Neurographica is a cathartic meeting with your unconscious that unfolds through drawing. The method was invented in Russia in 2015 and has grown rapidly around the world.
Creating your drawing is a beautiful meditative process based in mindfulness. It bypasses the rational thinking mind and able to reach deep into hidden layers of one’s psyche. Your unconscious, ordinarily inaccessible, is opened up. New neural networks are formed in the brain. What you thought is impossible suddenly becomes a reality.
The results can range from immediate insights and revelations to changes in your life that take place in the most unusual and creative of ways. Since you’re working with the unconscious, you may surprise yourself days later with a solution that comes seemingly out of nowhere.
If you’re interested in transforming your life with Neurographica, please let me know. I am a certified Neurographica teacher and look forward to sharing this groundbreaking method with you.
My name is Anton. I created this project as a community service commitment that was ordered by a judge after I got into an angry altercation with my son. I have been studying Neurographics (NG), a method of solving problems by drawing, developed by a Russian thinker and teacher Pavel Piskarev. It made sense to apply NG to my issue at hand – anger. I completed five pictures all one way or another dealing with my anger. I’ve also documented what I did and the insights I was able to glean from this process. These are simply personal reflections, the posts are not an instruction manual and this is not an official NG site. I encourage everyone to learn the details of how NG works and how to use it if you’re looking to make a difference in your life. I would also like to express sincere gratitude to the Colorado Court system and Jefferson County Justice Services, with Rob Savery, in particular, for making this innovative project possible. Don’t hesitate to get hold of me if you have any feedback or questions about this project.
As I began this project, I was in an unpleasant place, mentally and emotionally. Things were not flowing. My relationship with my then-GF was terrible. Anger that I was supposed to be looking at seemed almost constant throughout the day, usually in the form of mild irritation.
One of the first stages of the NG process can be a quick word association about your subject. This page is what I ended up with after I conjured up anger in my head.
Next comes catharsis, which is kind of like pouring the contents of your brain onto a page. It takes only a few seconds, it’s thoughtless, and it captures the raw energy of what you’re feeling there and now as you make crazy squiggles on paper. I just moved the hand with the marker everywhere, anywhere it wanted to go, quick and furious.
The next step is rounding all the intersections to soften them. It’s like you take your crazy raw thought and then really take your time to go over every twist and turn, making everything softer. It ends up looking like a picture of insides of the brain, with neurons connected with synapses. The visual similarity is not coincidental. It’s sort of like rewiring your brain by drawing out its insides. I am simplifying, but the big idea is that NG rewires your mind; you’re re-programming yourself by drawing. You become the architect of your reality because you are the subject of your work. My rounding looked like this.
Next comes a series of other steps culminating in a beautiful drawing. I will not detail the steps here because I don’t want to distort the exact instructions of the NG method. Please learn how to do NG properly for the best results. But one essential part of doing NG is continually observing what’s happening in your mind and body as you progress with the drawing. As this is the process of rewiring yourself, you better pay great attention to what you’re doing. 🙂 As the work progressed, I realized that I am missing the constant low-level feeling of anger that I had before. The irritation was gone.
It was pretty remarkable to observe the calm space within myself that the drawing created. Ironically, the very anger I was trying to face was forgotten, lost in the presence of the drawing process. Just the act of sitting down, slowing down, and moving markers on paper had a calming effect. I was still well aware of the anger coming and going inside me in small bursts, but I was not angry. I never got upset even though I felt anger. It was a beautiful and freeing feeling. The completed first drawing looked like this.
Full size image here:
Encouraged by what’s been happening to me here, I moved on.
I’ll start this reflection with the finished drawing.
At first, I was somewhat disturbed by this drawing. It didn’t look pretty to my eye. It seemed to be uglier than the first one. Was I taking a step back?
I then realized that this is working out just right. This drawing was more raw, more substantial, darker, in a way, a bit intimidating and scary. Considering my subject, I felt that perhaps this visual direction is an acknowledgment of the heaviness and violent nature of anger. This drawing was “angrier,” so in a way, I felt like I’m getting deeper, closer to the center of this emotion.
I created this drawing a bit differently than the first one. However, it followed the sequence defined in NG’s Base Algorithm, as do all NG drawings. The difference is usually in what starts each picture. Instead of throwing out a “catharsis” onto the paper, I began with figures or shapes that represented different parts of my mind. I drew irregular-shaped areas, as they felt right, to represent memory, thinking, emotions, happiness, and insights. It may have seen as an odd assortment, but it felt right, and NG stresses that you are to follow your intuition. The idea behind this exercise is improving communication between things. Instead of parts of the mind, you could put different people, departments, etc. – anything where you wanted to improve the connection. In my case, I wanted to improve the communication inside my head. I felt that if different parts of the brain communicated better, there would be less frustration and anger.
Because of the complexity of the components, this drawing started as a somewhat convoluted creation. Although it seemed daunting to try to attempt to unify all the elements and make them look beautiful, I jumped into the task. Smoothing and connecting each area of the mind and beautifying them all into one cohesive drawing represented what I was hoping to accomplish inside my head. I wanted more cohesion and unity, better flow.
