By Kathleen Horne
A beginning is an opening for surprises. Beginnings are new horizons that want to be seen. What is the new horizon in you that wants to be seen?
The New Year is an opportunity to set a new course for ourselves. Emerging from the darkness of the Solstice, the change of the calendar invites change in ourselves.
RESOLUTION Have you made New Year’s resolutions? I think most of us have. Did you succeed in meeting them? The dictionary tells us that “resolution” is a determination to do something or not do something”.
My own track record with these beginning-of the-year resolutions to ‘do better’ in some way has usually been to abandon them early on. At some point I would do something that I had resolved not to, or not do something that I had resolved to do, and that would likely mean the end of my resolution. I might give it another try or two, but I can’t think of any time where I experienced more success than failure.
For me the energy of the word “resolution” is one of gritting my teeth, exerting my will power, and holding, or contraction. A resolution seems to come from a place of needing to fix something. This kind of energy, I find, rarely serves me well.
INTENTION What about the word “Intention”? A quick dictionary search brings up: “An aim that guides action”. “Intention”, for me, carries a different kind of energy than “resolution”. It feels like an expansion, rather than a contraction. Intention isn’t about not-doing, and in some ways, not even about doing. It is about getting clear, discerning, paying attention to what is trying to emerge deep within, and planting that in the world. It is positive. It is more about actualization, and less about limitation. I discover my deepest intention by allowing myself to enter the mystery of darkness, to mine my imagination, to allow my imagery to arise, revealing to me the gifts of my creative wisdom.
Resolution is about forcing. Intention is about discovering, clarifying, honing, and allowing, and guiding. Resolution comes from the outside. Intention comes from the inside.
There is an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes lives from within.
Intention implies trust. In the flow of our lives, there is a deeper knowing than we are aware of consciously. Even when external circumstances seem to be pointing us in one direction, or when we are mired in confusion or uncertainty, there is always a deep river of knowing moving beneath the surface. How do we access that river? I get there through dreams, through the body, and through the arts. The most reliable way for me to discover and connect with what is going on at a deeper level is to spend a few minutes in meditation, and then to make a visual image, explore that image in my body, and write from the voice of the image. Sometimes, I also use sound or rhythm exploration as part of this. What is revealed is what I have come to call my creative wisdom. If you haven’t tried this, I invite you to.
To support you in creating an intention and allowing it to carry you forward, we have 3 options for you:
1. Setting Your Intention with Expressive Arts online workshop, which includes
2. Our live-in-the-studio Intention Setting event. Coming up this year on January 30.
3. This simple practice to get you started.
by Kathleen Horne
Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.
What is it about a natural, pristine setting, that makes a perfect venue for entering into the deep exploratory creative space of Expressive Arts?
As I sit, now, experiencing the shoreline, the cedar trees, the sparkling water and soft breeze, tuned in to all my senses, a single word arrives: Spacious. For me, to explore myself creatively, I need and want some space. What that means is the freedom to attend to myself, witness my own shifting moods and emotions, attend to the needs of my body, notice my inhale and exhale. I may move more slowly, attuning myself to my own rhythm. I may rest more, take more walks and swims, pay attention to the moon, stars, and tides, and remember my dreams. I am likely to eat locally grown food, and stop on the road or path to have actual conversations with people in the course of my day.
Another word arrives. Held. This word speaks of containment. It means soft, loving, yet firm boundaries around me, positioning me in a place where I really am free to explore. A container that doesn’t constrict me in any way, yet gently holds me so that I know I am safe, cared for, and valued. A container that I can trust, appreciate, and not have to think about. A container I can count on, as a gentle, loving, unobtrusive presence. A container within which I feel free.
Spacious containment. The natural world holds me, offers me an intimate remembering of rhythms – cycle of the days, of the moon, of the tides, the seasons. By being with those rhythms, I feel the echo of them deep within me, attuning me to myself. Not the self I think I should be, but the self I am, in this moment. The natural world bathes me in expansiveness, vastness, possibility.
