Give yourself permission to play by tapping into your authentic self and releasing your inner child’s ability to express what you are feeling through creative expression and I do not just mean art-making.
With expressive arts there are no limitations as to what you can use to help you to express yourself.
Let your imagination run wild when it comes to choosing a medium to express your own unique creativity preference.
Through all manner of expressive arts you will bring about healing to you if you just give yourself permission to play and most importantly permission to create without worrying too much about what the final result will look like.
When you give yourself permission to let go of how the end result will look you can surprise yourself with the depth of rich, colourful emotion that can emerge onto the page and/or canvas.Expressive Arts allows you to use colour, texture, shapes, symbols, lines, light and dark to express your emotional impressions and feelings without the need to refine it.
The beauty of expressive arts is that there are no limits on what you can use to express yourself and you may like …
to draw figuratively,
to finger paint,
to throw paint blobs,
to squirt paint from a spray bottle,
to paint with a paintbrush using either oil, acrylic or watercolour paint,
to use play-dough,
to use plasticine,
to use clay,
to use mixed media,
to make collages,
to use pastels,
to use crayons,
to colour in using pencils and/or textas,
to take walks out in nature, etc …. it really is totally up to you and your imagination!!Creativity and creative expression is available for everybody and not just for Artists and Children. It is for every man, woman and child who longs to express their innermost feelings and emotions and create change in doing so.
The expressive arts can provide a pathway forwards for people who want to transform negative feelings and emotions into more constructive forces for good into their life and as a result you may even discover your true self and your life’s purpose.
Creativity happens any time that we create and it most definitely does matter.
It sparks vibrancy in your daily life and the creative part of you must be allowed to make an appearance if you are to thrive even though getting your creativity to flow can be challenging at times.
Tapping into our creative selves can and does provide a powerful healing path for our emotional selves and the expressive arts are most definitely a fun way to help you to re-establish better health and balance in the psyche.
When we allow ourselves to go with the flow and slip into the creating mindset, we are naturally curious, we explore, we experiment and we are more willing to take some amount of risk. Most people engage in expressive arts exercises without even realizing it.
Our brain is designed to function in a creative mode in its own unique way and when we give our self permission to play and devise creative opportunities then we give our minds, bodies and spirits the opportunities to heal and to grow.
It is the implicit hurts and wounds that we carry which can be a challenge to properly process and heal unless we can find a way to access them, express them and transform them into a force of beneficial good.
Expressive arts is a wonderful tool to help you reconnect to your creative self and it comes with the promise of personal growth for anyone who pursue using it in their own creative ways.
Thought I would post something different today as I have re-injured my right arm/shoulder and unfortunately for me I am not even the slightest bit ambidextrous so a shorter than usual post will be called for.
This is a piece of prose (what I call “a poem of sorts”) that I wrote one morning back in 2012 upon waking up in agony from yet another pain-ridden restless night and I was trying to make sense of my life and my pain.
Although I am grateful that those days & nights of constant chronic pain are hopefully (apart from this current injury) behind me I thought that I would still share this poem as it still feels just as relevant today as it did when I penned it.
Rainbows have always been special to me … long before I became an ARTist.
You will always find me looking skywards searching for Mother Nature’s artist palette.
Where There Are Rainbows
From the minute you are born you are already dying.
Dying to live your life to its fullest.
Dying to awaken new-found emotions.
Dying to fulfill your personal goals and dreams.
Dying to find your own Life’s Purpose.
Until the day eventually comes when your life on earth comes to an end.
So between your birth and your death you must simply … go forth and search for your own Rainbow.
Because where there are Rainbows you will find everything that you need in life such as an abundance of rainwater, sunlight, soil, fresh air, flora, fauna, colours, well-being, creative expression, etc and by appreciating and respecting Mother Nature you will find yourself living in the world of your dreams long before your life ends.
My artistic journey began as a result of me searching for alternative, non-allopathic solutions to treat and help alleviate long-term chronic pain.
I was determined to creatively find solutions to my problem of living with constant pain.
