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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Art Therapy for Dealing with Difficult Situations

I love my job. It has been a blessing in a thousand ways. It is a place where I learn and I teach. As in Life, some lessons are harder than others. There is a current cultural shift happening at work due to the new administration, and it can be difficult to accept. Recently, upon hearing a new decision mandated from above, I found my heart pounding and my emotions mired in a stew of negativity. My opinions hardly matter or even make a difference, so I went to the one place where I have a voice- my studio.
At the studio I started with a piece of paper that had been pressed into the paint filled art room sink, lifting off a print of fluid colors. It was kind of like a Rorschach's Blot.
The first thing I painted into the center cleared space, was an anatomical heart. It sat on the page like a face- so I added the shoulders, and more arteries and veins for hair. I felt as though in a dream, dealing with some momentous news, so I added another character- the bird on my shoulder whispering into the Inferior Vena Cava. The news kept revolving and churning through my heart/head, and I felt a series of emotions; anger, rage, sadness, despair, and exhaustion.
Just as I was cleaning the brushes, and turning off the lights, I realized that the day was beautiful...The skies outside were sparkly. There were so many more blessings I could feel, having given myself the space and the time to feel what needed to be felt, and then putting it aside.
There is a way to take information and accept what cannot be changed, change what can be changed, and like the al-anon Serenity Prayer: look for the wisdom to know the difference!
That is when I painted the blue bird shooting out the Pulmonary Artery. Blue for the sky, blue for hope, blue for peace... and the momentum is for courage and action!
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