Drawing this picture and making it look cohesive and pretty was undoubtedly challenging. Throughout the process, frustration and some anger were arising; I could feel the tension in my body as I put in layer after layer of marker onto paper. I tried hard to make it work and realized that I am trying too hard. I backed off and enjoyed the process instead of attacking the page.
In the end, I felt that even though this drawing may not be as “beautiful” as others, it had its place. It was important because it reached deep into my brain, and by pulling out the anger onto the paper, it allowed this emotion to connect with the other parts of the mind. I had a realization that everything functions together and that anger is never separate from the rest of the mind’s functioning. It was a powerful reminder to pay attention to everything taking place inside my head and body. As anger arose, I scanned the whole body instead of narrowly focusing just on the singular pain source. It proved to be very helpful in managing the seemingly uncontrollable outbursts of anger.
The next drawing followed the Removal of Limitations algorithm and similar steps that I used for the first drawing. I started with dumping my catharsis onto a page and continuing into rounding, connecting, unifying, coloring, identifying energetic lines crossing the page, etc., etc. There’s so much more to this method that I am not even touching upon that I would encourage you to learn each step correctly and why it’s necessary. Talk to the excellent teachers at NG’s English-language website here in the US.
This drawing felt great right from the start, I could really feel the flow of energy and creativity throughout my body.
On the heels of this positive energy came incredible insights and emotional connections in the body and mind that I never experienced before. As energy flowed, I felt energized and empowered. It felt like I am in charge of my reality, or more precisely, how I perceive this reality. Most of the time life happens to me and I react in a knee-jerk fashion; sad, happy, angry. Most input produces a familiar pattern of thoughts and feelings that are repeated in the body over and over. So if I see Trump on TV, I feel anger without even seemingly being conscious of how it happens. However, it became clear to me that this reactive pattern of thoughts and feelings does not have to be the default response. The only reason it is the default is that it’s habitual. But why do bad habits need to define us? We do we let them?
For example, I noticed that I often got angry with my ex-GF when she mentioned her previous relationships. I got especially upset with one specific person named B., who she said she particularly enjoyed. The very mention of B threw me into a buzzing rage, and I was immediately livid at her for throwing this into my face. But, come to think of it, I never met B. I have only the vaguest idea of what happened in their relationship. Everything that throws me into a white rage is the stuff that I dreamed up about the person and the situation. I’ve created this boogeyman B., who exists entirely in my mind, it’s just an idea. Yet every time she mentions his name, I habitually re-create this idea and then get angry at it, all inside my head. I am responsible for all of the anger that gets created here. Sure, my ex-GF could have chosen to be more careful with her words, but it’s still entirely up to me to buy into the illusion and bring it to life. This particular insight is what came up as I was working on drawing three. We are entirely complicit in the anger that we create. It’s a choice, even when it feels like it’s not. I saw very clearly that I need to take responsibility for my emotions instead of blaming any other person or event. Without taking ownership of what’s happening in my body, I will never be able to manage my anger.
It’s amazing how calming is the drawing process. There is something absolutely hypnotic about it, something beautiful. The fact that it’s on a computer screen (I’m drawing on an iPad) and not on a piece of paper makes no difference whatsoever. It feels like smoothing the nodes on paper is affecting the neuronal nodes in my brain, rearranging and rewiring them. It’s imagination, of course, but what is the world but our creation? Reality is what we decide it is. Here is a time-lapse that may give you a hint of the gentle, hypnotic unfolding that one feels through drawing. Just watching it take place is cool, but there is no substitute for doing it yourself. Go ahead, give it a try, and watch the magic unfold. 🙂
In this drawing, what seemed a time-consuming task of rounding all the sharp edges, is suddenly complete without that much effort. Now that I finished the rounding, I feel kind and calm.
It’s a beautiful feeling that I have an impact on what goes on in my brain, that I can act like an architect of my mind. There is something magical about making things softer. It just feels better when things are smoother rather than sharp. Sharp edges imply conflict, fighting, and pain, more seamless lines and junctions say peace, calm, unity.
I’m grateful to be the architect of my masterpiece. To be so empowered to create my reality. I can create my peace. I make peace, or I choose to disturb it.
I challenge anybody, anyone to do this, and feel more agitated after doing it than before they started.
I don’t think it’s possible.
I certainly have not wholly lost the anger or have my irritation disappear as I’ve been working on this project. But one thing that did happen is that I’ve developed a much healthier relationship with this emotion. I developed a healthy respect for this beautiful feeling that arises within the body. I can feel it freely, let it flow, without the constant contraction that usually goes along with anger. I can just let it be without starting to wind up, without being scared, without attempting to suppress. I can fully feel this emotion go through the body and then disappear. It’s is a beautiful natural movement that happens in the body; that’s all it is — no need to attach any judgments to it. I can see now that the drawing process has transformed anger from a negative phenomenon to recoil from, into something that comes and goes. It happens naturally and has a right and a place to be.