I found that whenever I had a paintbrush or other painting implement in my hand I would be totally focused on the creative task at hand and not so much on my pain.
The more I exercised my creative muscles the more I became in awe with the whole spontaneous creative expression process of art-making.
I was now making art because it was what I wanted to be doing and not solely because I was experiencing pain.
I had found a solution to my biggest problem and soon professed my intent to help others do likewise by establishing and developing my Energetic Abstractions ~ Holistic ARTistry creative venture.
In doing so I discovered that to be a solution giver you first have to learn how to become the type of person who can generate many kinds of ideas (relevant or not) by thinking creatively.
Society teaches us that there always has to be a right answer to any problem and this inevitably creates a feeling of vulnerability with us fearing either being wrong, judged and/or criticized.
I find that brainstorming is one of the best ways for me to come up with fresh ideas and engaging in Spontaneous Creativity/Creative Thinking is a good practice for generating good quality ideas … thinking outside the box so to speak!
Our brains will naturally brainstorm although most people tend to shut down their ideas prematurely which hinders them from making progress and this is when we lose the whole point of the creative brainstorming process.
The best way to come up with a good idea I find is to generate many ideas at the same time so focus initially on the quantity and not the quality of your ideas and then cull them once you have finished your brainstorming process.
Let your mind do what it does best which is to generate ideas.
Learn to view problems from different perspectives.
Write down your ideas.
Doodle/Scribble your ideas.
Paint out your ideas.
Voice Record your ideas.
Be spontaneously creative.
Dare to be different.
Trust your intuition and then take action.
It was problem solving via spontaneous creative expression that I learned how to heal my pain by shifting my focus away from pain into creating inspiring abstract artworks … I found and released my “Inner Child/Inner Artist”.
Embrace Change in your life by catching curve-balls and banishing those negative thoughts and actions that block you from moving forwards.
I thought that I would do something a little different with my next blog post and create a list of Positively Inspirational Quotations and Affirmations that I have personally found to be useful in my own life-changing endeavours.
The one thing that we can all be sure of in life is that there will be the need to face change and/or changes however it may arise at various times and stages throughout our lives.
Change can come in many forms and may be welcomed or feared.
Change can help us to develop and evolve both on a practical and on a spiritual level.
Change of any sort, whether at first it appears to be positive or negative, should be treated as part of life’s learning process.
As life is a learning process the degree of learning and development will naturally depend upon each one of us and our willingness and ability to see the significance of the changes that occur and to incorporate them into our lives in the most positive way possible.
I have sourced these Quotations and Affirmations from various sources with one or two of my own thrown in for good measure. Feel free to add any of your own in the comments section down below.
Focus on Being Positive, Moving Forward and Embracing Change
I STAND UP FOR MYSELF AND FEEL HAPPY.
I LIKE TRYING NEW THINGS.
I HAVE GREAT IDEAS!
THE TRUTH IS IMPORTANT TO ME.
I SHOW PATIENCE WITH EVERYONE.
EVERYTHING I DO WITH CARE WORKS OUT FINE.
I TRUST IN MYSELF AND HAVE A GO!
Focus On Growing and Learning From Your Experiences
IF I THINK THAT IT IS EASY, THEN IT IS EASY!
KINDNESS ALWAYS COMES BACK TO VISIT ME!
I LEARN NEW THINGS EVERY DAY.
MISTAKES ARE OKAY, THEY HELP US LEARN!
I ALWAYS TRY MY BEST!
IF I LISTEN TO OTHERS, THEN OTHERS WILL LISTEN TO ME.
I LOVE WHAT I HAVE!
Focus On Happiness and Look At The Positive Side of Everything
IF I THINK THAT I AM HAPPY, THEN I AM HAPPY!
HAPPINESS COMES FROM INSIDE OF ME.
I JUST LAUGH MY WORRIES AWAY!
HOW I AM TO OTHERS IS HOW OTHERS WILL BE TO ME.
I GREET EVERYONE IN A CHEERFUL WAY!
EVERYTHING ALWAYS WORKS OUT IN THE END.
