Some ideas stick with you. One of those ideas for me is the concept of negative space. Artists use it to move out of the verbal, analytic mode and into their visual, perceptual mode of thinking.
I love this concept for two reasons, it demonstrates
- visually how you can take a very human tendency to think and talk about what you do not want in your life and use it to move you into bringing forth what you desire. In addition, it demonstrates the limitations you experience when you get too specific or rigid in describing what you want, also called outlining.
- how your perception filters what you see. In a 2-dimensional drawing with perfectly balanced positive and negative space, there is the potential for two images to be seen depending on which color your brain identifies as the foreground or the background.
My high school art teacher introduced the idea to me when I was having difficulty drawing a figure. Instead of asking me to draw the arms or the torso, she told me to draw the spaces around and between those body parts.
With ease, I used the nondescript edges of empty space to draw the perfect shape and form that I had been unable to capture just moments before. All I know is that it was easier to draw this nondescript space than it was to draw a bent arm.
What happened? Why did this work?
Drawing the negative space made it impossible for me to name, label, or judge what I was drawing. I was forced to see the relationship between lines and space instead of trying to draw an arm. By putting my attention on drawing all that was not the arm, I saw and drew the arm.
The empty or negative space gave me the boundary line for the drawing. Just on the other side of it, the arm appeared. It was there the whole time! And, it looked a lot better than my attempt at drawing the arm. Sometimes negative space is not empty, it can be solid matter or shape too.
Later, I was introduced to this same concept again as an optical illusion. The most difficult concept to grasp when you are focused on what is lacking in your experience is the idea that what you desire is already available. Take a look at the drawing below. What do you see?
If your point of attention is on the white space, the vase comes into the foreground. When you focus on the black space, the faces move into the foreground. Both are present within the whole. You choose what you see and experience by changing your focus.
What does this have to do finding your soulmate?
It puts the journey that you’re on towards your love into perspective. Often, I see and hear people get very depressed or negative about their dating and relationship experiences. They draw conclusions which describe a completely dark future for themselves. They feel empty. The flip side, that is often obscured, is that they have the opportunity to draw a completely new picture from what their experiences helped them to realize.
Suppose you were to use this empty time in a slightly different way. What would happen if you could look for the ways in which every dating experience moves you closer to love? Can dates be seen as practicing connection, exploring what does and does not fit for you? Would it be possible to extract the good from every date? The worst experience may have helped you to finally close the door and no longer allow something that you used to tolerate because you did not think you could have anything better or you were expecting too much. Which feels better, to see it as a clarifying moment or a pattern that you cannot break?
Negative space need not have a negative connotation. It can be a good experience that better defines what you are moving towards. For example, every connection, date, and relationship helps us become clear about what is important to us. Unwanted experiences have the potential to make us more aware of what is important to us; this is what taking full responsibility for our life is all about. It is not about blaming yourself or anyone else.
It also helps to understand the idea of patience. Patience has nothing to do with a waiting game even though waiting might be part of the equation. Patience is trust that what you desire already exists before it becomes visible. You already do this. You trust the sun is behind the clouds. The moon will come up at night. The apple tree yields apples not tangerines. This trust allows new answers to come forth that you cannot see when you are focused upon a specific plan to get from point A to point B. As you change your focus and see the good that you have right now, you become open to seeing what was previously invisible.
If you are interested in learning more and would like to apply these ideas to manifest your soulmate, register for my 30-day email course called Spring into Love. This is a self-study program which you can start at any time for only $25. You’ll receive a message every day with guidance, inspiration, and/or an easy exercise for you to implement that day. Let my workshop attendees and clients tell you about my programs, just visit my Events page. You can also like my Facebook or Twitter pages.
Blessings and love,