To start getting back into my routine I needed some mindfulness practice. And, my favorite is Art journaling.
I’ve kept an art practice for years… I’ve always used visual art as a form of meditation, stress management, and self-exploration... But, it was only a few years back when I realized that I have been documenting my life in those pieces. I have always seen and interpreted my world within the pages of my art journals - my visual representation was an attempt to make sense of a very complicated (or maybe rich) reality that I struggled to make sense of.
In the Quran, God tells us: “We will show them Our signs in the horizons [the universe] and within themselves until it is evident to them that it is the Truth.” (Q. 41: 53)
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ (فصلت ٥٣)
My art practice was my humble attempt to discern those Signs that God was sending me “in the horizons”. And, my Body Whispers’ teaching was an attempt to discern those Signs “within ourselves.”
Avicenna (Ibn Sina), the famous Muslim physician (d. 1037 C.E.) saw that, in addition to our five external senses, our soul has amazing 5 inner senses that help us “see” the world and connect to its higher meaning and purpose. One of those inner senses is Imagination (Al-khayāl). In our Western culture, we might be familiar with creativity and intuition, but Al-khayāl goes way deeper than that. Imagination (Al-khayāl), according to Avicenna, is the power that bridges the soul (al-nafs) to the Spirit (al-ruh), it connects us to the higher wisdom, the sacred Divine Breath within us.
Yet, this Imagination (Al-khayāl) needs to be trained for it to be able to discern the signs, to speak the language of symbolism and archetypes, and for this, it needs reflection, creative practices, silence & mindfulness, and self-awareness & awakening.
And, like all faculties of the soul, Imagination (Al-khayāl) also needs to be tamed, and this is the role of the heart - a pure, sincere heart is our gateway for a whole magical world of imagination - a world that strengthens our connection with our Creator as we see His Signs everywhere “in the horizons” and “within ourselves.”
Maybe I will be brave enough to share some pages of my art journals with you …
For now, I highly encourage you to start your own mindfulness practice… Open up to the universe and it will open up to you! Let your imagination roam freely.
Have a beautiful week,