What is a fun and easy way to heal the mind and body?

Engage in creativity!

Since retiring six years ago, (I can’t believe it’s been six years), I have been on a mission to engage in creativity and encourage others to do the same. I’ve personally experienced and observed in others, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing through dreaming, planning, initiating and celebrating creative endeavours. Moreover, during these six years, the topic of engaging in a creative mindset has been gaining momentum as it is globally promoted by many studies, sages, and influencers.

Today, my creativity mission continues as I engage in a 100 Days of Creativity project. Predominantly, I will be disciplining myself to practice my sketching with both my dominant and non-dominant hands.  My hope is that others will be intrigued, entertained, and ultimately be lured into trying their own 100 Days of Creativity Project. My dear friend, and creative partner/muse, Leslie Bell is participating in the same challenge by writing her new romance novel. We will be comparing notes, sharing our reflections on Chase Jarvis’ book Creative Calling, and vlogging our process.

To aid and motivate me in this process, my friend, Caroline and I have enrolled in a local 5-week drawing class at Lupine Studios in Courtenay. Last week was our first class, jam-packed with a variety of blind contour drawings. The main aim of the night was to work on our perception and direct our attention to the pure form of a line. It was fascinating as I struggled with relaxing and slowing down to the required exceptionally slow observational pace. The instructor, Tracy Kobus, emphasized the importance of regular practice. In addition, Tracy cued us to be aware of how moving very slow in following the exterior contours of the object we were drawing would increase our ability to see with far more detail. This would then continue with an increased awareness of detail within the interior contour lines of our drawn object.

Since returning home and engaging in the daily practice of drawing, I have observed the following:

  • The meditative aspects of blind contour drawing, which is begetting, relaxation and increased mindfulness. I’m experiencing a healthy rejuevnation of mind and body.
  • The transference of a slowing of perception and noting of detail as I take my daily walks.
  • My accuracy for blind contour drawing is increasing with a slight increase in speed and confidence. I am having to remind myself to slow down.
  • I am seeing more interior contour lines that I was unaware of previously.
  • The 100 days project overall is offering me a productive focus and inspiration to get started on the sketches for my new story.

Chase Jarvis’s Creative Calling is a great support document as I work through the 100 Days of Creativity project. Now over halfway through the book, I gobble up Jarvis’ suggestions and reflections, relating to them and inspired to try new strategies to support my creative projects. One takeaway that resonates loudly with me is the importance of fun, moreover, that there are no rules. When I find the practice of being creative annoying, boring or a slog, I can pivot, go slower or approach the activity with an extra layer of non-judgement silliness (you can see this in some of my video shares).

So dear friends, on to completing my first week of 100 Days of Creativity by practicing daily drawing, as process what I see a millimetre, one dot, and one slow second at a time along the simplicity of the line. Hmmm, geez this is reminding me of my story, The Little Dot. Everything begins with a dot. Interesting how thoughts are so interconnected.

Take a look at our film, I’m Not An Artist, featuring Mark’s journey.