Here's what many people don't understand about art and creativity.
We need it. We need it like breath. Like water. Like sleep. It gives us life.
Art is a life saving tool that can provide us with the ability to move forward with our lives in a more conscious, life affirming way; a life that has more possibilities and more awareness.
Before you disregard these grandiose ideas about art, I invite you to meet Expressive Art Therapy, particularly the type of Art Therapy that I work with, which is a body-centered approach. These tools have been life saving for me; above and beyond my meditation and yoga and healthy eating, the arts have allowed me to move with my darkness and misery, and this work has helped me create something different for my Self. Again and again and again. Life changing and life saving, indeed.
Art therapists understand the power of art and our innate creative abilities as humans. It's also understood in the Art Therapy realms that art has the potential to heal, to re-create us, to allow ourselves to be open to re-creating ourselves. We understand innately that art helps us work with the unseen, hidden parts of ourselves, and to develop a different relationship with our personal mythologies.
Let me take these realities a few steps further.
We, as humans, are in a body. This is a tool. A tool of perception, of felt sense, of growth and awareness- if used as such. I say, let's use it! We as humans, are each unique, vast and complex, just as the cosmos are. We are each essentially a microcosmic imprint of the macroscopic universe. The planets and their movements effect us, influence our experiences, and can provide us with a map for our lives. Incredibly useful and very helpful for our journey! This is why I use Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology in conjunction with the arts; these are both fabulous tools of guidance and can provoke self-inquiry and personal growth.
This powerful trio of art, body and astrology is a unique combination I've been working with and growing with personally and using with my clients. All three growth tools together, art, the body, and Vedic Astrology (Jyotish) offer an exciting experience of body-centered Expressive Art Therapy or Jyoti Art Therapy as I am calling it. It offers a unique blend of awareness enhancing tools that provide profound results.
But here's the catch.
Art for arts sake doesn't inherently heal us. It's intention that guarantees a shift; a possible transformation. Art is a by-product of our innate creativity (as humans the creation process is literally how we came into being, why we are here, and how we continue to exist). Artists have "open channels" that allow them to tap into this flow of creativity that courses within each one of us. And the channels that are open for each artist are unique and vary. But these channels aren't just a part of an Artist's existence, we all have creative channels. Most people have closed channels, dry channels, small channels, rigid and brittle channels of creativity. Cultural, familial and personal paradigms keep the creative channels from opening, flowing and thriving. These creative channels are like rivers and provide us with the life giving nourishment that flowing water gives us. Water brings forth life, wealth, purification, abundance and joy. Art and water are very much the same. Not surprisingly, the planet Venus is linked to both these life giving tools; art and water.
We need more flow in our lives.
We need the channels of our creativity to stay open and fluid. Art (in all its forms) helps us do that, but in order to reap the vast rewards that art has to offer us, we must harvest the richness, the fruits of our labor. We must listen to the hidden messages that our art is offering us. The medium we use will have a direct effect on the benefits we receive, the parts of ourselves that are effected, and the healing properties that can be attained (for this reason an intermodal art process is recommended).
When we create a piece of art, a harvesting process can bring a sense of meaning and purpose to our work and help us go beyond the surface, excavate the deeper meanings of our work, the "why" behind it. Art is a messenger from our depths, from the most hidden parts of ourselves. It never ceases to astonish me, fill me with awe, and renew my trust in the magic of creativity.
Here's a simple "harvesting" process to use with your next art creation, using the Tamalpa Life Art Process (TLAP) Baseline Statements. These simple questions can help you uncover the hidden messages wrapped up in your artwork. Explore and unravel.
Step 1. Move your body, open the channels, get the breath involved, and pay attention to the body's subtle messages. Get embodied.
Step 2. Paint, draw, use craypas or pencil. Move and explore, open your senses through an artistic medium. Surrender to the creative process. Don't hold back.
Step 3. Answer these Baseline Statements after finishing your art piece:
Return to this process regularly. Commit to it. Let it help you create more fluidity and listening in your life. Look for themes and symbols, messages and stories that continue to arrive. These patterns are vital messengers.
Sometimes, the support and outer influence of a trained witness is necessary and can be profound for your process. When you get to that point, when you feel stuck or at a crossroads, confused or uncertain, it is time to ask for support.
I am happy to support you or give you further references for your journey.
Contact me for a session.
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