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Art of Healing

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Art of Healing v.1

​Materials used to create v.1 were Staedtler triplus fineliners, pencil crayons, gel pens, and flowers and butterfly stickers.

I started art therapy today. I've been on a waitlist since March for counselling; I was given the opportunity to join this program. The first session was fabulous. The direction was simple & flexible, it gave the chance to use your own ideas and let creation flow with guidance of an inspiring playlist. The music took over me a few times in the times, in the pink blocks and when I was creating the floral triangle and the lilac block. This is my first time being creative like this in several months, I think the last time I was able to do something similar was in April 2020 when I was trying to find things to do during the first lockdown of the pandemic. There was colors calling me, and sometimes the music created the pattern, sometimes my mind would allow me to release the emotion bottled up and flow into the artwork.

​Art is incredibly, beautifully important to me as a former art student and art teacher. My happy place in grade ten was my art class. The visual arts classroom was in corner of the old section of the school, and had two walls of windows, such a bright, beautiful space to create. My art teacher was my favorite teacher. She was very caring and she must have known I needed more sometimes, she was someone I could reach out to. I was able to stay after class and into my lunch hour when I needed space or peace, occasionally I was able to have more time to create. Over half the semester, an upperclassman would be present when I was taking more time in the classroom during lunch. He helped me out on a few projects; he encouraged me and he inspired my print stamping assignment. His approach to encouragement is the technique I used as an art instructor. We were allowed music in the classroom, but on a mere whisper. We shared our favorite top 40s and our secret favorites, like I shared Pulp and my Britpop fascination with him.

I struggle with being called an artist; I don't believe what I create is good art. It was mandatory earn an art credit to graduate high school and without any hesitations, I chose visual arts because I was definitely not a music student and I would not be taking drama because I had severe stage fright because of the childhood trauma of not knowing the dance routines for concert night. I never excelled at any art or sport because I was not given opportunities like my siblings received. I learned to play as a child, but was discouraged to continue to be childlike after my traumas as a nine year old because of my neglective environment. I do remember receiving art supplies from the LM household and I made posters for Kids Help Phone as my artworks. I put the posters in my neighbors' mailboxes. I lived in a block where there were no other children.

I brought some inspiration to my art therapy class. Art Class, June 1997


The Breath & Meditation

I joined a second support group this week, I attended Breathing with the Body. My other support group is learning to cope with emotions in a healthy and safe manner. Breathing and meditation are so good for healing but I struggle with many breathing exercises and meditation because it can feel like I'm drowning. When I was a preschooler, I had a near-death drowning experience; I never recovered from the trauma or fear of water. I remember that I used to meditate nightly when I was a teenager, until I started dating Cody, then most of my self care items or routines slowly disappeared. I was a participant in a meditation for chronic illness support group in 2018 through 2019 - I did the program twice, I found it beneficial but struggled to keep it in my routine once I started college (fall 2019). I tried different apps but I had been finding it difficult to do on my own. I saw the May calendar for groups and I wanted to (re) learn to breath. I love the group's approach and the scientific side of benefits of breathing properly. The technique that was taught this afternoon is something I've been adding this past week, with those very difficult moments and flashbacks, I had been trying to breath in through my nose then releasing the breath slowly to allow my heart to slow back to calm.

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