by Jeri Love
Words, pictures, and symbols connect us. We share this connection through story and art – as the teller, observer, and listener. When we’re able to consciously engage in the creative process in a safe and confidential environment that is free of correction and criticism and allowed to openly express emotions, thoughts, or painful challenges through writing and art, we open the pathway to healing and wellness.
The practice of using story and art as healing modalities has deep and diverse cultural roots. In many of those cultures, it was the healer who told the stories that portrayed sickness as a stage to pass through – a stage of growth in order to deepen one’s faith. From the healer’s perspective, illness, death, and grief were rites of passage not to be avoided or feared, but rather to be mined and treasured for transformative opportunities.
In the book Life Changes with the Energy of the Chakras, Ambika Wauters writes:
“Change has one purpose and that is to help us discover ourselves….These big transitions are meant to bring us closer to the light within ourselves, to the depths of our understanding, and to the place where healing can occur. There are no changes, no matter how severe or grotesque, which are not meant to strengthen us, enhance our love for ourselves, and hopefully open our hearts to the inner light…”
To the degree that we are ready and willing to embrace the process of change and become a witness for ourselves and others, we are able to forge the path to wellness, healing, and peace in our lives. We can pick up pen, pencil, or paintbrush to explore and filter through these changes to find purpose, meaning, and a sense of order.
We don’t have to already be writers or artists, or even aspire to become writers or artists to use these tools. We just need to open our minds to see ourselves, hear ourselves, and accept ourselves as we share our creative expressions, and become an impartial witness when others are willing to share their truth with us.
Jeri Love holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Non-Fiction, works as a workshop facilitator and Writing Coach, and has an Energy Medicine and Wellness Coaching practice – New Pathways to Healing (www.newpathwaystohealing.com) – in Lakeview.