I AM GLAD TO BE ME!
Focus On Caring, Kindness and Awareness of Others
I CHOOSE TO ONLY SAY NICE THINGS TO OTHERS!
I SMILE AT EVERYONE TODAY.
I SHOW THAT I CARE WITH LOVELY MANNERS.
IF I AM KIND TO OTHERS, THEN OTHERS WILL BE KIND TO ME.
SHARING WITH OTHERS MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!
I LOOK FOR NICE THINGS TO DO FOR OTHERS.
I TAKE CARE OF OUR EARTH.
Focus On Remembering That YOU Are Special
IF I THINK THAT I CAN, I CAN!
I CHOOSE TO MAKE TODAY A GREAT DAY!
I AM SPECIAL, THERE IS NOBODY ELSE LIKE ME!
I BELIEVE IN ME!
I AM PROUD TO BE DIFFERENT!
I AM GOOD AT EVERYTHING I SET MY MIND TO!
THERE IS ONLY ONE ME IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!
We All Need A Dose Of Daily Positivity To Enlighten Our Lives
I TRUST THE PROCESS OF LIFE.
I LOVINGLY CREATE MY OWN REALITY.
I AM NOT LIMITED BY THE PAST AND ANY PAST THINKING.
I TRUST MY INNER WISDOM.
I AM FREE AND ABLE TO THINK WONDERFUL THOUGHTS.
LIFE MIRRORS MY EVERY THOUGHT.
I AM IN THE PROCESS OF POSITIVE CHANGE.
EACH PROBLEM HAS ITS OWN SOLUTION.
THIS IS A NEW DAY AND IT IS ONE THAT I HAVE NEVER LIVED.
I AM WILLING TO CHANGE.
BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WANT TO BE.
I ACCEPT MY UNIQUENESS.
EVERY THOUGHT THAT I THINK IS CREATING MY FUTURE.
THERE IS PLENTY FOR EVERYBODY INCLUDING ME.
MY HEALING IS ALREADY IN PROGRESS.
EVERY MOMENT PRESENTS A NEW OPPORTUNITY.
I LISTEN WITH LOVE TO MY BODY’S MESSAGES.
I CREATE MY OWN REALITY AND EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IN IT.
LOVE IS EVERYWHERE AND I AM LOVING AND TOTALLY LOVABLE.
BE A LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
BE A GO-GETTER AND REACH FOR THE STARS.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF FAILURE, BUT BE AFRAID OF REGRET.
MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PAST AND MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR FUTURE.
SET YOURSELF SHORT-TERM GOALS IF YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS SEEM UNATTAINABLE.
MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT – LIVE IT AS IF ITS YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH.
WHEN YOUR BODY IS HURTING TAKE TIME OUT TO LISTEN TO IT AND TAKE ACTION.
NO MORE EXCUSES, LIFE IS FAR TOO PRECIOUS TO WASTE TIME MOANING.
IF I CANNOT LOVE ME THEN WHY SHOULD I EXPECT OTHER PEOPLE TO LOVE ME.
VISUALIZE BEAUTY, THEN GO AND LOOK IN A MIRROR.
NO PERSON OR NEGATIVE THOUGHT HAS ANY POWER OVER ME, FOR I AM THE ONLY THINKER IN MY MIND.
I AM A PERSON WHO IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ANY OTHER PERSON I ENCOUNTER.
WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE MUST COME FROM DEEP WITHIN BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE CAN BE THE CHANGE YOU REQUIRE.
GREET PEOPLE WITH A SMILE AND WATCH THEM SMILE RIGHT BACK @ YOU.
NEVER GO TO SLEEP DURING AN ARGUMENT, RESOLVE IT AND START A DAY AT PEACE.
NO-BODY EVER GETS SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING THAT THEY ARE LOVED SO TELL YOUR LOVED ONES THAT YOU LOVE THEM AND DON’T FORGET TO TELL YOURSELF AS WELL.
I write this blog post to celebrate the last day of winter in the southern hemisphere, although I for one will be just a tad-bit sad to see this season of ‘green’ come to an end because soon the dreaded heat will be upon us.
