Why does time seem to stretch when I’m creating?
The process of creation in my studio takes me out of my mind and into a realm which I can’t really explain, but it feels familiar, safe, peaceful and right. The other strange thing that seems to happen in my art studio when I visit this realm, is that time seems to stand still or at least slow down…
This brings me on to the subject of absorption and time…I remember reading a fantastic book entitled ‘Making Time‘ by Steve Taylor explaining why time seems to pass at different speeds and how we can control it. I’m sure you can all relate to the all too familiar mystery of why when sat at your computer, time seems to speed up and get consumed by some invisible worm hole! This dilemma made me curious – seriously, why DOES time speed up when I’m doing things that require my attention (so surely I’m present) and yet when I do other things like yoga, meditation or art I seem to achieve so much more in the same length of time…it seems to lengthen or expand!
Steve Taylor helps to explain that certain tasks like sitting in front of the computer or television are so absorbing that we literally loose ourselves and our sense of time while entertained by them. It is in fact not the same as being present – it’s more like being lost in another world. Yes, tapped into that task, but at the expense of what is around us. We all know what it’s like to try and hold a conversation with someone who is using their phone or watching the TV at the same time!
Conversely, when you spend time on a task that requires your complete and utter attention and focus, time will appear to slow down. All your senses are heightened and you enter a new plain or dimension.
Recently I went in search of bluebell woods and found myself at Priors Wood near Bristol. A most wonderful carpet of blue appeared in front of me as I turned off the pathway. I decided to sit amongst the blue bells and the serenity prompted me to ponder on this dilemma of time and attention once again..
It suddenly occurred to me that there is something else happening when my absolute attention is required on a task. It’s not just about using all my 5 senses to create. It’s actually that I dial into something that is larger than myself and in doing so become connected to something that acts as a conduit for inspiration and ideas. THIS is what makes the distinction. When I am writing a blog like now…my mind (brain) is tapped into the task at hand, but relatively my other senses are dulled. Someone could make a sound in the room and I may be aware, but not totally; I may even be unaware of things going on around me.
This is not the case in the bluebell woods or in my art studio – I am finely tuned in to everything; the bird song and the subtleties of tone in a painting; the smell of the undergrowth and the feel of the clay between my fingers tips; the feel of the droplets of rain and the warm slip sliding as I throw on the Potter’s Wheel; the aura of energetic life around me and the sense that the clay is speaking to me helping me form a shape with my hands; the whispers of the forest..the voice of inspiration…and hence my Soul starts to awaken.
I even start to recognise feelings within my body as a response to the universal life force surrounding me and when I’m in my studio, I suddenly realise how I’m really feeling that day. Because my art is my therapy, and I spend regular amounts of time being ‘present’ in my studio, so I have created a kind of ‘health benchmark‘ if you like. On occasions, I then notice when I’m maybe not myself..I may be finding it difficult to focus, my mind scattered with other thoughts or I may feel tired and have less patience with may ability to throw on the wheel.
These realisations are precious
We all use distraction in our lives to numb out these feelings, so rarely connecting with the wisdom of our body. My art is my saviour and prompts me to ask ‘so what do I need TODAY in order to feel balanced and good again?’. Then I start to listen to my inner wisdom and sometimes it says ‘rest’ so I take myself away and read, or even sometimes have a cat nap! Sometimes I intuitively know I have been bothered by something someone has said so I self talk and release the burden of feelings associated with the matter. If I feel I need assistance I may turn to my collection of crystals and give myself a Chakra Balance or some Reiki Healing. These are some of my tools for ‘The Art of Living‘ and I hope to be able to share some of these with you so you can become the master of your wonderful existence, trusting how to self heal and reach your undeniable potential.
So what is your Soul Saviour?
What practice can you inject in your life that requires you to focus, give pure attention to the present moment and in doing so allow your inner voice of wisdom to be heard?
For some it may be yoga, meditation, walking in nature, listening to music, painting, writing, dancing…mine is art and an innate curiosity to learn more about the spiritual realms, quantum physics and the laws that govern our existence.
If you would like to find out whether working with clay or creating with your hands brings this same sense of presence into your life then please do book a taster ‘Art Therapy‘ session with me and let’s explore more creative wisdom together…