Come back into the room and open your eyes when you are ready.
Come back into the room and open your eyes when you are ready.
This fun art demo is with artist Amanda Mauk from her Courageous Creativity Summit
I had so much fun sharing my Collage Landscapes practice with Amanda Mauk and you can now watch our time together on YouTube!
I shared my collage landscape journal with Amanda during our interview and I remarked on how the main theme of my journal seems to be about bicycles!
I think it is time to buy a bike and start riding soon, don't you!
A few years ago, after receiving many requests, I finally wrote an expressive arts grief course which is now a module in my year long expressive art and writing course. Because I have walked along the road of loss in my own life many times, and I also worked with people at the end-of-life for ten years, I often felt too close to grief. Yet, once I decided to write the course, it flowed forth with ease and clarity.
I have travelled through the grief of losing loved ones many times, and each time the process has been so different. The loss of my mother deeply infected my heart chakra in a very painful way and the loss of my father opened up my third eye and crown chakra in a beautiful and inspiring way.
Yet, despite all my varied grief experiences, I know that there is a human map for processing grief. Recently, I reread my grief e-course, and I must say, I think it is a beautiful program for healing grief. It is simple enough to read, understand and implement while intensely grieving the loss of a loved one.
Since grief manifests in so many ways, I have written a human roadmap of healing tasks that you can attend to, in order to complete your various types of grief. In the course module, there is a beautiful new PDF for you to download. And, if you have not yet taken my year-long course, it brings me such joy to share this free excerpt from my grief course with you here.
Featured Module Excerpt:
The Dance of Emotions, Energy and Action
Before you begin the activities in this course, I want to share the creative way that I work with arising emotions. Spontaneous art and writing are such profound ways to work with the grief because they get your emotions moving, providing greater access to insights for healing.
Receive, Direct, Create
1. Receive Information: Emotions have a purpose, and they need to be fully felt. Emotions also carry important information about how to guide your life. Locate the place in your body where your emotion resides. Engage with your emotion by acknowledging it with gratitude and openness.
The information contained within an emotion will make itself known through your imagination in the form of pictures or sudden thoughts. You might even be able to see the link to how a limiting belief is causing your emotion. Note all emotional insights in your grief journal.
2. Direct the Energy: When an emotion is felt but not listened to, the energy builds internally and causes agitation. Acknowledge the emotion, and express it in your spontaneous art and writing. Even if you do not yet understand what life-forward movement the emotion is indicating, listen to emotional energy by doing one of the creative exercises in this course each day. Release your painful emotions through word-play and image-making.
3. Take Creative Action: Each negative emotion contains the seed of a healing antidote. A negative emotion always indicates that a higher heart-centered action is needed. When you bring all of your emotions into your heart, you can access ideas about the creative action you need to take to uplift you out of emotional pain.
Digital Collage for Emotional Processing
Over the past 2 years, I have created over 300 digital collages! I find digital collage to be so magical and quick. This emotionally expressive journey I have been on has helped me to process and transform my inhibitions, my mistaken beliefs, my loss and grief, and my regrets. And, it has helped me to progress into my confidence and my magnitude.
You can view a slide show of all 300 of my collages HERE.
I recently had such a lovely chat with harpist/healer Patricia Daly from Ireland.
We talked about the healing power of creativity and we each shared our personal stories of healing and helping others through our own devoted creative practices.
I found it to be a very touching conversation about each of our journeys from self-diminishment to self-confidence.
Please join us for free HERE!
Staying at home, unable to engage in the normal distractions of life, can bring up the deepest unhealed wounds for emotional reconciliation. If you are feeling anxious due to COVID-19, you might also be feeling unfinished grief from the past that is intensifying the level of fear or panic that you currently feeling.
Below, is an article I recently published on my Depth Therapy Blog that explains what I call the "Six Stages of Grief." The "Five Stages of Grief" was developed in the '50s by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Having grieved many losses in my life, and also supported many others through the grieving process, I have added the passage of "anxiety and panic" to the typical 5 stages of grief.
If you are currently feeling emotionally overwhelmed, I invite you to consider the list of grieving tasks below and contemplate how anxiety and panic serve to pierce the emotional numbness and denial that so many of us normally live within. Underneath anxiety and panic exist deeper emotional processes that you will need to pass through before you can feel the emotional well-being of acceptance and peace.
When I draw from my deeper unconscious, inspiration often comes. Drawing intuitively always brings me solace. It not only gives my anxiety an outlet, but it tells me greater things about myself.
My intuitive drawings often help me to see things in a higher way, and sometimes they make me laugh.
Doodling your Feelings
"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play."
~ Henri Matisse
Intuitive drawings can begin as simple doodles that will become more eloquent as you practice. You can use ballpoint pens, markers, gel pens or pastels. Draw for the surprise and joy of the process, without knowing in advance how each drawing will turn out.
If you would like to participate in a free 30-day intuitive drawing challenge you can do so HERE.
I have also created a set of 30 playful expressive arts prompts that provide some structure for your intuitive drawing and painting process.
I have noticed a very curious thing about myself. Whenever I watch too much bad news, I start to get a sore throat. When I choose instead to dance, to write in my journal, to sketch, to read uplifting books, my sore throat goes away.
The Challenges of Being Stuck at Home
What a strange and unsettling time in our human history. As an online therapist, I have the opportunity to talk to people around the world and I know this is a very challenging time financially, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually for many, especially those in strict in-home lockdown.
When we do not have the opportunity to get out of our homes, old unhealed emotional pain can come up, primal survival fears can be activated, and prior avoidance strategies in intimate relationships can ignite all kinds of in-home challenges.
And, while many are still joking that they are eating too much comfort food, drinking wine every night, and binge-watching Netflix, this transformative time in human history is actually offering us the time and space to deepen, strengthen and heal.
More Healthy Structure
I feel that the most urgent directive at this time is to find innovative ways to uplift our "vibration" higher than fear - not only to stay physically healthier but also to cope in such trying times with greater resilience. Fear is so discombobulating. Many people have been expressing to me this week that they are having trouble focusing.
In order to cope with the fear and chaos that is sweeping the planet, I think there is a great need for in-home structures, practices and routines that increase focus on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. This could be new exercise routines, in-depth spiritual and creative practices, and engaging in self-study or learning a new skill.
Levels of Consciousness
Dr. David Hawkins, author of "Power vs Force" found a way to measure human consciousness. He discovered that there is a critical point between weakness and strength - level 200 on his scale.
Every emotion that calibrates below level 200 makes the body go weak. Every emotion above 200, makes the body strong. While some people resonate above 200 much of the time, currently, most of the world is resonating below 200.
I invite you to consider the Scale of Consciousness here and contemplate what uplifting practices and activities could support you to live more frequently above level 200.
Do you love to read about the expressive arts? I sure do. I welcome you to view the list HERE.
My all-time favourite book on the list is Life Paint and Passion by Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley.
"Life, Paint And Passion is a deeply involving approach to using the creative process as a tool for self-discovery. With vibrant and contagious enthusiasm, the authors liberate the reader's urge to create freely and spontaneously, as a painter or an artist in another medium, purely for the process of exploration, not for results."
I read this book over 20 years ago, and I went to a painting retreat with one of its authors. After I painted in this way, I was utterly betrothed to spontaneous creativity.
I felt immediate relief from the honesty of the process. I have healed so much fear and pain through spontaneous creativity.