When I am in this spacious state, I am aware of, in tune with my own creativity. The images of the outside, literal world echo and resonate within me, bringing forth images of the imaginal world, sometimes surprising me as they show up on paper on canvas. I do not tune out the sounds of my environment – I invite them in to become a part of my ever evolving inner landscape.
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
Cortes Island, in its wild, natural beauty, opens me up to my own creative possibilities and attunes me the natural cycles of the earth, and of myself. On August 29-September 2, Tamara Teeter Knapp and I will guide a creative immersion workshop here on Cortes, at Hollyhock.
I cannot imagine a more perfect container for a dive in to Expressive Arts. Hollyhock is operated and managed in harmony with the land and sea that it is built on. When you come to Hollyhock, you are held – gently and beautifully. The setting of forest and sea, the accommodations, the staff, the magnificent garden and the exquisite food – ah! – this is a place where you can fully experience the spaciousness and expansiveness of nature, while knowing there is a wonderfully crafted container that holds and supports you in your inner journey.
Maybe you will join us here. (we hope so :-))
Or, maybe you will be inspired to find yourself somewhere, in a beautiful, natural spot – a place where you can experience spaciousness. A place where you are held in beauty. Your creativity will flourish and you will be renewed.
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. Hal Borland
Kathleen Horne and Tamara Teeter Knapp are two of the three co-founders of Expressive Arts Florida Institute, an internationally-acclaimed certificate training program in intermodal expressive arts. www.expressiveartsflorida.com
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch these 2 videos on the Hollyhock blog
Want an introduction to Hollyhock?
Kathleen and Tamara, our wonderful facilitators/teachers/guides, created a welcoming, safe, and inclusive atmosphere for this amazing workshop. I quickly shed any reservations I had about participating in the various forms of creative, expressive activities. The moments we shared in their presence provided opportunities for learning, creating, and reflecting that I found to be transformational. This program surpassed my expectations and I feel so fortunate to have been a participant. Carolyn S., 2017 workshop participant at Hollyhock
In the middle of a busy day, Tamara goes to her expressive arts practice to check in and re-center.
What does it take? Five minutes of time, a little space to move, a paper taped to the wall and a box of crayons.
You don’t have to be a dancer, or an artist. You can find your own practice, in your own way, and within your capabilities. Pause, and listen within. Your body holds the wisdom. Colors and marks on the paper make it visible. Words come spontaneously, bringing a message.
Breathe. Exhale. You can do this.
A short creative pause can change your day.
Are you ready for a brief introduction or a deep immersion?
Join us live and online for our next Expressive Arts Discovery Virtual Workshop.
Join Tamara Teeter Knapp and Kathleen Horne at Hollyhock:
by Kathleen Horne, Expressive Arts Florida Institute
As a long-time expressive arts facilitator and therapist, I am fully engaged in a wide and exciting variety of arts practices, including movement, sound, visual art, rhythm, writing, ceremony and more.
You don’t need a lot of time.
Whether you spend 15 minutes or 2 hours, you will access your own creative wisdom.
You don’t need a lot of supplies.
Just a piece of paper, and some markers or crayons will do just fine.
Expressive Arts embraces visual art, movement, drama, music, writing, rhythm, and other creative process to create personal growth, community development, and social change.
In a pristine and abundant natural setting, visual art, movement, writing, rhythm, voice, guided meditation, and ceremony are woven together to create a meaningful re-connection with deep inner wisdom.
Kathleen and Tamara, our wonderful facilitators/teachers/guides, created a welcoming, safe, and inclusive atmosphere for this amazing workshop. I quickly shed any reservations I had about participating in the various forms of creative, expressive activities that enriched our time as a group. The moments we shared in their presence provided opportunities for learning, creating, and reflecting that I found to be transformational. This program surpassed my expectations and I feel so fortunate to have been a participant. Carolyn S., 2017 Hollyhock Workshop participant
by Kathleen Horne