Anyone who knows me also knows that I absolutely love Clouds and Rainbows. I have been known to stop the car in transit just to take a ‘happy snap’ of them and I would probably have more photos of them in my phone/tablet galleries than any other subject matter (including my hubby and kids)!
Rainbows are one of the most beautiful sights in nature simply because of the somewhat magical appearance of its colourful arch splashed upon a grey-blue-sky canvas. For me they are the best kind of Colour Therapy, especially if you live in a drought prone area where rain is always welcome.
So what constitutes a rainbow apart from us seeing colours in the sky? A rainbow is nothing more than a massive curved banded-coloured spectrum that appear in the sky once the clouds start to clear and sunlight strikes the raindrops that are falling to the earth.
The raindrops act as a prism because they have the ability to break up light therefore allowing the colours to emerge from the prisms to form a band of stripes which we call a spectrum.
In other words, sunlight, or ordinary white light which is really made up of a mixture of all the colours in a rainbow is broken up into different colours and we can only see the colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple because of different wave lengths of light which bends and travels onward to your eyes so that you can easily see and differentiate the many colours.
The shortest wave lengths that we can detect are the purple colours of violet and indigo. Then the waves of light lengthen into the colours of blue and green and then onto the colours of yellow, orange and red. The longest visible light waves are a deep red colour.
However, when you look into white light you are actually seeing all of the colours of the rainbow blended in together because your eyes are not able to distinguish between the different colours of the rainbow unless they pass through some material that is able to separate them first.
It is for this simple reason that a rainbow is only seen during showers, when droplets of rain is falling and the sun is shining at the same time.
When sunlight enters a droplet of water, it is broken up just as if it had entered a glass prism.
So inside the drop of water, we already have the different colours going from one side of the drop to the other.
Some of this coloured light is then reflected from the far side of the droplet, back and out of the droplet.
The light comes back out of the droplet in different directions, depending on the colour and when you look at these colours in a rainbow, you will always see them arranged with red at the top and violet at the bottom of the rainbow.
What happens is that the white light is broken up into the different wave lengths that are seen by our eyes as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
In a rainbow, the sunlight is refracted when it goes into the droplets of water. It is reflected inside them and refracted again as it passes out.
The colour seen by an observer will depend on the angle at which he looks at each droplet.
It also helps if you are standing in the middle ground with the sun behind you and the raindrops falling in front of you to be able to see a rainbow properly.
The sunlight shines over your shoulder into the raindrops which act as prisms breaking up the light into a spectrum or a band of colours. The sun, your eyes and the centre of the rainbow’s arch needs to be virtually all in a straight line for you to see a complete unbroken rainbow.
If the sun is up too high in the sky, it is impossible to be able to make such a straight line and that is the usual explanation given as to why you would normally only see rainbows in the early morning or late afternoon.
From the ground, a rainbow looks like an arch, but apparently from an aeroplane, it looks just like a circle (unfortunately I have not been lucky enough to see one from a plane).
With that said, there are other ways in which you can see the colours of the rainbow apart from the big curved spectrum arch in the sky.
The water drops in the spray from a garden hose or sprinkler will often make a rainbow on a sunny day. Just put your finger at the end of the garden hose so that the water spray fans out and aim it towards the sun. You should see a small colourful rainbow arch.
Also if you were to look up at a waterfall with the sun behind you, you would be able to see a rainbow arch formed by the rays of sunlight that has been split up by the water spray droplets.
You can also usually see the colours of the rainbow in soap or detergent bubbles as well as in the thin patches of oil found on a wet road.
If you can think of any more ways to see a rainbow, please add them to the comments section down below.
Make Yourself Your Very Own “Fake Rainbow”
DIY Rainbow Maker No. 1
You can easily make colours appear on clear plastic, but you will need a pair of Polaroid sunglasses.
Shine a bright light (a torch will do) at a tape cassette box (if you can still find one or if not, another clear plastic container/box will work just as well) and then look at it through a pair of Polaroid sunglasses.