Instead of my usual knee-jerk reaction to anger, I can be here and let it happen. That’s the part that makes all the difference. The way anger is supposed to function in the body is as a momentary blip that subsides right away. The reason it doesn’t let up for us is that the mind starts thinking about, or grinding down on it, or creating something out of it, making it into an entity, a problem. It’s not just merely observing what’s happening. If you let anger be, it rises and falls without transforming you into a mad monster out of control.
Anger is not a problem; it’s how we react to it that creates problems.
Understanding that is truly liberating. Instead of being a victim of anger and unable to control it, you now become a witness of a natural emotion running through a body. The witness does not have to get upset or angry or anxious when the emotion arises.
I’m delighted with how this drawing looks so far, even in these early stages. The whole body relaxes.
Here’s the drawing a few hours later…
And here is the final drawing.
There is no white space at all in this drawing, which is unusual for me, but I felt the preponderance of calm and positive yellow made up for this. I feel that even though the colors and shapes are bold, my inner core is stillness and peace, watching this incredible show of colors and shapes take place.
Working on this project made me more aware of the therapeutic value of drawing and NG in particular. Just the simple act of sitting down, slowing down, moving markers and pencils over the paper, leaving marks on paper – it all has a calming effect. Once you add in the power, depth, and insights of NG on top of the magic of drawing, the benefits and impact of this process become far greater.
As soon as I started drawing for this project, things felt like they began to shift. At first, I even refused to believe it because it seemed so obvious and straightforward. But I could not deny that things in my brain felt like they were flowing a bit smoother. Valuable insights on anger, as well as other subjects, just seemed to appear out of nowhere as I worked through this project.
For my last drawing, instead of starting with a “problem” emotion, I decided to use visualization. I drew a series of random shapes, each shape representing an attribute I wished to possess. There were “calm,” “patient,” “deliberate,” “restrained,” and others; qualities that I wanted. Here is the start of my drawing.
In a while, my lines were flowing more smoothly, and my shapes started to unify.
I connected the figures to the background by running lines to the edge of the paper. I identified and emphasized a few large shapes that felt like they wanted to be on the page. Several large concentric circles almost blended one into another.
As I was drawing, I realized that anger could be beneficial. Thinking about a few situations in my past, I saw that anger was a catalyst for change. Anger got me off my butt and got me going when otherwise, I would be stuck in the status quo. Merely having that edgy energy of discomfort inside me allowed me to harness it and use it as an instrument of change. It did not happen in every case, and often anger was wasted in stewing over something instead of taking action. Becoming aware of this made me realize that in the future, I can use anger as an agent of change more often. Instead of treating anger as a trigger to go into a rumination, I can use it as a trigger to initiate action. Anger is a powerful energy, and consciously channeling it is a game-changer.
I also saw that anger is a force that can destroy existing structures so that new ones can grow. In a physical sense, one can use anger to demolish something to build anew. Likewise, inside the brain, anger can be used to destroy unhelpful beliefs and things where I am stuck.
Finally, I also saw that anger is something that brings clarity, something beneficial, and often lacking in our confused and cluttered state of consciousness. When anger arose, and I was paying attention, there was an incredible clarity about what to do and how to move forward. Granted, this was not the usual experience, as frequently, anger led to more anger in a toxic loop. But having an awareness of the clarity anger engenders creates an opening. I can use anger to move forward resolutely. I can fearlessly jump into a task that would typically seem too challenging, or I would not have enough motivation to get it accomplished. Anger is like a machete that can help me cut through the clutter. It can clear out the junk, and allow to fearlessly move forward, even when the jungle is full of obstacles, adversaries, and threats.
I don’t have to push anger aside or fight it. I can even harness it. But I must never have it control me. It’s where I got into trouble with my son, as anger took over me so entirely that I could not seemingly do anything but rage. However, thinking back to that situation, I recall some degree of awareness of what was happening. There was always some space of calm from which I saw the events unfold. I chose to ignore that space and jump into the emotion, become the emotion, and lose all control. It did not have to happen like that. I allowed it to happen because I liked the adrenalin, and I wanted the drama, even though the final cost of this was way too high.
It’s evident to me that there is a path of freedom that doesn’t involve the seemingly inevitable loss of control. I am always separate from any upsetting event, no matter how powerful, because I can see it unfold. My thoughts and feelings, even when they are angry, don’t define me. I can see anger arise within me, but it doesn’t mean that I have to become angry. I can remain the space of calm and let the emotion subside. Spinning out of control is a choice. I allow it. Or not.
As I wrapped up the drawing, I felt a deep peace within me, a space of calm from which I saw everything unfold. This sense of being, this center, is at the very core of my nature, it’s what I am – if I choose to accept it. No thought, emotion, or event can ever disturb my clarity and peace here. Why would I ever step away from my sanctuary, no matter how great is the storm raging on the outside?