Learning to turn off that editor in order to fully access the intuitive, creative mind is an important skill to practice, one that expands possibilities and allows creativity to develop. Likewise, learning to change our other limiting and damaging self-critical beliefs is equally as importance to our over-all health and happiness.
And so I said, to my client, “Do you ever draw?” The answer came, “Heavens, no! I can’t draw a stick.” And that’s what she believed. “Okay, then let’s see if you are right about that.” And I suggested that she find a photograph of herself or a friend and turn it upside down, then draw the lines she saw there to see what happened. The next time she returned, she brought her drawings and expressed surprise at how much better her upside-down drawing appeared than her right-side-up attempt.
This wonderful exercise comes from Drawing on the Right side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards, an insightful book that can jump start your drawing skills and disprove the myths you believe about your ability to draw.
What happened to me and happens to everyone who tries this is, “the left brain goes to sleep”. The left brain, even though this designation is over simplified, holds our rules, our order, symbols, our beliefs and, of course, our self-criticism. When you turn the picture upside down, the left brain says, “Oh, that is foolish,” and as a result, ‘beliefs’ about what the drawing should look like disappear. In the absence of expectations, self-criticism stops. And the next thing you know, you are just seeing the lines and following them around the page with your pencil.
Now wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this with all our self-critical thoughts?
Today's upside down drawing. I haven't done this in a while. I'm still surprised by the results.I'll have to try that baby face again. Fun.