d love to hear about your animal friends and see how you have drawn them:


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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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