Expressive Arts can give you a perspective on your life that is like the dawning of a new day. The beautiful sunrise gives hope that your stressful emotions can be transformed. With Expressive Arts, you can depict these stressful emotions and transform them just as the colors of morning transform the sky. All thoughts start first in pictures and imagery. In order to make changes, you must access the mind’s imagery. Art is the expression of the body’s inner language. In an Expressive Arts session, you do not need to be an artist. Often simple pictures reveal the imagery. Ruth will help you access the images that your body, mind, and spirit need to heal painful emotions and physical symptoms. Life has challenges that cause grief and painful emotions. Time alone does not always heal these painful emotions. Professor James Pennebaker (University of Texas) says that at about three months, people stop talking about a painful event. These unresolved feelings are internalized and become toxic and spread until another painful event reveals these and other buried feelings. Expressive Arts can help you process and transform your feelings before they are tucked away inside.
You do not need to be an artist to benefit from Expressive Arts. Simple stick figures or lines can help you depict your mind and body’s imagery. Ruth will have several visual art mediums available for you. The art medium you choose will assist you in exploring your personal imagery. You’ll be given some basic instructions in technique but the Expressive Arts session is not an art class. The visual art you create is personal and will not be analyzed by Ruth. You are the only one that knows the meaning of the symbols you draw or the colors you choose. Ruth will guide you to further explore your visual art through dialoguing or transforming the picture. You are encouraged to keep a daily visual journal. This is like a diary but also contains sketches and colors that extend your images. You’ll learn to use the visual journal to reach insights, to establish intention, and to process life challenges. The visual journal is a simple artist pad and is best 11” by 14” or larger. When working in a visual journal, it is best to work fast and not place a lot of emphasis on the artistic technique. It is more important to depict feelings and images and not just create a “pretty” picture.
Circling up with Mandalas
The word “mandala” is from the Sanskrit word for “circle”. Ruth Hamilton uses mandalas in most Expressive Arts sessions. You will have an opportunity to use watercolor or other art material to create your mandala.
Why mandalas are useful:
- The regenerative and curative power of the mandala activates the latent power of the mind.
- Healing may occur because the mandala making process has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind.
- The circle design becomes a container for feelings and sensations that may be difficult to express in words.
- Universal symbols often appear in mandalas that may give you insights to your soul’s wisdom