“You are a crown of glory for those who are borne in the womb, for they, like you, are destined to be renewed.” (Traditional Jewish blessing honoring the waxing moon)
Even though it is about 5 degrees outside and frozen snow is stiff, like white styrofoam, covering every surface, the trees are singing to me. I am painting the colors of emotion and thought, the colors of memory and dreams. The gray bare limbs I see out the window become bright and vibrant in my studio, I am inspired. Winter whispers to me, snow falling or on the ground lulls me into another realm where anything good is possible.
Ken’s Spirit copyright Elaine Clayton 2013
Life is sacred, when we engage with it as sacred. Every leaf, every speck is full of vibrance–the Spirit of Life is everywhere. I painted this thinking of my brother Ken and his richly poetic way of weaving words and images and stories into visions of humorous and life-enhacing awareness. He has inspired me and many to recognize the living spirit in my surroundings.
Detail from a recent intuitive stream drawing reading/ copyright Elaine Clayton 2013
In a recent visual-intuitive meditation, using drawing to access intuitive knowledge (I share this method in my book, MAKING MARKS: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing/Simon and Schuster/Beyond Words due out in May), I saw in a past position, a figure with the #2 (see in brown color) which to me signifies “daughter” or sisterhood, as well as some other associations. A beach scene appeared. All the associations of beachiness (not a real word, but it works here!) came to mind: the feeling of recreation, childhood dreams and sunny days. There is a large wave approaching, which didn’t feel scary, but more like the way life moves us on, away from our carefree days and into the rest of life. I enjoyed coloring in this beach scene, but it is only one way to perceive the shapes and lines. When sharing this with the client, it resonated for her in that she had many beach memories and it gave her a chance to see ways in which the good times in life were stored within her, no matter what else life brought (amongst other meanings that came to her).
Detail from a recent Intuitive Stream Drawing/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
There is a technique for intuitive discoveries that I developed, and I call it “intuitive stream drawing”. Often in my meditations prior to an intuitive reading sessions, animal imagery appears somewhere in the intuitive stream drawing (these are created while I’m alone, before a session begins). In this one, at the crown and 3rd eye, there is a fierce rhino facing the past. This to me has to do with desire and the fierce look may say, “desire is threatened” or “I am going to have what I desire!” or possibly there is anger from a past experience in where a particular desire was taken away. Since the crown chakra and the 3rd eye chakra have to do with awareness of the presence of the divine within, and how it is recognized and attuned with the self, this single (of many possible) interpretation of this intuitive stream drawing makes me want to talk about getting assertive about any past event that holds a threat in regard to creating and having what the soul desires moving forward. There are many other ways to look at it.
Below we see what may be a fox–it could be a cat. The fox is a terrific symbol. I almost ran over one a few evenings ago and thought, “Time to become invisible”. Fox in Native American animal wisdom can be about “becoming invisible”—since this is a huge fox and it’s in the heart and solar chakra it feels like the need to be unseen in matters of love and even in terms of home life in some way. If it’s a cat, I feel it has something to do with intuition, the mysterious aspects of life– and possibly about trust. We can’t train or control a cat, and so it is in matters of love in some ways, there is no way to control others or make everything go the way we’d like. Fox and Cat could indicate many other things as well. Interpreting intuitive stream drawings is wonderful because it gives us a chance to explore the meanings and to discover which one is most powerful for the client personally.
More about intuitive stream drawings in my new book MAKING MARKS: Discover the Art of Intuitive Stream Drawings (Simon and Schuster/ Beyond Words due out 2014)
Sketchbook/ Clothes Tag/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
Clothes. Shirts, dresses, pants. Ties. I am tired of ties. Why do all men seem to wear ties, and weren’t cod pieces interesting? I like the clothes of other eras better than the generally boxy man-suit thing we have now.
Clothes can be symbolic, even holy (think of tallit and priest’s collars, etc.) yet I struggle almost every day with what to wear, shivering in the early morning air, not liking anything that I reach for in the dresser. I guess because clothes are so standard and none of them express how I feel inside enough for me to feel satisfied putting them on. I remember being in an elevator with Robert Shaw who was symphony director in Atlanta when I was there (Arts Alliance) and he said how Madison Avenue decides all these things in the way of fashion. We had been talking about my plum colored ballet flats which someone else in the elevator admired. Plum was “in” in the 1980′s. I was 18. I had not thought about how there is an industry that shapes how we clothe ourselves. Ever since, I have wanted to design and wear my own since then, or to forsake all standard industry attire and wear tunics of linen with robe of wool overlay when it is cold out. Preferably with tall boots because I like those. But this wouldn’t go over well in suburbia or anywhere–me going around in clothes of my own design–although it would be much more interesting if we all expressed ourselves this way, wouldn’t it? I dreamed a few nights ago about how we use clothes to make ourselves feel accepted in groups. The dream had scenes of golf shirt wearing people and things like that. I still fantasize about creating my own for myself.
