Last week’s Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training program was a blast. I can’t believe how quickly the retreat flew by. I discovered and re-learned so many colorful lessons. I mean, how could I not when my huge paintings were staring me right in the face giving me loads of perspective?! It’s like a visual journal on steroids.
Here are some of the gems from the week:
- I stay in my creative flow when I keep the paintbrush moving. The critical mind turns on when I stop to “think” about what’s next.
- Allowing myself to venture into taboo subjects and uncomfortable territory paved the way for an abundance of freedom. It takes way more energy to stuff down doubt or ignore an unwanted thought or feeling than it does to just let it move through me.
- The intuitive painting process has incredible capacity and range. The paper can hold all the parts of myself including ones that don’t seem to fit or I want to deny. Painting all of it provides permission for wholeness.
- Intuition has tremendous wisdom that may not be apparent until after an entire painting is done (or perhaps years later!).
- Painting daily gave me visceral insight into the nuances of my experience. Each time I sat down to paint, I was acutely aware of the shifts in my relationship with myself and with the painting. This underscored for me the impact of having a committed daily spiritual/creative practice.
- Things I am proud of: On the first night I realized I needed more private, quiet space so I asked to have my own room (last time I was at Mountain Home Ranch, I played the martyr and stayed in a very rustic communal cabin), I spoke up and made specific requests to shape our group “container,” and I honored my need for self-care/alone time which helped me stay very present throughout the entire retreat.
- One of the biggest gifts of all has been truly acknowledging the value of this creative and feminine approach and how it resonates so deeply with me. Chris had mentioned one night how the intuitive painting process is by nature very “INFP“-like. As a fellow INFP, I appreciate the beauty of this process and I want to bring more of it out into the world. It’s an emergent, emotional, creative, internal, intuitive, reflective, mysterious and soulful journey. And that’s what makes it so rich and powerful!
Here I am next to the three intuitive paintings I worked on throughout the week. For our closing ceremony, we hung all of our paintings around the room and shared about our experiences. I was so inspired and touched being surrounded by all this powerful art and the amazing women who put their hearts and souls out on paper for us to see.
I am so glad I said “Yes!” to this year-long program. Not only was it valuable to be fully immersed in my own intuitive painting experience last week, it was also extremely helpful to observe Chris in action as she guided each of us through our process with gentle encouragement. I’m really looking forward to the next retreat where we’ll get to shadow her and get more hands-on experience leading sessions. Until then, I’m enjoying staying connected with my fellow wild heart trainees online.