Express Yourself


After Friday night’s experience in the Expressive Arts class, I had a lot to process. There was so much for me to begin to integrate. Embracing the research and theories of an established field, rather than rebelling against something that felt too “masculine,” “mental,” “problem-focused” and “intellectualized.” I had lots of judgments coming up – probably based in my own fears and insecurities. I allowed myself to open up to ways of thinking that aren’t my normal mode of operation. I was reminded of one of my new commandments: “Go where you’ve never been. Go toward the roar. What’s in the way, is the way.” With this shift, I now saw tremendous value in the research and history and became inspired to do my own researching, hypothesizing and experimenting. I don’t tend to take a logical or rigorous approach to my endeavors and I could learn from that. It’s striking a balance of masculine and feminine.

On Saturday, as we moved into experiential activities, I loosened up more. For the first exercise, I was drawn to the earthy, malleable quality of clay. My impulse was not to break it into pieces, but rather to work with the whole and see what emerged; to create from. First the instructor had us center ourselves and sense what we felt in our bodies. I noticed both a sense of grounding and also an excitement or agitation , almost like an itching or a bursting out from my skin. She played music for us to see how that might add to our experience of art making. For me, I was inspired to create lots of energy and fluid motion, like ideas radiating from the center.


I wanted to color my piece and since there was no paint, I improvised. I rubbed chalk on a scratch piece of paper and then dabbed the vibrant dust onto my sculpture. I loved the idea of repurposing this medium in an innovative way. And I ended up liking my “scratch paper” as it felt like an integral part of my overall piece.

What was so symbolic for me about this process was the idea of taking the concepts from Expressive Arts Therapy and integrating it into coaching. While we don’t analyze past issues or problems in coaching, we do look at different perspectives, tap into intuition and use our creativity to move forward. I’m borrowing ideas and approaches from one field and am finding ways to incorporate them into another, newer field. Lately I’ve found myself in conversations with other cool women who are exploring similar ideas. It’s like we’re on the verge of defining an emerging body of work. My piece represented that for me in many ways – the centering in myself, the borrowing of established wisdom and the boldness of putting myself and my ideas out there in ways I might not even understand fully yet.


We also practiced authentic movement and then drew something based on our experience. During the movement, I found myself light and airy at first and then toward the end felt an immense draw to the earth and to take up space on the floor. I just allowed myself to explore, be lost and then find my way to a grounded place. As I write that, I realize that was actually my process in the class, too. I went in to try something new and learn, I found myself being resistant and then I discovered ways to make it my own and to be inspired from it.

This experience has underscored a somewhat new dream that’s slowly forming. I am sensing that eventually I want a physical space, an inspiring and centering environment for art visioning/expressive arts coaching, workshops, yoga and community gatherings. A place for others to come and express themselves, to explore, learn and grow. I really love how the creative process allows new and exciting things to unfold!

How can you use your creative process to imagine new things for yourself? In what ways can you engage your senses? What’s something totally different you’re willing to try?

[tags]Art visioning, expressive arts therapy, expressive arts coaching, authentic movement, art therapy[/tags]

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