Sketch Stretch  – The Art Form of Scribble Doodle Sketch 2-16-23 Part 1

You are the thinker of your thoughts; but who are you, if not your thoughts?

Let’s find out:

Are you your thoughts or the thinker of your thoughts?  Look at your language, “my thoughts.” The thinker or thinking cannot be the thoughts themselves. There must be a thinker that is not the thoughts.  To see something, you must have something that sees and some object that is seen or looked at.  So, the thinker and the thoughts cannot be the same.

However, you often identify yourself with the thoughts that you are thinking. You might have thoughts or feelings of being happy or sad and think or describe yourself or your mood as, “I am happy let’s go for a walk,” or “I am sad come over and hug me.”  Again, you have identified yourself with the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. But these thoughts and feelings change rapidly and very often. So which ones of the many thoughts and feelings are the real you?  

Perhaps you come to realize that you are the watcher or observer of all of these changing thoughts and feelings. Great, that is where we start; looking for the real you that is behind the thoughts and feelings. And then prying the real you away from your identification with the fleeting changes in the landscape of your daily life.

One of the methods to let go of the gripping misidentification of your true self is to uncover the attachments or stickiness of thoughts. They taste good like peanut butter right out of the jar but they stick to the inside of your mind.  Although it takes a little work with your tongue to remove the stickiness it still tastes good; just as sketching feels good as it dissolves the stickiness reifying your identity with your thoughts.

Let’s get started: The concept of Sketching As An Art Form

Contemplating – For this exercise contemplating is similar to trying to remember someone’s name by keeping their face in mind or keeping their name in mind and recalling their face. Going a little deeper it may start by naming or picturing a place you have been to and then trying to bring into awareness the happiness that you had when you were there. Once you have the happiness in mind, right here right now, immerse yourself in its felt sensation for three slow breaths.  

Representing —  is bringing the contemplation out from your mind and forming it on paper. Although this involves more energy its time to move from thought to action.  Imagine taking your pencil and allowing an image be created.  Any symbol to start.  This could be a scribble, doodle, sketch, drawing or any representation or motif that comes from the contemplation and is brought down to the paper.  Even though you may be the only one that can make sense of the scribble or sketch it is powerful.  It is a picture that is worth a thousand words. It is a representation a “clothing” of the thought/image of your mind’s contemplation.  It becomes an image that you can look at or just glance at and flow back into the depth of the contemplation without having to read a lengthy wordy description.  It is on a deeper connective level prior to any words that try to describe it.

Forming thoughts – is about the contemplation and its representation.  Go in even deeper.  Remember you are trying to bring something, like the experience of tasting an orange, into words that can transmit that experience to someone who has never tasted an orange. Or more subtle it could be about beauty, awareness or God.  As deep as the image is, it is a visual experience that is only accessing one part of the mind.  A cognitive word description in correct grammar is another part of the mind.  Consider the difference between the depth perception that seeing with two eyes brings as opposed to seeing with one eye closed.  Add words to the sketch. Describe the sketch. Describe thoughts about the contemplation.

Adding to the sketch  —  Once you are on track gliding up and back between the sketch and your thoughts about it add more to the sketch.  Expand on its theme or even add a new adjunctive, a peninsula of contemplation.

Adding to the words — As you review add additional related or even unrelated thought. Keep going. Do not become blocked by self-commentary.

Insight —  Aim for a sense of completeness. This may begin as a feeling that you are seeing something from a new angle. It feels fresh, spacious or lighter.  Move onward. Ask yourself another question. And even another. You will know you are complete when the small muscles around the corners of your lips and eyes soften and your face feels as if it is opening up.  Smile enjoy.

Warm up exercises – a practice to get in touch with your inner self

  1. Draw a rectangle
    1. Put an x and a circle inside the rectangle
    2. Add two other symbols, marks or lines inside the rectangle
    3. Draw a circle next to the rectangle but a little larger
    4. Scribble inside the circle
    5. Draw a triangle next to the circle
    6. Relax take a slow breath and doddle some part or all or even outside of the triangle
    7. Draw any curvy shape of your choice sketch a tree inside the curvy shape
    8. Next to the curvy shape draw a symbol of a tree but only use three lines

2. For only this second warm up :

Keep your eyes closed for the entire exercise.

