On Becoming

IMG_9707Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

The journey of a master is to seek a path and take life for the adventure it is: an opportunity to be uncomfortable toward a greater destination. In the Shabbat Siddur, a favorite phrase of mine is something like this: “We don’t like changing, but God loves becoming.” Each moment, we are disturbed toward something new,  becoming and expanding. Now and now and now and now.

In my dream last night, I could fly and hover over places, over snow banks. I didn’t worry about falling because I could assume good form, like in the gymnastics I did for years, and control my body so that as I fell, I’d be in such a position as graceful as a  swan dive, for example. And that would cause me to once again hover, and not go crashing down. The dream felt like elation! It tells me that as I control my responses to life situations, choosing how I want to think and feel, I get stronger and more graceful. I’m not bragging–I have a long way to go. It is just that I have noticed that within myself I am able to use “good form” to stay afloat and even in a kind of bliss–we can’t control things in life, but we can shape ourselves into being who we choose to be, no matter what.

Try a Soft Focus Approach


Painting in progress copyright Elaine Clayton 2015

Sometimes I think we focus on problems or aspirations with such intensity, it kills the thing altogether. Going into a “soft focus” approach is better. I know if I’m forcing something, I’m not in alignment with my wellbeing. I can tell easily because I get angry, distressed, wildly fixated. I do this intense push and wrangle because many aspects of life are a struggle. Growing is a struggle. Having integrity is a struggle. Defending children is a struggle. Becoming the new me is a struggle. And then I realize, in quieter moments, that all my life I’ve taken a pencil and paper and gone into a quiet world where I relaxed as I listened to the sound of the pencil as I drew people who seemed to arrive before me effortlessly. Then I’d hear the people I was drawing talking; about their preferences, their situations, their ideas. And before I knew it, I was feeling peaceful inside. I can tell you that a lot of great things have happened in my life, not because of the difficult struggle or fight to achieve something, but because of the effortless relaxation into soft focus on the things which bothered me or the things I most desired. In other words, I’d focus intently at first on what I wanted fixed or wished for, and then I slipped into another very relaxing place inside myself where all was perfectly wonderful, and into a mode where I became happy to be a creator. I felt great from head to toe and even beyond physical self if you know what I mean, like a glow was all around me. And eventually, most all things I’ve hoped for have come into fruition. Sometimes well after I have wanted it, I must admit– that’s God’s little joke, I think–we do get what we ask for but often not when we want it. But it doesn’t matter, all that matters is my ability to take what life gives me and find myself or create myself into a peaceful place.

Try focusing very intently on whatever you want relief from or whatever it is you most desire, and then let that intensity meld into your being and become a soft-focus place within you. Let it drift like a cloud carrying your desires and worries away. Know it will all come out right for you, and that the more at peace you are within yourself, the easier everything becomes!

Spirit Paintings: Thinking from the Heart


Spirit Painting for Niki/ Copyright 2011 Elaine Clayton

I create these painted meditations in honor of the one who commissioned them (unless they ask for me to paint it for someone in particular). I focus from the heart and paint what feels like emerging, and it is a very beautiful process. I wish we were all raised to “think from the heart” more in life, rather than being conditioned to be primarily rewarded for being rational and logical. Thinking from the heart gives me the feeling, not just the words, but the feeling, of “being one” with others. It is a sensation of calm and peace and excitement and the feeling that all good dreams can come true. Especially if we, from the heart, support one another in becoming aligned with Source, with our deepest sense of wellbeing.

