Written by: Angie Noll

I’ve used art as a means to connect with my children ever since they were old enough to hold a paintbrush or crayon. Not only does artistic expression give everyone’s spirit a chance to be expressed freely in a different medium, but it also creates a space where we can touch base again, or, more aptly, where we can touch hearts.

Today, Chloe felt frustrated and angry with herself. No amount of logical explanation would soothe her troubled soul, so I hauled out the horse-themed colouring book that I know she loves.

As she sat, immersed in a world of colour and everything equine, the grip of her ego loosened and she was able to relax. It didn’t take too long for her to see her issues from a lighter, higher perspective.

What weighed heavily and darkly on her heart before, now took on new, colourful meaning. Gabbi’s little heart needs a variety of poster paints and a large piece of paper or a mixing bowl and a whisk. Her Soul finds expression in mixing and stirring, even if it’s the paint.

Sometimes I leave them alone to be completely absorbed in whatever they’re doing for its therapeutic value of being alone in their inner world. Other times, I know that they don’t want to be alone and then I join them.

Initially, our attempts at talking or connecting start off superficially, like the first tentative brush strokes that a painter makes. At this stage, we’re still in our heads, in ego space. We haven’t moved down to our hearts yet. That comes a little bit later when we start adding layers of colour (and glitter, sticky-backed shapes, buttons or flowers) to our pictures.

When we are able to add depth to our creations, we also excavate deeper into our hearts until we are able to connect to one another from a loving, spiritual space. The conversation here sounds much different from up in the head.

When we speak from the depths of our hearts, there is no criticism, no distractions, and no advice given. There is no right or wrong, no blaming and no problems exist here. We create and communicate with abandon and listen with attention.

There is such pressure to be perfect, on both children and parents. Children are expected to excel at just about everything they do from an incredibly young age. Parents feel an increasing pressure to have flawless, excellent children. All this unbridled focus on perfectionism literally sucks the joy out of the spiritual journey that we are blessed to share with our children.

quotation-dustpink-left Creativity is a spiritual undertaking. Parenting is also a spiritual undertaking. – Julia Cameron  quotation-dustpink-right

Rather heed Julia Cameron’s wise words, and spend time creating imperfectly together and loving with abandon.

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Posted by:Angie Noll