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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Forgiveness and Water

I follow some blogs that are loosely related to art therapy in some form or another. I forcefully agree that art is the expression of internal circumstances; and, that it allows some emotions and perceptions to exit when they are otherwise blocked by the inability to speak them. I feel no differently of any form of expressive modality, or therapy, if you prefer. Having been trained as a traditional therapist, in the 'talking cure,' I understand well the way that expressive motions (whether it be art, movement, creative writing, or any other craft) loose the waves of internal life that are otherwise dammed.

For whatever reason, over the course of years (and there are actually many, many reasons), I lost my own ability to express myself through artistic, non-verbal means. I was, very much, encouraged to reclaim that part of my spirit after joining a closed FB group (Art of Prayer) which I connected to from one of the blogs I regularly follow, LilyWheel Slide Studio. In that group, I found a variety of people, artists and spiritualists and regular folk, who were working with their own understanding of meditation, prayer, or another form of sacred space, while expressing it with many different media. Perhaps, most wonderful was the incredible level of emotional support and encouragement from group members to each other. Its truly a community. I was hooked.

This one is called "forgiveness and water." It was a prompt from the group's leader. It was such a lovely idea. I hadn't realized how infrequently I think about my inner life and what is swirling around in there. Don't be mistaken, I self-evaluate on a regular basis and discuss it with other traditional therapists; however, that is not the same thing as connecting to the part of yourself that is your essence, the innate form of you. Some people call this life force, energy, or soul. To me, it is the inseparable part of self that cannot be severed or forced to comply. It is an element, but independent. It is eternal. For simplicity, I will call it 'soul,' which is my normal term.

Connecting to that part of me that is not rational or logical is something that I've done only through meditation, prayer, and yoga. I had forgotten that it is open to expression via artistic means. I had forgotten my place as a creatrix. And, more importantly, I'd forgotten that its a process. The practice is individual and personal. It can be shared or not. I can't explain how I ended up with the images that I did. I can tell you the symbolism that I recognize in them -- blues and greens for water and emotions; golds and pinks for daybreak in the morning sky -- the start of something new; creation and infinity at the center, in the brightest white; the four directions/quarters around in corresponding colors (brown for earth in north, purple for air in east, red for fire in south, blue for emotion in west), each touched by the purity of spirit in the center.

Perhaps, the most important thing that unfolded during the formation was what I learned, or rather what I remembered. I remembered that forgiveness is an act of divinity that I perform as a gift to myself. I remembered that forgiving makes ME free and whole, again; that it joins me to all of creation and the blessings there. And, that forgiveness always signals a new beginning, a new birth -- even when something else ends. This is the cycle we follow.

I framed and matted this one to remind me how critical the lesson. And, to enjoy the remembrance of the evolution, the fluidity of creating, the joy of it.

My challenge to you: EXPLORE...FEARLESSLY. It matters not whether you draw perfect circles or stick figures. It matters only that you trust in the process. Go ahead, get out your colored pencils, or crayons, or whatever you have handy. You don't need fancy equipment. Breathe deeply and think about a word...any word that speaks to your current situation in life.


Blessed be.


  1. You've given me shivers and quieted my soul in the best of ways with this post, Michele. This is beautiful. I'm so happy you've been able to use the group and your own intuition to move back into an active engagement with your own creative spirit, process and growth. I couldn't agree more about this being a deeper, different, maybe even richer form of exploration than verbal sharing. It is so intimate, and even primal - and for this, it is one of the greatest gifts we have as humans. So much love to you and happy creating!!

    1. Thank you, so much, for your comments, hali. I couldn't be more grateful for your inspiring me to find my way back.
      Blessed Be.