This Creative Invitation is an elaboration of the Compassionate Letter to Myself exercise, so please write your compassionate letter before trying the Creative Invitation. You may also wish to use the paragraph you wrote in class in response to your self-critical voice). The intention of this exercise is to more deeply explore your compassionate voice, allowing yourself to really hear what he or she has to say to you.
You’ll need paper and your favorite mark-making supplies. Could be paints, markers, pencils, pastels, crayons, or a combination of all of it.
This is an exercise you’ll do with your non-dominant hand. Once you have written your Compassionate Letter to yourself or the paragraph you wrote in response to your self-critical voice in class, the invitation is simply to draw your imaginary, unconditionally loving friend (human, animal, or otherwise) from the letter. Draw the details of his or her physical form with your non-dominant hand.
What is he or she doing? What is his or her environment like? What are some of the compassionate words he or she is saying to you, and what is their tone like? (You might wish to refer to your Compassionate Letter for help remembering. Underline any words that seem particularly resonant or soothing to you, and incorporate them into your drawing in some way. Perhaps play with colors that represent the tone you hear and feel during your exchange with them.) If you wish to include yourself in the picture, feel free to do that as well. Gently reminding yourself that this is a journey in discovery rather than physical outcome. 🙂
As you created the drawing to represent your unconditionally loving friend (and possibly yourself), what feelings came up for you? Were there any words your unconditionally loving friend had for you that brought up arguments or discomfort? How did you receive that discomfort? Any words that brought up great ease, relief, or peace? Did anything surprise you about the experience? If you wish to share any or all of this experience, please feel free to do so on the discussion board.