            Keep your pencil (pen) on the paper. Do not lift it off the paper.

Visualizing Technique practice —  Remember it does not matter at all what this looks like

Think about and contemplate a favorite food for 30 seconds

  • Eyes closed pen on paper do not lift keep thinking of this food
    • Scribble anything about the food and connect with a continuous
    • Line or circle about the food you are thinking about and connect with
    • Drawing a stick figure about it
    • Think about and visualize each part of the scribbling
      • The food
      • The line
      • Circle
      • Stick figure
    • Doodle (keeping pencil on the paper) for one minute also about the food loosen up your mind
      • Think food as you doodle
    • Open you eyes
      • Interpret what you doodled
      • Add a few notes about it
      • Anything that comes into your mind
      • Anything!
    • Sketch what you doodled about
      • Look deeper to describe and interpret what the sketch is about
      • Whatever comes into your mind is what it is about in this moment
      • Write it down
      • Look for similarities to other thoughts
      • Metaphors that come to mind
    • Refine the sketch is in a little more detail to represent your mind’s contemplation
    • Review the sketch and re-draw or add to it as symbols or representations of the parts of the sketch

Your coach and you

If Tiger Woods is imagined as an excellent golfer why does he still need a coach?  Or turn it over and ask if Tiger Woods could be as good a golf coach as he is a player?  Think of it this way. The player has all of the physical ability to execute a plan of action.  A coach has all the ability to devise the plan and see where adjustments to the plan might improve it. Two separate mind/body abilities.  Now if you combine that into one mind/body how would it work?  Start with your subconscious mind as coach and your body as the player.  Your subconscious coach knows the action you need to take to improve your game but cannot directly tell you just how to do it.  As if Tiger’s coach spoke a foreign language that made communication difficult.  In Tiger’s case they might use body language or drawings to illustrate changes in the plan. In the same manner your subconscious may not be capable of communicating with words you understand but possibly might be able to use mind images that are not fully formed thoughts. These images are accessible to you to be brought out into the light of day.

A player goes to a coach to discover knowledge that the coach has that the player does not have. A piece of the puzzle that is missing from the player’s present understanding.  Also, by standing behind and removed from the doing of the action the coach can see how closely the player is following the plan and can suggest modifications.

Remember you are looking to unattach yourself from identifying with the thoughts in your mind.  You might start by forming an image or representation of a thought. This simple image or representation could be a circle with a wavy edge. Next add a box shape that represents your mind and now place a few thoughts inside the box and connect them together.  Next contemplate an image of the thoughts being separated from the inside of the box and being pulled along as the box moves. Then add the thoughts that fall off and are left alone by themselves.  Gradually you are building a sketch based on the images of the thoughts in your mind.

One problem that we all have at times is a repetitive concern that we cannot drop. Every time we try to not think about it, it resurfaces like water we keep trying to sweep away from a puddle. You might create an imaging sequence or sketch where the thoughts are magnetic and have an attraction for the “box” of your mind.  As soon as you have puled the thought away from the box and let it go it magnetically gets pulled back into the box of your mind and you think it again.  So how do you stop a magnetized piece of metal from being magnetized? You hit it, drop it or shake it up to try to disrupt the organization of the molecules in the metal. Okay, think or sketch these ideas; stand on your head and jump up and down, think of a bunch of other thoughts, put a lead wall between you and the thoughts to block the magnetic attraction.  With sketch stretching your subconscious mind can be your guide.

Imagine your coach as your subconscious thoughts and your routine conventional self as the player.

What would you like to learn from your deeper true essential self?

Do you have any repetitive behaviors you would like to change?

Your higher self-coach is a guide to greater happiness, kindness and compassion.

I invite you to: Continue with part two:  Sketch Stretching Telegraph


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