heart whispers

Prayer and Paint Workshop Afterglow

Photo slideshow from the workshop...

Below are some photos from the Prayer and Paint workshop that I held on Saturday at Summerbridge (take a look at the new website---->) church that we are a part of.  I was thrilled that so many came and in the end we had around 20 people approx.! 

The workshop's aim was to explore the idea of using the medium of paint with prayer and reflection.  This is really close to my heart and has been so for some time now.  I really care about this aspect of my personal creative/reflective time and so wanted to offer this personally as a 'way in' for people that wouldn't necessarily paint or consider themselves 'creative'.  

I began by encouraging everyone to write out in pencil, without censoring, their worries, fears, anxieties; however small and to let them just pour out (side note: I ran out of paper).  I absolutely love this process and find it cleansing and such a relief to 'get it all out'. 

We then covered over our writing with gesso (white primer) and let that dry.  The idea being that by covering over our 'junk', we can 'start again', refresh and re-boot with Jesus' help.  We continued with another layer; this time with willow charcoal sticks.  I like to sketch out imperfect faces and encouraged others to do that or, to find their own way.  Some examples of what came out of this stage were: flowers, portraits, buildings, pattern, a wall, shapes and lots of mark making.

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

I really enjoyed having people of all ages present.  We had a few men, younger children, teenagers, mid-life and older adults and it felt lovely to combine this experience with them all.

Next, we got out paint and began to add colour - it was akin to bringing light, warmth and 'nourishment' to our pieces.  Again, this idea of covering over the heartache/worries and lighting everything up with technicolour - so great.

Some people covered over their charcoal layer with something new, whilst others 'coloured-in' with the paint and added lots of vibrancy to the charcoal underdrawing.  All of it was just right.

I recognised that this could be challenging for people because putting the 'logical' side of the brain to one side is foreign to so many of us and can feel counterintuitive.  However, as the workshop went on, I sensed that more people were managing to do this and to appreciate the process rather than the end result.

We then finished the workshop by eating together and enjoying our shared buffet that everyone had contributed to.  A perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. 

I think in a smaller setting it would have been lovely to have had a mutual time of prayer and reflection in a way that felt right for that individual.  I also think doing this at home would be fabulous with a few additions: lighting a candle, putting on some soft music, making a pot of tea and lastly, opening up your bible. 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Lastly, I think this would be a beautiful practice to do as a family, with your children, your church, with a special friend, prayer partner or perhaps your spouse (maybe??? lol).  

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to give this a go and please let me know how you get on... 

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Embrace - 'soul whispers'

In my new ecourse, 'Embrace' one of the things we will be exploring is when life becomes so hectic that we can literally 'tune out' our longings, soul whispers and dreams... 

We can find that surviving the day is the only activity we can truly put our energies into.  We fall into bed exhausted and before we know it, a new day is before us once again.

Trust - art journal page

But what happens to what's on the inside - on our hearts?  The thing is, those aspirations and hopes for our lives don't go away and if we don't pay attention to them, we can often feel stifled, unfulfilled and empty.  That's what happened to me, my friend...

However, once I began to acknowledge my soul whispers and give them space to breathe, flourish and come to life, I noticed subtle shifts.  Initially, it just took time and gentle pursuasion to identify what the whispers were saying.   It felt foreign to me as I had been in the intensive mothering stage for so long (and then our youngest was about to start school) that I had lost all sense of who I was.

At first, what 'came through' seemed quite unknown and a bit distant to me.  Some of it was uncomfortable, unsettling and sad, other bits were exciting, joyous and unexpected.  I also knew that life wouldn't be the same again...

The great take away of all this though, was that finally I felt I had given myself permission to expand my wings and dare to ponder, reflect and dream - this was the beginning path to great healing and insight.

So, perhaps my story resonates with you and you feel it's your turn to dig a little deeper?  Well, my friend, I invite you to print off my digital pdf from the following link: heart whispers and have a go at answering the prompts.  There is no right or wrong, so just give yourself the gift of time for 10 mins and see what you get...  You could always hang your answers on the fridge and then come back to them and see if they 'sit' right with you over the next couple of days.

heart whispers_edited-1

If you would like to have someone 'catch' your thoughts and dreams with you, then I'm more than happy to be here for you...

Jane x

PS. To find out more about 'Embrace - a spiritual journey' - please, just follow the link.







Receive my 'Heart Letters' & + enjoy optional extras: Free access to the 'Inspiration Library', 20% off online classes, Free prints, art videos + more...