Creative Process: the Underbelly of Self-Care
When we step into our own creative voice we step into our Self; who we are becomes strengthened by our creative connection through art making. Experimentation, letting go of outcome, and play are all aspects that allow us to come into our own creative voice. This voice is the underbelly of our authentic Self.
At work this week my co-workers and I were invited to work with water-colour on small strips of paper, playing with colour shape and form. The idea initiated by one of my art therapist colleagues as part of a gift for another colleague who is leaving our agency. All of the parts will be pieced together to represent our diversity as a token of memorabilia for our colleague who is leaving after 35 years of service at the children’s mental health centre I work at.When we step into our creative voice, we step into our Self Click To Tweet
This whole process reminded me of the uniqueness that each and every one of us has to offer through our creative voice, a voice that comes through in the work we do, the way we interact with others and how we live our lives. A voice that is often stifled and restricted by the constraints of societal expectations and deadlines. We need to wake up our creativity more often to connect with that inner voice and strength that otherwise may be pushed down by the hurried nature of western life.
As we all painted in the art therapy room together, there was a calm silence. At first some discomfort from those who had not painted at all or for a while; questioning themselves: am I doing this right; comparing self to others: oh I like that one, I’m going to try to make one like that. Until finally the creative invitation is heard from within and that unique voice could be seen coming out on paper through colour choice, lines, designs, and form. A relaxing into the process once moving on to the second, third and forth paper. A break and then inevitably a pull back to the art therapy room to make some more. Ah the power of creativity!
Last week was the first of the Creative Self-Care workshop series for helping professionals and we made Wisdom Cards (see example above). I witnessed this same pull and connection to create in the process of participants. Their eagerness to have a sacred space and time to create was evident in the reverent silence that was present for most of the 2 hour mini workshop. It was beautiful to watch unfurl. It was the next step after the original Caring For Self 1 day workshop in order to not only develop but also sustain a self-care practice. It has been eye-opening and affirming to see the amount of positive response that I am getting not just from helping professionals but from others eager to connect with their creative Self.
I am excited to be part of this process myself, trying new things, stepping outside my comfort zone and offering new workshops for creative self-care, the hallmark of my private practice. I hope that you will join me on this journey into Self through creativity.
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