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Shed Your Conditioning and Trust Your Intuition

This art ritual was created to help you explore where your past conditioning stands in the way of listening to and trusting your own intuition and/or your parenting instincts. When done in it’s entirety, it requires a full moon cycle to complete but it can also be effective completed in one sitting with the intentions of personal growth.  Scroll down for the printable step-by-step instructions.

This week I asked my friend and parenting expert, Eliane Sainte-Marie, if I could create an art ritual around one of the chapters in her book Clean Parenting: The Peaceful Parent’s Handbook. The chapter I chose was titled Trusting Your Parenting Instincts and Your Inner Guidance. This topic is near and dear to my heart. I’ve navigated not only my parenting but also my life by listening to and trusting my intuition. I’ve even become a professional intuitive.  Trusting my intuition and tuning in and listening to Spirit, my body, my emotional needs and my parenting instincts has gifted me with some of the most valuable experiences in my life. It has never been the easy way but it has definitely been the most graceful and magical way.

For simplicity’s sake, I want to break this big topic into three separate ideas:

  1. Listening to my Intuition
  2. Listening to Spirit and
  3. Listening to my Parenting Instincts

I believe all three of these areas are silenced in similar ways. I also believe when you start trusting yourself in one area, your ability to trust yourself in the other two areas becomes easier.

Listening to my Intuition

To me intuition feels like this calm steady voice inside. It is my inner compass. I like to imagine it is my personal soul or spirit speaking to me. It seems to me like my conscious mind can only grasp so much. It is a brilliant tool but it is limited in its capacity. My intuition, on the other hand, feels vast and limitless. It feels like it accesses a realm of knowledge and wisdom that is beyond my understanding. It’s not as loud or obvious as my conscious mind. I can hear my thoughts much more readily and clearly than I can hear my intuitive guidance. When my intuitive guidance does come in, it sounds like it’s coming from this distant space. It’s quieter, simpler and direct. It doesn’t argue or run around in circles like my thoughts. It simply makes a statement in my mind or gives me a sense of something in my body or uses my emotions to help me feel something.

Since my intuition is softer and not as obvious or as loud as everything else in my busy life, it is easier to miss but the more I trust what it has to say and the more I trust where it’s leading me, the more often I hear it.

Listening to Spirit

As I mentioned above, listening to my intuition is, to me, like listening to my soul or Spirit – that eternal part of me that existed before I was born into this life and will exist again after my body dies. Many people I meet desire to hear, see and feel Spirit but are uncertain how to do that. My angels explained to me that communicating with Spirit is not a gift some people have and others do not. They explained to me that we are all Spirit. As Wayne Dyer used to say, we are spiritual beings having a human experience not human beings having a spiritual experience. I am Spirit therefore I can see, hear and feel Spirit. Since our true nature is eternal Spirit of course we know how to feel, see and know Spirit and each and every one of us has always been and continues to always be communicating in the way of Spirit. We don’t have to learn how to do it. Instead our job is to pay attention and see how and when it is already happening.

I think the same thing I do to listen to my intuition is the same thing I do to listen to Spirit because in essence the wisdom is coming from the same place – the place of Spirit, mine or someone else’s.

Listening to my Parenting Instincts

When I became a mother, I became aware of this place inside me that just knew. In my case, my parenting instincts didn’t kick in right away. In the first year of my son’s life I was in constant crippling anxiety. It was one of the hardest years of my life. Once the anxiety settled down I could hear this voice inside that had a very strong sense of what my son needed and how I wanted to parent. I had strong emotional reactions when I followed advice that didn’t align with what my instincts were telling me to do. I was passionate about not repeating parenting methods that hurt me as a child and since I wasn’t knowledgeable about other ways and I didn’t like reading parenting books and it was back in a time when parenting coaches and help wasn’t as accessible, I chose to trust my instincts or that place inside that just knew how it wanted to parent my son. It was different than listening to my intuition and definitely different than listening to Spirit but it did feel like at times it was listening to a part of me that was trying to rewrite the past and at times listening to an ancient voice that carried wisdom from thousands of generations before me…a voice that came from times before there were homes with separate bedrooms or ten options of baby food.

In Eliane’s book, she gives a great description of what listening to your parenting instincts looks like. I’m attempting to compartmentalize these three different methods of listening to wisdom but the truth is sometimes it’s obvious what I’m listening to and sometimes it’s not. Either way I think the practice of continuing to pay attention and consider what voice is actually speaking to me is helpful. It helps me to know myself and it helps me to discern what is right for ME – not what is the right way but what is MY WAY to live life and parent. And as a parent, I believe the more I discover what my way is, the closer I come to parenting in a way that best aligns with and serves my child’s spirit. And that’s important to me. I can’t consciously be aware of what his spirit needs or wants. I can much more easily know what his emotional and physical needs and wants are but I know if I listen to my intuition and my parenting instincts I will naturally be listening to his Spirit’s needs also.