You should see a rainbow effect made up of bright colours.
The Polaroid sunglasses cut out some of the colours that make up white light and you see the colours that are left. DIY Rainbow Maker No. 2
You can make up all of the colours in a rainbow by mixing red and green light, green and blue light or blue and red light.
Combining all three colours creates white light.
Red, green and blue are called the primary colours of light. DIY Rainbow Maker No. 3
Paint, ink and crayons are like all other objects – they only reflect the light that falls on them.
You can make all the rainbow colours by mixing red and yellow, yellow and blue, or blue and red paint.
Red, yellow and blue are the primary colours of paint. DIY Rainbow Maker No. 4 – Bubble Dome
Tape a torch to the bottom of a clear plastic container, bowl or box lid.
Hold it upright and spoon a little bubble mixture (or detergent) onto the container, bowl or box lid.
Stick a straw into the bubble mix and gently blow some bubbles to make a bubble dome.
Switch on the torch and then go into a dark room with the torch still on.
Take a good look at the bubbles.
What colours do you see swirling about?
Do the colours ever change?
What colours do you see just before a bubble pops.
All bubbles are a sandwich of soap and water.
As they reflect light from a torch you can see the colours of the rainbow swirling on their walls. If you blow gently on a bubble, the colours change as the walls get thinner.
When the bubble walls are at their thinnest the colours disappear, so just before a bubble pops, it appears to go black.
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Invisible Illness, no matter what name it is given, be it Fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, MPN/MPD, Anaemia (and I am not referring to your everyday pop an Iron Supplement Anaemia), etc is an absolute insipid life-changer and unfortunately for a few people it can also become a life-ender.
I personally searched for many years for the answers as to why I was in such chronic pain when I had not actually hurt myself in any way. During this time I was diagnosed with having Fibromyalgia (and many other ‘possibilities’), which I now know was actually brought on because of the stress of not really knowing the actual true cause and the unbearable frustration of always having to justify my “invisible illness” whether it be to family, friends or the medical fraternity.
My fibromyalgia muscular-pain more or less disappeared once I was correctly diagnosed and treated for the actual cause of my pain … bone-pain, a nasty side effect of being a Chronic Anaemic.
With this said, to anybody who suffers chronic pain, pain is pain and the difference between it being a life-changer or life-ender is basically how that particular person copes with the everyday management of their pain and the advice that they receive.
Mental health is one important area that needs to be given top priority as does any treatment that can help change a pained person’s mindset and/or outlook on their life (with or without pain).
I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones whom with time and support was able to successfully self-manage my bone-pain by combining general Allopathic, Haematologic and various Non-Allopathic methods to alleviate pain flare-ups.
My own pain management journey had me pick up a paintbrush and PAINt out the Pain that was frustrating the hell out of me!
As a result, I now offer support and guidance to others experiencing pain by showing them how they can use creative expression to help them bring some relief to their own pain.
I call this my PAINt Relief method and you will find examples of Abstract Energy ARTworks that I have painted whilst facilitating such PAINt Relief either just for myself or with others.
The reason for me writing this particular ART Blog post is because I have just finished reading Fibromyalgia –An Artists Perspective that was written by Jenny Schwarz and published by The National Pain Report (USA) in recognition of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day which is held annually on May 12 (two days ago) … it felt like in parts that I was reading my own story!
This article totally resonated with me and I found myself nodding in agreement with practically everything that Jenny Schwarz had to say especially the part about Painting when in Pain. That is exactly what I did and still do although these days I am known to paint just because I love to paint (pain or no pain).
These are just some of the things that Jenny wrote that I could have easily written and to read the entire article you just need to click on this link …
“When I’m hurting, I paint the pain into the painting.”
“There are things you can do to help yourself. I refuse to be controlled by the pain.”
“No hardship or hurt I have ever experienced in my life has been as bad as this one. Nothing I have faced could have prepared me for the utter pain and destruction this disease has given me.”
“While this pain is a curse, I also now understand it’s changed me and for the better.”
