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SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 10

Welcome to Week 10 of Summer of Well-Being! Today our focus is on Art for your Soul, brought to you by none other than my mother, Ellie Kane! Ellie is an artist, healer, and certified coach. I know you’ll love her as much as I do and find incredible value in what she has to share. Read her blog below and leave a comment with your thoughts!


Art and Soul Healing

Creativity is a way to break through the conscious mind that is holding on very tightly. There’s only so much you can talk your way through. Art really does reach something in a very primal, unconscious level.” Martha Grant

Since the beginning of time, art’s most essential role has been to nurture the divine aspects of life; and for many ancient cultures, art is still practiced as a curative tool and as a form of awakening. Externalizing our perceptions and conflicts-even if we simply create a primitive and uncomplicated sketch-is highly beneficial for self-renewal and healing.

Art, when used as an instrument for wellness, can become a guide to finding presence, authenticity, and the place within where body, mind and soul have the potential to be made new and whole.

In recent years, there is a growing movement to redefine the mission of art, transforming it from its position in Western culture as a commodity to a sacred and communal activity. This way of thinking has emerged simultaneously in the art world, psychotherapy and medicine. Many artists, therapists and others are seeking ways to use the collective wisdom of art and imagination, envisioning ways that it can become a healing practice…” C. A. Malchiodi

The healing power of art cannot be denied. Art can bring about the gift of inspiration, harmony, playfulness and transformation. When we create healing art, a restorative process is initiated for the ‘artist’, as well as for the viewer and/or recipient.

Frank Emmettsaid that, “Art has been known as a pathway to the soul…it unlocks feelings, those deep-seated things that we are reluctant to express even to ourselves sometimes, in a manner that is safe.”

Art propels us to bring to light those moments and challenges which are too difficult to talk about. We may be stressed, and be scratched  and bruised internally; and at times we keep these wounds hidden…our little secrets. Allowing these feelings to surface would lift a massive spiritual burden. The world of imagery is limitless when searching for ways to communicate mixed and sensitive emotions; and expressing in creative ways begets well-being. Through the use of artful methods and interpretations, the road to healing is inescapable.

I have created a technique which has proven effective in mending the connection between our physical, intellectual and non-material selves. I call it the Art and Soul Work-Energy Healing through Art program, and here are some familiar forms of art, taken from this workshop, which serve us as therapeutic channels:

  • Visual Designs – Compositions or Imagery
    • Sketching, painting, sculpture, photography
  • Lyrical Vibrancy – Movement
    • Dance, yoga, wu-tao
  • Written Word – Inner Voice
    • Poetry, journaling, essays
  • Unity – Essence
    • Nature, breath, meditation, visualization, Mandalas

I am convinced that there is a little bit of an ‘artist’ in each of us. And I believe that we do not have to consider ourselves artistic in order to use vision and imagination when seeking a path to health. So, in keeping with the Art and Soul Work, I would like to offer a couple of tips which may help you get started on your way to healing. Keep in mind there is no right/no wrong way to go about this exercise. It is very personal and in time you will find your own comfort pattern.

  • Use visualization – close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Become aware of your physical and/or emotional condition (that which must be restored). Then imagine what this feeling would look like. If you do not see an image, then just give it a color, a shape or a word. Observe but stay detached; do not judge what you perceive. Breathe, open your eyes;
  • Journal – choose your favorite notebook (one you will keep for creating and healing). Draw the image (if there was one through visualizing) or the colors and shapes you sensed, and use them on your notebook. Journal about this sketch – you have just expressed an emotion or struggle you needed to bring outward. Be present with it, acknowledge and release it.

This two-step process is simple, yet very powerful, and will transmit awareness, relief and a freeing response. Get some art supplies, those which call to you most, a journal and some neat pens/pencils…and unearth the concealed treasure in you.

Remember that practicing art, in any format or modality, can be a way of entering into a meditative and reflective state, as much as it is an avenue to expression. It releases fears and may trigger a new outlook and direction of habits and behaviors. Additionally, as we enter this unique and original concept, and discover our innate and holistic medicine, we will:

  • Get to know ourselves under a different, truer light
  • Learn to pacify and soften emotional hurt and grief
  • Naturally access intuitive healing methods, and
  • Enter an unimaginable journey to wholeness

May you find your secret self through art and soul healing…

Ellie

 

A Personal Note:

Art has always been a part of my life, even in those instances long ago when I did not know I was artistic and creative.  I believe I was born to use all of my senses in whatever I choose to do. Art allows me to experience touch, vision, sound and even smell through my paintings. And dance encircles me inside a bubble of movement and delight.

Yes, I paint and dance because they are my passions, but I also discovered that these two personal approaches have at times healed me physically, emotionally and at the level of my soul.

I am so very grateful to Monique Catoggio and Summer of Well-Being for giving me the opportunity to share my insights with you…and these two paintings which had such immense healing force at two very painful events in my life…when I lost my parents. Thank You.

 

Ramona, 2003

 

Don Mario, 2005


Mary P
Ellie Kane, CPC, ELI-MP
Art and Soul Coach
Ellie Kane is a contemporary artist, inspirational writer, nature photographer and energy healer. She created her signature program, Art and Soul Work—Energy Healing Through Art, which combines her love of art and passion for healing as a tool for revelation and renewal. Ellie’s journey has been one of insight and discovery, and she believes that the creative process can be a transformative path for healing and self-expression.

