There is something soul-crushing about the socially constructed reality that emerged as man pursued its race towards enlightenment, progress, civility and modernity.
I’ve been feeling it ever since I was a young child and it feels as if my soul has been calling me back home to “Source” for as long as I can remember. It has done so, in large part, through emotional pain it seems, seeking to awaken me from society’s collective slumber.
Rather than listen, however, I’ve spent the better part of my life numbing, dissociating, suppressing.
But what you resist persists.
And the darkness grew.
Until I heard it, the whisper: “It’s time to listen to the sorrow, to the grief, to the anger, to the fear; all are cries from soul, calling you back home…to your self; all of you, dark and light.”
The Expressive Arts Journey
This is what my journey with expressive arts therapy has offered me a journey:
- home to self, raw and real;
- into playfulness, and the possibility to alchemize painful memories and inner darkness into meaning and purpose;
- of re-discovering my inner wisdom and intuitive self expression; and
- into the liminal space where the endless possibilities of life can finally emerge.
It is not a comfortable place, that liminal space. It throws you off balance and into the unknown.
However, as comfort with being in that space increases, so do endless possibilities for a more vibrant and consciously created life.
A journey into the expressive arts is one that is gentle yet surprisingly revolutionary.
The journey, if you are willing to take it, brings you into the depths of you; depths unknown.
And just when you thought the light would be no more, there it is, showing you a pathway never until then revealed.
…a pathway revealed now only by your courage to walk the path; to make the journey back home—to your self.
First, as Shaun McNiff, a pioneer in the field, has aptly stated, first:
“My sense of self may have to dissolve in order for me to experience that which is not my self.” (p.63)
However, the dissolution, in my personal experience, can only occur when one is willing to finally face one’s suffering, experience it, and see it for what it is.
And as another pioneer in the field, S.K. Levine, has written:
“Psychological suffering is intrinsic to the human condition; in that sense, psychopathology is normal. The task of therapy is not to eliminate suffering but to give a voice to it, to find form in which it can be expressed. Expression is itself transformation: this is the message that art brings.” (p. 15)
And so my invitation to you is this: lean into that suffering and dare to express it.
It would be my honour to help you do so and walk with you on your way back to your self and the endless possibilities that being you offers once you allow yourself to feel again; and once you open yourself up to the incredible depths that this human experience has on offer.
Are you ready?
Levine, S.K. 1997. “Poiesis: The language and psychology and the speech of the soul.” Jessica Kingsley Publishers. London and Philadelphia.
McNiff. S. 1992. “Art as Medicine: Creating a Therapy of the Imagination.” Shambala Publications Inc. Colorado.