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Images “arrive”. I don’t “make” them.

Images “arrive”. I don’t “make” them.

by Kathleen Horne

IMAGES ARRIVE

In the last Expressive Arts Discovery Virtual Workshop, this is the image and writing that “arrived” for me.

And yes, that is how I think of it. An arrival, rather than something I make.

Why? It truly is a discovery process, a mindfulness practice, an opportunity to make a little space/time, to tune in to a deeper knowing through image and writing, and discover what is just below the surface of awareness. What comes always carries a message for me. Sometimes it is a surprise; sometimes it simply makes more clear what I already know. It always gives me a new perspective, because it is coming through the arts, not through my mind. It is coming from that deeper place that the arts access. That place I like to call: creative wisdom.

So, here is what came. Quickly. In my journal. First, the image. Then (from the image) the writing.

I am living at the center of my experience, feeling the layers that emanate out of the purple core. The layers move out from me, creating my life – its activities, and rhythms. 

The layers also hold and support me from the outside – the Earth, my family, my work, my community. 

I feel good – rested and energized – inhabiting this  central place, giving and receiving, offering support and  being supported.

I do not always reside here – sometimes I move far away, like a distant planet circling the sun, but today, in this moment, I live here, in the center of my experience, and I treasure and celebrate that.

 

CREATIVE WISDOM

Having all of this show up on the page was profound. (It always is.) From it, I learned that I was operating from a good, centered, place – in control of creating my life, and also feeling supported from the outside. Did I know that before this experience? In some ways, yes, but I was not really paying attention, not tuning in, not feeling it in my body.  The experience of a brief guided meditation, a 15-minute image, and a short writing gave me the gift of attuning to my deeper experience, and feeling it – physically, emotionally, cognitively. And, from there, I went about the rest of my day in a much more mindful way.

THE IMAGE CONTINUES TO SIMMER

It is a few weeks since this experience, and I am still reaping the benefits. The image and writing are in my visual journal, which I open, look at, and work in (however briefly) almost every day. The image also now resides in my inner experience, and I can call it to mind whenever I want. It has become sort of an inner compass for me, a picture of myself when I am operating from a centered place. It helps me to notice my current state: am I experiencing myself at the center of my life, or somewhere else? If I am feeling out of balance, can I take a deep breath, and say these words to myself?

I feel good – rested and energized – inhabiting this  central place, giving and receiving, offering support and  being supported.

It helps.

AND ALL THIS HAPPENED IN A VIRTUAL WORKSHOP?

Yes, and I have to say that I still find that amazing! Not only that, but I was leading the guided meditation and co-facilitating the workshop!

We have been doing 90 minute virtual workshops – Expressive Arts Discovery – about once a month, for a year or so now. This is how it goes:

  1. We gather, from anywhere in the world, through Zoom video, which is very user friendly. Everyone can see each other. We all introduce ourselves, open “the circle”, and set some ground rules and guidelines.
  2. We lead a meditation, and everyone moves directly into some visual art-making time, in their own space (staying in the room, but usually off-camera).
  3. We then give some gentle prompts for exploration of the image, perhaps through movement, and then writing.
  4. Everyone returns to “the circle”, on camera, and we all witness the images and writing (in whatever way each person wants. It is also fine to pass) For us, witnessing means, simply being present and receiving – taking in the image with our eyes and heart. Not commenting
  5. In the final few minutes, we all do some sharing. Anything you want to say about what happened for you, what you noticed, what you learned, etc.

There is no interpreting nor critiquing. There is no required level of “art skill”. We create a safe container for creative exploration and sharing. Sometimes people post their images in our FB group – Your Personal Expressive Arts Practice – if they want to share with others.

We started these workshops as sort of an experiment. We wanted to reach more people and facilitate a sense of tribe, without geographical limitations. They have far exceeded my expectations about what we might create in virtual space. I have met people from around the world,  have shared a beautiful connection and a sense of community, without having actually “met” them. We can definitely use the miracle of technology to support the power of the arts.

I will keep sharing my practice by writing these blog posts. I hope my sharing inspires you in some way.

Kathleen Horne

Each of these Expressive Arts Discovery workshops is $27. Here are the dates of the next ones:

Thursday July 6 7-8:30 pm EASTERN time.

Tuesday Aug. 15 7-8:30 pm EASTERN time

Tuesday Sept. 12 7-8:30 pm EASTERN time

Here is the link with details and registration.

Tending the Creative Fire

Virtual Mini Retreats

$75

Sunday August 27, 1-5 pm EASTERN – We explore the element of EARTH, and how it relates to our creative practice.

Here is the link with details and registration.

Do you have questions? Email us.

Do you think that an online workshop can’t possibly work, you don’t have the tech skill, or you won’t feel connected? Here is what Sue had to say.

 I was very excited when I learned about the Expressive Arts Discovery virtual group. It had been far too long since I had traveled to Sarasota for an in person training, and I longed to once again connect with other expressive artists. I never doubted that Kathleen, Victoria, and Tamara would facilitate a wonderful experience, but I wondered whether I would be able to fully engage and connect to strangers sharing an online experience. What I found was a surprisingly easy connection, as the threads that wove our virtual experience, words, and images together were shared and witnessed. I can’t wait to do this again!
Sue Keston

If you want something a little longer and more in-depth, try our Tending the Creative Fire Mini-Retreats

We welcome you to experience the power of creative community!

Your facilitators,

Victoria, Tamara, Kathleen

 

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