We underestimate the healing power of nature. Many of us know the value of being outdoors and breathing in the fresh air. Take it a step further and connect with nature to gain clarity, connect, and learn about yourself.
Step outside. Take a breath. Slow down. Look around you. What do you notice? What is your eye drawn towards? Explore. Be curious. When we bring our awareness to nature with intention we feel grounded, heal, discover, and gain perspective.
In the fall I was walking along an old set of railway tracks and noticed the railway tie pictured in the bottom right image. I was drawn in by it. I stopped, explored, became curious, stood on top of it, noticed how it felt, thought about what I might put inside of it, and I journaled about it when I got home. It opened doors to some healing I didn't realize I was looking for.
As we move into the warmer days of spring I am ready to connect with people through nature based work both in private sessions and Connect & Create opportunities. Sometimes art materials are involved and other times they are not. Creative work in nature brings increased clarity, increased energy, and a sense of calm.
There are two great things about collage paper:
1. It is a lot of fun to make them.
2. It using them brings enjoyment along with therapeutic benefit.
Let's start with the fun of making collage paper, there are many different ways to do this. You can use any kind of paper from newspaper, pages from an old book, white paper, old receipts, or even tea bags. Once you have chosen the paper you will use then make marks on it; a pattern of circles, lines, drops & splatters of ink, stamps, finger prints....the options are endless. Another way you could create collage paper is use a Gelli Plate like I did to create the ones you see here.
Next is how you can use the collage paper, the list is endless, I'll share a few tips and tricks to get you started. First tip - ripping paper is very therapeutic and causes a response in the brain and helps you feel grounded. I rarely use scissors when working with collage paper, I like to rip it! Try this: Choose a piece of collage paper that you are drawn towards, rip it into 3-5 pieces and glue them down on a plain (or other) piece of paper, then give it a title. Doing this activity is grounding and you feel like you accomplished something. Once you are finished you can either set it aside or you can sit with it for a minute, what do you notice? Art activities like this have a way of connecting to our intuition in ways that talking isn't always able to. Collage paper can also be a helpful starting point when you aren't sure what to put on paper or you believe you can't draw. Try this: Choose a mark making tool and scribble a line with your non dominant hand. Choose a paint colour that you are drawn towards and add some paint to the paper with a few brush strokes or a block of colour somewhere on the page. Then, choose a piece of collage paper that you are drawn towards and rip it into a shape then glue it on the paper. You can leave it like this or add more to it, do what feels right.
If you are looking to try more then watch for an upcoming Make Your Mark opportunity about Collage Paper. Join the email list and don't miss out, scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up.
Layers of emotion exist within us when we experience grief & loss. When my grandmother died I was feeling a lot of different things. I lived with her contributing a lot to her daily care during her final years and we became very close. When she passed I wanted to take care of my mental health and talking to a therapist seemed like the right thing to do...unfortunately, it ended up not being the right fit for me. It wasn't until a few years later that I learned about Therapeutic Art and through my training learned about the value it offers to individuals experiencing loss. This would have been exactly what I was looking for when my grandmother passed. I needed to express and explore I was feeling.
The image above is of a piece I did when I needed to release feelings of grief in response to a community tragedy, the experience helped me move through what I was feeling. Recently I was doing some creative work with someone who lost her mother a few months earlier. After working together she shared that she was able to release some of what she was feeling and holding inside. This is the same thing another client shared after we did an expressive activity together, she said, "it felt like releasing my grief and that some of the pain had melted away."
Grief and loss show up for different reasons; maybe you have moved away from a community you love, left a job unexpectedly, your child moved out of the house, or the passing of a loved one. Creative Work could be of great benefit to your healing, especially if you don't have words to express what you are feeling. If this sounds like you reach out to book a discovery call to see if a private session is right for you.
2022 is coming to a close and it is a good time to prepare for 2023! Vision boards are a great way to get focused on what you want to see happen in your year. Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to stay clear on the direction of your business or someone who wants to make the most out of the year ahead, this is a tool that is fun to create and can make amazing things happen. Use your vision board to manifest an amazing and productive year. There are a lot of videos and tools out there to give ideas on how to create yours. You can also join a group of people all working on their vision boards together in a room with exciting and motivating energy.
Make 2023 a Fantastic Year!
(Upcoming Vision Board workshops)
PS - the image above is to help get inspired and energized.
When I tell people I am a Therapeutic Arts Practitioner most immediately think I am an Art Therapist and while both roles have similarities, they are not the same. I loosely compare the difference to Nurse Practitioners vs Family Doctors. A nurse practitioner is trained to observe what is happening in the moment, advocate for patients, and provide wound care. A family doctor works with the patient on treatment plans and can perform medical procedures.
As a therapeutic arts practitioner I work with individuals by exploring what is happening for them in the moment with the goal of gaining clarity and feeling nurtured by the end of each session. If an individual is in crisis, navigating trauma, or needs to dig deeper into past events in order to move forward then Art Therapy or other services would be a better fit.
Here are a few examples of experiences that could benefit from therapeutic art - lack of motivation, stress or anxiety, grief & loss, lack of confidence, burn out, or general feelings of being overwhelmed. When an individual’s needs move outside my scope of practice, I work with them to find services that are a better fit for their needs.
Reach out if you have any questions or check out my website to learn more.