Becoming Who You Are and Creating


IMG_9068Well, it’s October and the cycle of life brings us to change, autumnal transformation. The leaves are dappled with orange and the air whispers cooly into our ears. Creating comes in cycles, too–there are seasons of ruminating on ideas, like a spring time within the imagination. And then summery dreams of wonderment and work, getting the ideas into material form. Autumn is for reflecting on what has been created and where it will go next. Winter-what is winter in the creative process? It would seem to suggest death–cold, frigid and painful, dark days. It’s the beginning, though, of allowing new life experiences and new ideas to stir in the heart and soul. All of these seasons of life and of creating are about becoming. Becoming new, becoming alive, becoming what we’d most desire to be, feel and do. It is not comfortable at times, transforming and creating ourselves into new life experiences, new ways of perceiving ourselves within the world, but it is undeniable. There is no escaping change. It is our true state of being, to be changing and moving through seasons.
I had stepped away from Illuminara.com for a while, after 7 years of creating posts each day, it was time to have that rest, the sabbatical, to renew from within. I look forward to new ideas, art and life experiences urging me to grow, and I hope you’ll share your thoughts and feelings on the art I post. It has been such a privilege to be with all of you in this spiritual cyber land! Let’s see what changes and create ourselves into all good things, dreams come true.

Dreaming Under the Trees


Dreaming Under the Trees / Elaine Clayton 2015   at Art/Place Gallery “Fresh” Exhibition

Song of the leaves of time and shadow,

Written in the hearts of humankind

A  Light, a Truth

A strange dream

That awakens

 a separation of self

to self

to Other

To All

Sleep, and wake

Wake up to Yourself.

Eve Dreams of a Deadly Vine: How Entrapment is Self-Inflicted


Detail of a recent painting, “Eve’s Dream of a Deadly Vine” / Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

In what ways have you ever entrapped yourself? There is a Native American saying I love: “Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth.” It’s that simple, or at least following that simple sounding wisdom makes room for integrity, clarity and a feeling of lightness that is impossible to feel when burdened or ensnared by self deception. In this series, a visual midrash, “Eve’s Dreams”, I am exploring ways in which we pine for Paradise, and can ensnare ourselves in illusion and misery very easily. It is a painful place to put ourselves, most of us know what it feels like.  And it is much more difficult to disentangle than it is to never become entangled in the first place. We seem to do it until we learn not to .

Stream Drawing Workshop in NYC

Pre-register now and join us in NYC at the wellness center on 5th Ave this May 16th from 4-6 pm. We will be using the methods shared in MAKING MARKS: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing. You will be taking the necessary steps toward building a personal, visual-intuitive language: drawing with emotion, gazing at the marks made, trusting what comes to you and then discovering and connecting what you see in your drawing with life situations and events.

“MAKING MARKS shows how a universal urge to make marks can be a doorway to dimensions of consciousness of which we’re unaware in our waking life. Want to unleash your inner Picasso or Paul Klee? Read Clayton’s captivating book!” –Dr. Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind and The Science of Premonitions


StreamDraw_penguin2Before and After images: The same intuitive stream drawing above, drawn and then shaded in to show what I saw when I looked at it. I spoke of what penguin means to me personally, sharing my intuitive-visual language with her. I said they remind me of “good fathers” the way they take care of the eggs and stay with the family. This image had significant importance with the client who, after the session, told me she collects penguin images and they’re all over her house.  And why did she collect penguin images? Because her main interest is in having a “good father” figure in her life, as a partner for having a family of her own. These are the kinds of wonderful, enjoyable but also deeply emotive things that can happen with creating stream drawings.

Register for this workshop through www.illuminara.com or by emailing me directly at elaineclaytonreadings@gmail.com

Elaine Clayton copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

Stream Drawing and Dream Journaling for Happiness

IMG_7047Recent paitning  Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

Stream drawing is drawing with such a feeling of freedom that you begin to be in a dream-like state, you begin to tap into your unconscious while awake. I urge clients and friends to not only stream draw every day (we do a type of stream drawing most commonly referred to by a non-word “doodling”–often while on the phone for example) and to consider keeping a dream journal. What begins to happen is the information, wisdom and insights you can receive in a multitude of ways from your dreams (and if you don’t remember your dreams, you can train yourself to remember them) begin to be on your mind in a very powerful way during the day. And you become more aware, more insightful, more intuitively intelligent–things start to feel whole and aligned. This is a great feeling. The same is true with stream drawing, once you start doing it as a practice, you literally slip into that zone where everything good is possible, and your entire day unfolds with more love for others, more appreciation and alertness to your environment in ways that guide and support.