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Article Teaser: When you're working on a particularly challenging piece of art, do you tend to get tight? Do you sometimes take shallow breaths? If you need a transition from the stress of the rest of your life into art making, there's a way of calming your horses, in this article.

Keep reading below...

'When your thoughts are like runaway horses'

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

Do you take the stress from other situations with you when you get the time to work on your art? Maybe you've had an argument, felt criticized, or experienced a difficult exchange with someone. Your hands may even be a bit unsteady. How can you calm your troubled thoughts so they don't spill over into your art?

Think about times when you are working on a passage of your artwork which is very exacting. When you require steady hand control, watch what you tend to do. Many people hold their breath, or breathe very shallowly. Often the heart beats like galloping horses.

Doing work with fine hand control, you need to be quite calm so it's just such times as this when you want to be at ease. How can you relax when you're concentrating on a challenging situation and adrenalin is still flowing?

First of all, don't even try. Accept the fact that you're tense and it's okay. Like a team of horses, you can't calm them with force, but only with respect. So hold your horses gently, and not your breath.

While we can control our breath to a certain extent, we are totally dependent on breathing air continuously as long as we live. Though we cannot stop it completely, we can influence the pace and consciously slow down our breathing. Have you ever seen a horse trainer gently crooning or lightly whistling to an upset horse?

Try this: Before you start to work, settle in to being exactly how you are in that moment. Acknowledge your own frisky horses. Then take a couple of full, easy breaths. Picture your breath coming into your heart and hum gently to yourself. Soon your breathing will match your slow steady heartbeat.

When you feel collected, centred, and at ease, then start work. This only takes a couple of minutes, and will start you off with more wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. Softly singing, humming, or whistling will steady your nerves and focus your vision. Slow, full breathing and the matching heartbeat can become a habit and take place automatically with very little conscious effort.

Some artists coordinate hand-eye-heart by listening to music while they work. Some music, perhaps dissonant, or mechanical, could interfere with your inner rhythm. As long as the music matches your natural mood or pace this can be a wonderful help.

The Indian philosopher Aurobindo, who was also a poet, remarked that the consistent practice of an art, in the end, constitutes a kind of yoga.

A few artists, unconsciously whistle or sing while they work. They do it very softly, more or less in the rhythm of a slow heart beat. It is an instinctive way of regulating the breath in order to centre and detach themselves from the noises of the surface mind.

This might become something akin to natural prayer. You might talk to your brush or pencil or chisel and coax it to - - - "see this line wants to go this way here, and recede there. . .the skin curves round the bone there. . . and wrinkles right here."

Finally the moment will come, when all this is forgotten and your hand moves naturally in tune with your heart, spontaneously becoming the bird or grass, tree or model, and you melt into the essence of the thing.

"Spirit" and "inspire" are from the same root word, like the French "respirer" to breathe. Isn't it inspiring that every inhalation contains particles of air which have come from all over the world - a mustang on the prairies, a grandmother in Indonesia, a dolphin in the Pacific, an alpaca in Peru, an earthworm in your garden, Leonardo daVinci, the Dalai Lama . . .?

Every exhalation circulates out to other far flung corners of the world in return.

Singing with your heart can lead the way to holistic connection and integration with the world. It could help you to take part in the mysterious rhythm of life as you engage in art making. 'Holding your horses' can be a very gentling activity, and it will probably influence your work too.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." Maya Angelou

"Oh, for a horse with wings!" Shakespeare
May your heart sing and take flight.
Celeste Varley


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Hello, I'm Celeste Varley and have been an artist at heart all my life. It is my privilege and passion to help seekers move beyond self-expression, to access the seeds of wholeness within. If you like this article, you may want to see more "Fresh Horses" articles on my website. Check it out and see if it's right for you. http://www.heartsongstudio.com Celeste Varley, Heartsong Studio, Helping the Creative Spirit to Soar.

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Internal ID: #4757
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