I have always loved to color. One of my fondest memories as a child is coloring with my Aunt Ellie who taught me how to shade and outline with crayons, turning the simple drawings in my coloring books into works of art. I also have memories of drawings in school and being graded, having my art judged as good, or do better, or that’s not good at all. This taught me that I’m not an artist (my drawings were never really very good) and to keep my work to myself. This extended into writing and public speaking – I was afraid to share anything that might reveal me as not good enough. I took refuge in math, where the answer is either correct or not. There are logical steps to solving problems. I became really good at that and thought I had made peace with not being “artistic.”
Creativity runs through each of us and can never be completely silenced. In my twenties I would draw mandalas that I would color as a way of relaxing. I continue to color as a form of meditation. I have a dozen coloring books that range from simple children’s coloring books to complex “adult” mandalas. I have colored pencils, pens, and of course, crayons.
Over the course of my 20+ years with the Berkeley Physic Institute (BPI), I slowly began reclaiming my creativity. An integral part of every class is coloring with crayons. There were big bowls of crayons, and it was always such a joy when a box of sharp, new crayons was added to the mix. I got over my fear of my work not being “good enough” and embraced the stick people and scribbled roses I drew in class. Set in the vibration of spiritual kindergarten, the point of coloring was self-discovery and not to produce a work of art worthy of hanging on the wall, or even a refrigerator.
Recently crayons have been my medium of choice as I began doing nondominant hand (NDH) work. In her book, Living with Feeling, The Art of Emotional Expression, Lucia Capacchione writes, “writing and drawing with the nondominant hand give you greater access to the right-hemisphere functions: feelings, intuition, gut instinct, inner wisdom, and spirituality.” Writing and drawing with our NDH helps us to access our inner child that remembers the Truth about who we are. I have found her to be feisty and no nonsense.
As I consider my dream of doing Spiritual Coaching for a living, my inner critic, from that familiar place of “not good enough,” tells me I don’t know what I’m doing, I have nothing to offer, and I can’t really help anyone. The first picture below is my NDH’s response – I am the guide and Spirit is the compass, and together we navigate the mountains of our lives. The second picture is my NDH’s response to the Truth that I am an expression of the Infinite – I am both me as Sharon and Me as the I Am.
With crayons I access that little girl coloring with my Aunt, when every picture was a work of art made with love.
–Sharon Whealy, RScP