What are your ideas about clothes? What do you love most about any particular clothing item? What era would you live in based on your taste in clothes?
Poetry is a way of expressing thoughts, feelings and experiences in a transformational way because it takes us out of the ordinary. Celebrating special life events through poetry is a natural for poet Amy Miller. Amy serves others joyfully through PoemsToGo. “I create original poems,” she says, “and original speeches and toasts.” I asked Amy about her inspiration and she said her beloved father inspired her most.
I used to love it when my Dad told me stories and my grandparents. Their stories stuck with me and when I lost my Dad in a tragic accident, I turned that loss into something poetic and happy, that’s how I created PTG – The testimonials speak for themselves and I know my Dad would be very proud of me as I am of him, he was my role model, taken away too young when I was only 12 years old. “I used to love it when my dad and grandparents told me stories. Their stories stuck with me.” When she lost her dad in a tragic accident, the deep anguish motivated her to create. Amy says, “I turned that loss into something poetic and happy, that’s how I came to create PTG. The testimonials speak for themselves and I know my dad would be very proud of me as I am of him. He was my role model, taken away too young when I was only 12 years old.”
Amy’s ability to turn her despair and grief into an artful mission to help celebrate the events of the lives of others is very inspiring to me as an artist. If you’d like to explore her poetry or have an up-coming event that needs an excellent, original and custom-made poem, you’ll enjoy Amy’s site, www.poemstogo.tv where you can read sample poems for many occasions.
Below is a picture of Amy with her father at the beach when she was young:
You can relieve symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress through creating art. I don’t say that as an authority on PTSD, but as an artist and person. I’ve experienced first hand the healing power of creative play, drawing and art making in general, as a way to “just be” and to feel calm.
It is a year after Hurricane Sandy and one of my sons and I still get a physically ill feeling when we drive anywhere near the house we had to rent briefly during the hurricane (we were safe there, and luckily didn’t get the rental BY THE BEACH which would have made it all much worse since all those homes flooded, but we still loathed the place we were in–think moth balls and too much porcelain and glass—and were freezing for the entire week after the hurricane). My only answer is to create. My son instinctively longed for and started building models this weekend, saying he loved, “peace and quiet” while putting the models together. I am in the studio making art to let the ptsd of that time drift away. Bless all those who still do not have their home life or housing resolved, and bless those who valiantly advocate for them!
Elaine Clayton copyright 2013 / monoprint with water color wash
More than before, I find that during intuitive healing sessions, people feel gloomy about the future. College age kids, for example, are facing huge debts and no jobs seem available. How can we create anew when the resources seem nonexistent?
It’s true, it is difficult. We are living in days that are full of turmoil and edgy circumstances, the feeling of “what next?” is always stirring. The macrocosm can be perceived as a vast sea of doom: imploding dramas, unfolding scenes of war, extreme weather, political strife and even children are a part of the cruelty in some horrific circumstances. And all of it lapping up against us personally as we sail along in our own little boats, trying to stay afloat or get where we’re going. We try to be seaworthy, listening to our sense of truth (our inner divine nature, our intuition) letting the wind guide us as we navigate. And though these miseries are rocking our boats, there is still the microcosm which is our own inner universe. This is a different kind of seascape. This inner universe is affected by the outer but the deeper in we go, the more we are able to consciously, from the inside out, envision a world we choose. As we create inwardly, we see over time the more “real” this can become outside of us. Using meditation, creative visualization and recording dreams, we may find that some measure of hope and renewal can be grasped even against the worst, most unimaginable circumstances. We can create an inner realm where all is well, and where we see ourselves as a part of peace, abundance, miracles coming true, the impossible as possible. And instead of feeling defeated by the huge problems we feel invading our vessels and our souls, we can be part of a wondrous change.
I nurture my sense of “going inward” often by read accounts of Near Death Experiences. They have always fascinated me and over and over we are told by those who have had a glimpse of what happens when we die, the same truths revealed. The main message seems to be that if we focus on small acts of kindness, being true in our personal relationships and attending to or loving others the best we can, we will have learned well.
subscribe to Illuminara.com newsletter here, on the Home Page!