In Eliane’s chapter on parenting instincts she helps her reader distinguish between conditioning and instincts. I love her wisdom on this. She states, “Often times, I hear parents describe their feelings or reactions as instinctual when what they actually are are automatic (reactive) or stemming from conditioning. It’s important to understand this distinction so parents truly learn to parent from their instincts (or inner guidance) and don’t erroneously follow their conditioning’s guidance, mistaking it for their instincts.”

I designed this ritual to help you distinguish when conditioning, fear or the need to belong is making the decisions for you. The more aware you are of what interferes, the easier it will be to choose to ignore it and tune in instead to higher wisdom. If this is something that’s really important in your life at the moment, I would spend the time using a full moon cycle to complete this art ritual. Something beautiful happens when I complete one of my art rituals nice and slow and allow deeper and deeper layers of my subconscious mind to rise to the surface slowly over time but if completing it in one sitting is all you want right now, you will still gather a lot of insight from it.

If you are planning to complete this ritual over a full moon cycle, I would begin on the waxing crescent moon and I would complete it on the New Moon. Here is the full moon cycle method outlined:

Waxing Crescent Moon:

  1. Download the accompanying PDF and answer the questions in your journal and create the paper roll self-portrait described below.
  2. Wrap the ribbon around your self-portrait and place on your altar (or somewhere you will regularly notice her over the course of the moon cycle like on your dresser or nightstand).
  3. Observe where and when in your life you silence your inner wisdom. Spend 5 minutes every evening looking at your bound self-portrait and jot down what you’ve observed about when you silence your inner voice.  Continue to do this until the Full Moon.

Full Moon:

  1. Set a sacred space and follow steps to prepare yourself for ritual.
  2. Unwrap the ribbon and place the ribbon inside the pouch of your paper roll self-portrait.
  3. Write a letter to whoever you pray to and ask for help healing the parts within yourself you noticed stop you from trusting your intuition or parenting instincts.
  4. Place the letter inside the pouch with your ribbon.
  5. Add any objects or plant material that align with your intentions such as crystals, herbs or essential oils etc.
  6. Place your paper roll self-portrait back on your altar.
  7. Observe where and when in your life you listen to your inner wisdom. Spend 5 minutes every evening looking at your unbound self-portrait and jot down your small wins, celebrations and grateful feelings in regards to your intuition and your parenting instincts. Notice when you listened and take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate that. Continue to do this until the New Moon.

New Moon:

  1. Set a sacred space and follow steps to prepare yourself for ritual.
  2. On a separate piece of paper, write a declaration to yourself of how you promise to treat your intuition and/or parenting instincts from now on.
  3. Roll up your vows and insert them into your paper roll self-portrait.
  4. Keep your paper roll self-portrait on your altar for as long as you desire.

Before sharing the instructions in more detail, I want to remind you that when engaging in one of my art rituals, there are a few steps I perform before I sit down to do the writing, painting or creating part of my ritual. They include gathering my materials, clearing my mind and my physical space, inviting or calling in my spiritual helpers and setting boundaries or placing a circle of protection and blessing my tools and material. I outline these steps in more detail in my “Beginner’s Guide to Preparing for Art Rituals” which I send, along with other helpful goodies, when you subscribe to my Moon Sisters Art and Ritual Magazine.  If you would like the guide delivered to your inbox, you can subscribe to the magazine on my home page.

To support my emotions while I performed this art ritual, I used 5 drops of doTerra’s Patchouli essential oil.  My doTerra oils are just as helpful to my Spirit and emotional well-being as they are to my physical health so I always include them in my art rituals.

I chose Patchouli for this art ritual because one of the essential requirements for tuning in and listening to those calm wise voices within is not feeling anxious, worried or having a busy mind. Patchouli calms the mind and stills the heart and prepares the body for connecting with Spirit and/or inner wisdom.

Once my oils were going and I could breathe them in, I moved onto the first step in this art ritual which was to gather the materials. This is a very flexible art ritual. You can make tons of adjustments and use whatever you have on hand but you will definitely need two paper towel rolls. This is what I gathered together and used:

  • 2 paper towel rolls
  • white glue and hot glue
  • decorative paper
  • pieces of scrap fabric
  • acrylic paints
  • ribbon of a color light enough you can write on
  • small positive and negative magnets (optional)

I saved one of my paper towel rolls to paint my self-portrait on. The second paper roll I used to create a small pouch. I cut about a quarter of the paper roll off and squished it down.

Next, I folded the sides of the paper roll down and glued the two sides together to create a bottom to the pouch.

I then cut another piece of cardboard off my paper roll. I cut this piece in a half circle shape to use as a decorative piece to add to the top of my other paper roll. I thought it could look like a crown or just be an extra piece to add visual interest to my paper roll self-portrait.

Next, I cut strips of decorative paper to create a skirt around my paper roll. I included strips of lace to glue to one side of each paper strip.

I then glued the strips of decorative paper to the base of my paper roll. The skirt also served to give the paper roll more stability so it was easier to stand up.