 

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Light Bringer

June 4, 2012

I guess I love Astrology so much because I really believe in energy. In the push and pull of things. In the shifting of time, space and seasons. It’s all energy. We are energy. And guess what? Our thoughts, dreams and desires are energy too.

Where do they come from? Some would say they come from Source, and perhaps we all define Source differently. I’m cool with that. For me, no matter what you call it or how you define it, Source is energy which connects to us humans via our Soul.

You’ve got one of those, yes?

SIDE NOTE: This is my mind on a cup of hot mint tea. Can you imagine my mind on a glass of wine? (Laughing to myself!!) Watch out! LOL.

So what is your SOUL telling you? What’s the ESSENCE of your Soul, and how are you maximizing that ESSENCE that is uniquely YOU to create the life you desire?

As a coach I know that this is something people really want to understand, define, and ultimately, live by. Well, during certain energetic cycles, this ESSENCE becomes a little easier to tap. One of those times begins tomorrow.

BACK TO ASTROLOGY!

I subscribe to Maya White’s newsletter monthly to see what the planets are doing and what that may mean for us energetically and tangibly. According to Maya, on June 5th something very rare happens…Venus begins its transit across the Sun. During her transit, her energy is said to be one of connection to our soul essence…our purpose…our Dharma. So, why not take advantage of this energy to get EN POINTE  if we haven’t taken the time to so?

For those of you who may already be feeling this energy and wanting to get your groove on, it can be as simple as asking yourself:

  • Who am I when no one is looking?
  • What do my closest friends love and appreciate about me?
  • If I can define myself in one word, what would that be?
  • What do I love about myself?
  • What makes me smile and laugh?
  • Who am I today and who do I wish I could be tomorrow?
After answering these questions can you begin to capture your ESSENCE?
If your energy has shifted up and you catch yourself smiling and dreaming, you are on the right track!
Here are some more details about Venus to kick-start your inspiration this month:
  • Venus is the only planet named after a female, the ancient Roman goddess of love & beauty.
  • Other attributes of Venus include, vanity, the arts, physical love, attraction, affection and validation!
  • Venus was once thought to be two different stars, the evening star and the morning star–that is, the ones that first appeared at sunset and sunrise.
  • Venus is known at the “light bringer” and is the brightest of all the planets and stars.
May you enjoy and benefit from the light, love, and inspiration of Venus and her magnetic energy!
PEACE, LOVE & DHARMA,
Monique

When I blogged last week about The Walk I mentioned that I was almost finished with the book, but I had no idea I would wrap it up within 24 hours. I guess my longing for a novel was stronger than I had imagined! Here’s both the funny and frustrating part– when I noticed (on my Kindle) that I’d read 99% of the book, I thought to myself, “That’s impossible, he hasn’t walked that far!”  Then, I came to the last page which read, “Coming April 2011, book 2 of The Walk series.” What??? That was the frustrating part. The funny part was when I shouted out loud, “I have to wait until April??” Yes, I had been suckered, and I wanted more!

I was looking forward to taking each and every step with Alan on his journey to Key West, but I guess I will have to wait a bit longer. So, for those of you who are used to my four posts per book, sorry, we’ll have to pick this one back up in April!

However, there is one thing I didn’t mention about Alan Christoffersen, and that was his journaling habit. It all began when his mother gave him his first diary for Christmas at the age of 8, a little over a month before she dies.  As he states once he reaches Key West (we do know he gets there!):

“After a few minutes, I go back and sit cross-legged in the sand next to my pack and do what I always do at the pivotal moments in my life: I take out a pen, open my diary, and begin to write. My writing habit began long ago– long before this diary, long before my walk. It made me feel important to have something in my life of such consequence that I needed to lock it up from the world. (It would be) a habit I would continue for the rest of my life.”

He tells us more:

“I started writing in my diary because my mother told me to. After her death, I continued because to stop would be to break a chain that connected me to her. Then, gradually, even that changed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the reason I wrote was always changing. As I grew older, I wrote as proof of my existence. I write, therefore I am.”

The Walk IS Alan’s diary.

It seems to me that Alan’s writing habit– his process of purging his soul on paper– prepared him for the moment when he could no longer keep his thoughts and feelings under lock and key, but take them out into the open, exposed, open for nature and the unknown to do with them what they wished. Alan’s walk is his ultimate release, his vulnerable soul’s trek toward transformation.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sandy Grason, author of Journalution. Sandy defines Journalution as:

  1. the act of revealing inner wisdom through writing
  2. the act of cleansing emotional blocks through writing
  3. journal writing to produce or further radical change from within
  4. a process for becoming free from confusion or doubt
  5. a process for discovering or shining in one’s passion and purpose
  6. a journey from one place to another (i.e., from where you are now to the life of your dreams).

Makes you want to grab a journal and write, huh? Who doesn’t want a little (or a lot!) of any of the above?

Not many of us will experience the kind of loss that the main character of The Walk does. And, not many of us will ever embark on a 3,600-mile trek on foot. But, we can certainly use his lifelong habit of journaling and his new way of life, walking, in small bits daily to help us live more lightly, creatively, and spiritfully (I may have just invented this word!).

I don’t journal daily, nor do I walk daily, but I have a feeling that if I were to do both daily, mindfully, I would more deeply and meaningfully tap into my inner wisdom, cleanse any blocks, produce radical change from within, become free from doubt or confusion, discover or shine in my passion and purpose, and journey from one place to another.

Blogging certainly helps me achieve many of these.

How do you or can you use writing or walking to do your soul’s work?

Happy Trails…on paper or pavement. 🙂

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.