Yesterday I attended an “Energy Drawing” workshop down in the Financial District with a friend of mine.
On the subway ride down, I tried a little meditation exercise Matthew L. mentioned in class Saturday morning. I closed my eyes, looking a little like a New Yorker on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and imagined myself in an empty room. On the far end of the room I imagined a window where light was pouring in through. Matt said to consider whatever is outside the window a message from the Divine. As I approached the imagined window I felt myself nervous as to what I was going to see. The meditation instruction requires you to approach the window and then open your eyes. Whatever your eyes land on, take it as a message. Matthew joked that Dr. Zizmor may be staring right back at you on the subway. “What does it mean? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!” I felt myself anxious before opening my eyes. What if I wasn’t ‘diggin’ the message? I imagined myself closing my eyes again after not liking what I saw. A little re-do. A meditation mulligan if you will.
But I opened my eyes and they landed on a DELTA airlines ad saying “Keep Climbing,” and “The Only Way Up is Up.” No meditation mulligan necessary. The Universe was being kind with that one. Apparently the divine knows I’m blogging.
My friend and I entered a studio space with tables stained with paint and paintings haphazardly hung. Everyone was asked to bring something to draw. I brought a picture of a woman sitting in a sauna looking relaxed and peaceful. The woman across the room casually pulled out a human skull to sketch. Pulled it right out of her satchel as casually as say, lip balm. A sweet woman named Barbara asked if we were nervous, and when my friend nodded, she said, “There’s no judgment here, only journeys. Every time I start an art class if feels like I have to perform. But it’s not a performance it’s all about YOU.”
Diane Green and Emily Butler co-taught the class (http://www.ascendanceholistichealing.com/events.html). Diane brought her art teaching skills and Emily brought her Chinese Medicine wisdom, although the two fields and knowledge base seemed to weave together seamlessly. They explained the workshop was a fusion between art and energy as a means of unblocking energy so we can clearly and more freely express ourselves. In terms of “Energy,” Emily was basing her teaching on Chinese Medicine and the five elements: Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire. She would take the group through a meditation, connecting us with one of the Elements (we started with Earth), and then we’d break and run to our tables to draw our chosen object or picture from that particular energy.
It was a very revealing day and I left feeling inspired and unleashed. If you take a look at the drawings below, you can see the journeys all the art students underwent in a three-hour period. It was a telling experience, sinking into specific energies and drawing from that ‘energetic space.’ It quickly reveals where there are blocks. When I was drawing from “Metal,” Diane came over to tell me to loosen the grips on the charcoal and allow myself to open up and be more vulnerable. She came back ten minutes later and told me I captured the essence and “…really have the ability to go one way and then the other, to swing both ways.” I inappropriately burst out laughing. In my first drawing, the girl is small and contained and it only took a few words from Diane for the rest of my drawings to take off in an unreserved manner. As I left she told me to make sure I surround myself with people who inspire me and make me feel as though I have the permission to truly be me. She very gently warned me not to stick around people who make me retreat back into myself, back into the small, contained space.
I managed to pull Emily aside at the end and discuss which Element she saw me as, and she told me I was “a difficult one to peg, but that may be my journey, living in the grey.” She broke it down to three and said she thinks I’m a combination of Fire (definitely), showing up most clearly in my uncontrollable laughter fits, and maybe Wood and Water. I will be seeking her out in the near future to further explore.
It was a wonderful experience and I departed with an openness I hadn’t entered the room with.