I will always play my part in raising awareness for Invisible Illness, especially encouraging others to do as I have done and that is to try PAINTing Out The Pain as part of their overall self-care pain management.
Whilst I am taking some much needed Rest and Rejuvenation time-out sorting out another ‘pain-demon’ foe I thought that as a follow up to my last blog post I would share a rather special colour laden video which I like to watch when I am in need of a quick pick-me-up to awaken my own Inner Rainbow of Chakra Colours.
This video is presented by Elizabeth Harper from Sealed With Love (I so recommend that you check out this absolute colourful delight of a website … I love it).
It is a colourful light-filled visual journey through the chakra colors and simply by watching this video the coloured imagery can help the viewer to shift their energetic vibration, alter mindset and activate self-healing.
Elizabeth suggests that you make yourself aware of any subtle changes that might occur in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies as you go on this journey of colour to awaken your own Inner Rainbow … enjoy!
So you have decided to give creative visualization a go, yay … good for you. I promise that with time and practice you will come to love it as much as I do.
I can almost guarantee that you will find yourself teaching other Creative Visualization Virgins this fantastic mind/body/spirit relaxation breathing technique as well.
Here is an introductory exercise to help you get started by teaching you the absolute basics of creative relaxation and visualization.
First of all as with the majority of similar-type relaxation exercises you need to be wearing loose-fitting clothing and be either comfortably sitting up or lying down.
Ensure that the room you find yourself in is warm/cool enough without you over-heating or feeling chilled to the bone. Make sure you are as comfortable as possible so grab a blanket if you think you will be needing one.
Dim the lights and/or close the curtains and do not forget to switch off any other electronic distractions. You have permission to even hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.
When everything has been done and you are in a comfortable position then it is time to close your eyes and take 3 or 4 slow, deep breaths in, holding the breath for at least 5 seconds before exhaling out.
After a couple of minutes of breathing in and breathing out it is time to focus your attention down towards your feet and legs.
You are wanting to progressively relax your whole body by starting with your toes and working your way up by slowly allowing the relaxation process to drift upwards until you feel completely relaxed and without a care in the world.
Relaxation is the first part of this exercise and it is only when you are fully relaxed that you commence the creative visualization process. As you gain confidence of this technique through consistent practice you will take less time to get yourself into a fully relaxed state of being.
As mentioned the second part of this exercise is to visualize. It does not matter what you choose to think about but it is important that you first set a positive intention.
You may choose to visualize a Colour, an Object or even a Person.
Lets focus on you imagining a person shall we. Think about someone you know (or would like to know). Picture an image of this person in your mind and try to hold on to that image.
If you see a clear, sharp image of this person virtually straight away it means that you are naturally a ‘visual person’ and you will have no problems with creative visualization. For those that do not, it simply means that it will take you a little longer to master this technique and like most things in life the more times that you practice something the better you will become at doing it.
For this particular exercise, all that is important is that you can ‘imagine’ the person in your mind. There is no right or wrong way of doing this.
Now that you have a visual image or picture of this person in your mind think about something that ‘stands out’ about this person or think about an ‘incident’ that involved him or her. It might be something exciting or mundane, just experiment with your ‘imagining process’ until you can see this incident in your mind.
Finally imagine you and this person doing something together, again it makes no difference what it is that you decide to do, but what is important is the process of you imagining this event.
Once you have imagined this clearly, take a few slow deep breaths in and out, have a stretch and open up your eyes. You have successfully undertaken a creative visualization exercise and with time and practice you will be able to do this no matter where you are, etc just by closing your eyes and shutting out any distractions.
Practice this exercise as often as you can, choose a different person, object or colour to visualize each time you do so.
You can improve your ability to ‘see your visualizations’ by looking at a painting or photograph for a few minutes and studying it intensely before closing your eyes to see if you can recall it in your mind’s eye. With practice you will be able to recall the item that you were looking at in detail.
You are now on the way to using creative visualization to make powerful and lasting changes in your own life and you will no longer considered to be a Creative Visualization Virgin!