AEDM Day 12: Drawing on Body Wisdom

by jenn on November 12, 2008

in Art Every Day Month,Expressive Arts Coaching

In her book “The Art Therapy Sourcebook“, Art Therapist Cathy Malchiodi has this great exercise for visually journaling what you notice in your body.  I gave a client this template today to play with over the next week and figured I’d do it for Day 12’s AEDM piece.  If you tend to live in your head, this activity helps you tune into your body wisdom.

I’ve actually had a headache since this afternoon.  A dull pain radiating from my head with more pressure right at my temples.  I also noticed a tight jaw and tense shoulders.  And my quads are sore from last night’s yoga class.  My skin is really itchy.  I also notice that in my heart area, I feel very warm and open and that energy spreads outward.

To take the inquiry deeper, I ask my shoulders and head what they need from me.  They want to rest.  To know that they don’t have to do all the heavy lifting all of the time.  When I ask my heart center what it’s like being open, I hear that it feels good and to keep trusting that flow.  As for my itchy skin, it reminds me to drink more water!  Staying hydrated is important, especially for a vata dosha.

I love how expressive arts coaching can help bring awareness, clarity and insight that words alone may not articulate.  I did a similar activity in a Yoga and the Emotions class last year.  Through the use of expressive arts, we can experience and communicate our thoughts and feelings in a new way. It’s not about the final product, but rather the process of exploration and expression.  Now based on my reflection here, I need to drink another glass of water and then hit the hay!

When you tune into your body right now, what do you notice?  Take a few moments to sketch it out.  Use colors and textures to capture the sensations you feel.  What insights do you gain from drawing on your body wisdom?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

leah November 14, 2008 at 8:24 am

this is great, jenn. i was just trying to draw out a sensation in my legs the other day. it can be helpful.

i hope your head is feeling much, much better!!

Ananda Leeke November 14, 2008 at 9:35 am

Wonderful exercise. May you have a peaceful mind and head.

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