Next, I gave the top of the paper roll, the pouch and the half circle shape I cut out a couple coats of paint.

It was time to paint my self-portrait on my paper roll. Of course it doesn’t really look like me but that’s not important. What’s important is it represents to ME what it feels like when I listen to my inner wisdom. The end result doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be meaningful to YOU.

I finished my pouch by inserting a piece of decorative paper cut to create a flap that could close over the top of the pouch.

I added a magnet to the pouch so I could easily open and close it. These little magnets have been so much fun. I love the compartments, pockets and envelopes I can create in my art journal with these handy little things. I recommend adding them to your art and/or craft supplies.

I then took my journal and answered the questions in the accompanying PDF (scroll down to download). On the ribbon I wrote My voice is silenced when…. and completed that sentence and continued to write all the ways I notice I silence my intuition and my parenting instincts. Here are some of the sentences I wrote:

  • My voice is silenced when I listen to people who don’t share my values.
  • My voice is silenced when I care more about other people than I do my own heart.
  • My voice is silenced when I stay stuck in fear.
  • My voice is silenced when I care more about what other people think than I do to what I think.
  • My voice is silenced when I care more about fitting in or being accepted.
  • My voice is silenced when I place a higher value on a relationship with someone else than I do on my relationship with myself.

Next came the finishing touches. I cut out a bird and flowers image and glued it to my semicircle and cut two small notches at the top of my paper roll to insert the semicircle onto. The I glued the end of my ribbon to the waist of my paper roll self-portrait. To finish the waist off I cut a strip of decorative paper and glued it to the waist to hid the end of the ribbon and the end of all the skirt pieces. It looked like a belt. Then I glued the pouch onto the front of the paper belt. Lastly, I glued a heart onto the front of the shirt and wrote “My answer is here” to remind me the importance of looking within for my answers.

This is what my paper roll self-portrait looks like with my ribbon bound around it. 

I love the visual statement my paper roll self-portrait makes when it’s all bound like this. It’s not a pleasing sight but it is highly effective in communicating to me just what it feels like when I silence my own wisdom.

Below are the step-by-step instructions of this ritual in a format you can print for your convenience and a link to the PDF document that accompanies this ritual. If you do perform this ritual publicly or share photos of the ritual or perform the ritual with a group, please respect the work of this artist and creator by mentioning the source and/or providing a link back to this original post. Also, if you end up performing this ritual, I’d love to see what you completed. You can even post the finished piece on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #danasartrituals

Shed Your Conditioning & Trust Your Intuition PDF

Enjoy my friends.

with love,

Dana da Ponte

 

Shed Your Conditioning and Trust Your Intuition
Author: 
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
Suggested Month: Any
Prep time: 
Performance time: 
Total time: 
 
An art ritual to shed fears, judgments and past conditioning that prevents you from listening to and trusting your inner wisdom.
Supplies
  • 2 paper towel rolls
  • white glue and hot glue
  • decorative paper
  • pieces of scrap fabric
  • acrylic paints
  • ribbon of a color light enough you can write on
  • small positive and negative magnets (optional)
Directions
  1. Set a sacred space and prepare for ritual.
  2. Take one of the paper towel rolls and cut about a quarter of the paper roll off and squish one end of it down to create the bottom of a pouch.
  3. Cut another piece of cardboard off the paper roll. Cut this piece in a half circle shape to use as a decorative piece to add to the top of your paper roll self-portrait.
  4. If desired, cut strips of decorative paper to create a skirt around my paper roll.
  5. Glue the strips of decorative paper to the base of the uncut paper roll to create a skirt-like shape.
  6. Give the top of the paper roll, the pouch and the half circle shape you cut out a couple coats of paint.
  7. Paint your self-portrait (torso and head) onto the top half of the paper roll.
  8. Insert a piece of decorative paper cut to create a flap that can close over the top of the pouch.
  9. Add a magnet if to the pouch if you like so it easily opens and closes.
  10. In a journal, write out your answers to the questions in the accompanying PDF.
  11. On the ribbon, write all the ways you notice you silence your intuition and/or your parenting instincts.
  12. Decorate your semi circle then cut two small notches at the top of your paper roll self-portrait to insert the semicircle onto. Secure the semicircle into the notches.
  13. Glue the end of your ribbon to the waist of your paper roll self-portrait.
  14. Cut a strip of decorative paper and glue it to the waist to hid the end of the ribbon and the end of all the skirt pieces.
  15. Glue the pouch onto the front of the paper strip you glued around the waist.
  16. Add finishing details.
  17. End with a prayer of gratitude.
Notes
Thank you for honoring my work and creativity. The photos of this craft and/or ritual and content above are copyright protected. Please do not use the photos without prior written permission or without a link back to this blog post. If you wish to share this art based ritual, please provide a link back to this post on my blog. And if you like this art based ritual but want to make changes to it, please do so in your own words and link this post for credit. Thank you!

 

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