Nancy Azara is a sculptor who has been teaching for 35 years. She came of age during the feminist movement of the 1960s and began a lifelong spiritual practice that has influenced her art and led her to teach and perform psychic healing circles. In this fine paperback, Azara presents hands-on exercises, meditations, and visual exercises designed to help us access our creativity and intuition. Her hope is give readers "insight into the expression of visual language and how it can be applied to your life as a catalyst for growth and change."
The author identifies seven gifts that come from working from your inner world. They believe they are helpful to ponder before beginning this journey. They are:
"The courage to sit and wait.
The curiosity to open closed doors and explore what is behind them.
The ability to listen to yourself.
An appreciation for the experience of all life.
A respect for the power of your imagination.
The compassion to try to embrace all things with unconditional acceptance.
And an awe for the path of knowing."
In chapters on beginner's mind, meditation and the creative mind, healing the inner critic, cultivating the imagination, and truth and myth about being an artist, Azara sheds light on the artistic process. The second half of the book consists of meditations and exercises including ones for drawing your heart, your shadow, finding your special plant, and drawing a sacred wheel. Here is an example:
Drawing Your Child Within
"Surround yourself with your crayons and drawing pad and begin to draw with them. Be a child and play with the colors and shapes. Scribble on the paper, if you dare. Break your crayons in two if you like and remove the paper around them. Use these crayons on their side to make wide strokes across the pad, or use only the points. Make many marks on the paper, varying the lengths and widths. Consider the whole paper. Don't forget the edges and corners of the pad. Let the crayons go off the pad if you feel like it. Overlap your colors.
"Now draw your child.
"Draw the picture that she made for you.
"Draw her world as she has shown it to you and capture her message — if you can."