thoughts & ponderings
I’m not a wordsmith and I’m comfortable with that. I tend to see images, form, movement and colour in my mind when I try to grasp a way of expression. Sometimes words are there, they pop in unexpectedly but with power and I embrace those moments. It appeals to my wounded intellectual. I have thought long and hard about the way my words find me. Often they are plucked from a diffuse field of vicarious knowledge but sometimes it’s like a torch shining through shelves of books in a library and fixing with great focus on a particular experience or remembrance.
I always wonder how words are sent out, negotiating personal experience, bias and interpretation to settle in the receivers mind to be comprehended as something not quite the same as intended by the sender. I think this is more perplexing to me in regard to spoken word rather than written but both undergo a transformation on the journey from their inception to their destination. Even as I write this the words come through the visualisation of electric blue and bright golden yellow light coming together from opposite directions, dancing around each other with small points of connection and then moving on again with curiosity.
With my field of work, I have come to realise that I don’t need to be a wordsmith to have an ‘aha’ moment with a client, we move beyond language. What’s important is that we form a therapeutic alliance and connect. This particular thought blooms from a mind image of blue and red ink spreading and overlapping in water, creating purple, a third entity. To witness without judgement their experience, hope or dream and respond from a compassionate heart. Not trying to ‘fix’ them or coddle them by shoving a handful of tissues at them when things get real.
When we tap into our creative energy we connect with imagination, the subconscious and dream realm. A vast amount of gold is held here in the form of image, metaphor and symbol. I like to call this ‘the symbolic thread’. When we explore this inner landscape with courage we find light and shadows, obstacles and open spaces but most importantly we find our authenticity in the wholeness of who and what we are.
When you can’t find the words try a different approach. Dive in and explore the symbolic thread through art therapy.
Authenticity has become a bit of a catchcry of late with businesses and marketing guru’s throwing it around willy-nilly. Sadly, it seems to have muddied the waters of what it means on a personal level to be truly authentic.
I have found through discussion with friends, clients and other wellbeing professionals that art therapy is still a bit of a mystery. Some people are still unsure where it belongs. I’ve been asked if it is like occupational therapy, diversional therapy or even an art and craft class. Is it for mental relief, is it for personal growth or is it to make us feel more relaxed. So I decided it was time to put some of the most common misconceptions to rest and also highlight some of the absolute positive benefits that are gained from art therapy
Art therapy can be a wonderful modality for working through and understanding anxiety as it has the ability to calm the nervous system by its very nature. Focusing on and engaging in creative activities shifts our attention from the negative thought patterns that we can play over and over in our mind giving the nervous system the opportunity to move back into a homeostatic state. Doreen Meister, a mindfulness-based expressive art and depth psychologist in California, states that we can process more difficult experiences once our nervous system begins to regulate and allow more access to the rest of our brains, thoughts, emotions, empathy and compassion.
I don’t know about you but I have heard from quite a few people recently that they are feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm doesn’t have to be around big issues, it can be small stuff and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with a particular issue. Sometimes it’s a combination of things that we are aware of or maybe unaware of.
I want to talk about dreams. You know, like the one where you need to go to the toilet but none of the toilets have a door, or even walls sometimes. What about when you finally find a toilet only to find it is blocked! Or perhaps you are more of a dreamer of planes, trains and automobiles. It's all exciting and holds information for you. Sometimes dreams that have things that we would normally be afraid of, such as spiders or snakes, can actually be very positive.
When I studied for my Art Therapy diploma I was unprepared for the unfolding that was about to occur. The stripping back of layers and delving into the shadowy places to get a better understanding of who I was as a person and the external influences throughout my life that shaped me, and in some cases damaged me. I think the power of the creative processes and the importance of the therapist providing a safe space is misunderstood in Art Therapy.
Throughout a lifetime we experience loss in many different forms, whether it is a relationship breakdown, the loss of health through disease or illness to the death of a pet or loved one. I think we’ve all experienced at least one of these losses and it is tough.
Do you believe in yourself?
That might seem like a silly question, but the answer is often not a resounding HELL YES, and there are a lot of subconscious blocks we can create in our lives when we don’t have solid self confidence
As promised in the last blog, some more information about white sage.
The burning of white sage is an ancient practice, and is one of the best and easiest ways to cleanse energy and auras. Most people recognize the burning of sage from Native American traditions, though it’s referenced in many other cultures for the same purpose, such as the Celtic Druids. Have you ever wondered why people who give wise advice are considered sagely, or why knowledgeable mystics are named Sages? It’s because white sage is strongly associated with clarity, wisdom, and healing, and thus has many helpful applications in our lives.
© White Sage Wellbeing & contributors. 2017
So this is me, a down to earth soul having a human experience.
Relishing the challenges and embracing the imperfections of my humanness while pushing the boundaries, exploring and growing by design.
When I'm not doing my thing at White Sage I'm usually out in the studio with music and paints, catching up with Netflix or hanging out with family (because they're adorable).
My crushes are Brene Brown and Carolyn Myss. I'm eternally inspired by Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell & Robert A. Johnson.