Have you ever been along to counselling (the talking variety) and felt a bit of momentary relief to get things off your chest but then the same stuff creeps back in? I have and it got me searching for more answers. Why was I cycling back to the same stuff and not moving out of my emotional pain?
This is what I would love to talk to you about – therapies and healing that includes the body as a key player in finding your way to feel less anxious, depressed and a powerful way of addressing low mood and energy. Who doesn’t want to feel energised more often and that vital life force flowing through us more regularly?
TUNING IN TO THE BODY’S SIGNALS
I came across an art therapy practice that was asking me to truly tune in to the signs and signals my body was constantly giving me. That constriction in my belly that made me feel quite sick – and ensuing endless behaviours attempting to avoid it … eat, distract with my phone, get super busy, grab that glass of wine, another binge on Netflix … running away from it in any way possible really!
MEETING THE FEELINGS THROUGH PAINTING
Well in the art therapy room (with a supportive art or body focused therapist) I was encouraged to draw the sensation I was feeling. This meant on a big sheet of A2 paper with nice wax crayons or chalk pastels, using repeated movements in colours that jumped out at me, drawing it to really see it – literally meet it!! This was the place, the way of being, I knew well – the familiar – the problem… so no need to sit in this muck for too long (yep it is the trauma part of our struggle – a very normal thing in being human).
FINDING WELLNESS AND STRENGTH
So the next step, with gentle guidance of my art therapist, I was invited to add colours, shapes and movements to the page that were quite the opposite. Oh my goodness – I felt that yucky sensation in my belly ease and become smaller. This felt so new to me. I felt calm, the easing of that familiar tension, I was hopeful this therapy could help me. Damn right it did. That is when we chatted a bit. What was it all about? This was so I could understand what just went on. It is not wise to go into any deep dark stories about the past at this point as it can overwhelm us (and our nervous system). What we do need is the body sensation of wellness and strength. Noticing this change.
I have been a body-based art therapist for years now and seen such wonderful positive transformation for so many people. The same way yoga or meditation practices can get us tuning in to the wisdom of our body. So many roads to healing. Give it a try. Reach out and start something new.