Last August, I embarked on a 10-month Expressive Arts Teacher Training program with Chris Zydel. We completed our fourth and final retreat this past week! It’s hard to believe how fast time flies and how much has happened since the first retreat. While I was really excited to finish the training so I can bring the work out into the world, I also enjoyed getting to play with my fellow teacher trainees one last time (including a hilarious game of charades that still has me in stitches).
That’s Danielle Saunder’s paint palette above – she got creative with glitter paint barriers to prevent the watery paint from running everywhere – see we even got a kick out of our supplies!
The amazing Linda Kennedy made each of us a unique collaged matchbox. Mine had a tiny handmade book inside of it to celebrate writing my book. I absolutely love my matchbox and it’s now part of my altar at home.
On Tuesday, I led the afternoon session and took the women on a magical journey in nature to meet their inner muse. The weather was perfect for some frolicking in a green meadow! I picked a gorgeous peony for our altar as a beautiful reminder that our inner muse is always blooming inside of us. Facilitating the intuitive painting session was a blast and it was an honor to witness the inspiring creativity and courage that poured from paintbrush to paper. I can’t wait to lead more of these kinds of workshops soon (stay tuned for an announcement about a class or two this summer in Oakland!).
Here are all the creative goddess graduates surrounding Chris after our lovely graduation ceremony. Sweet Chris gave us some fun goodies including our graduation certificate declaring us “Master Facilitators of Intuitive Painting and the Expressive Arts” (woohoo!). Then we dined on celebratory cheesecake!
On the last day, we did our completion circle and talked about our painting process that week. I had worked on the same painting from the last retreat and to my surprise it continued to get bigger. This one ended up being 32 sheets of paper – my biggest one yet! I was already straining to reach the top panels, so when I knew I needed to add more paper (the red creature was just begging to materialize!), I had to ask for help to lower the bottom part to the floor. The painting process continues to show me that my edges involve stepping into bigness, finding ways to make things work despite challenges that come with my ambitious drive and desire to keep pushing the envelope, asking for help (without feeling like I’m imposing), and following/trusting/listening to my inner muse.
Each painting is special in its own way and I really enjoyed the playfulness that showed up in this one. I grew quite fond of my cannon turned pink elephant blowing glitter snot. I’m always amazed at the crazy creatures that emerge from the world of my imagination!
And here I am with the wonderful Chris who is so full of love and generosity. I’m thankful for her guidance throughout this training and for the special magic she brings to the intuitive painting process.
I loved gaining a deeper, more intimate understanding of intuitive painting and expressive arts and appreciated developing more skills to facilitate this internal creative journey for myself and others. The biggest take-away for me, though, was fully owning and embodying leadership from the get-go. After having done CTI’s leadership program back in 2004, it was super empowering for me to experience how much I’ve stepped into leadership since then. Just like being face-to-face with my paintings has helped me to see myself in new ways, participating in this program has helped me to see how much I’ve grown and continue to grow as a leader and a creative being. I continue to be in awe of how the creative process provides such valuable insight and opportunity for self-development. What a gift! Here’s to more painting!