Creative Self-care Journey – the first session

Jane’s Journey, part 1 – Exploring One-to-One Creative Self-care

Jane came to me recently, wanting to engage in my one-to-one 3 month creative self-care journey

Jane was open to trying something new for her own self-care. She saw herself as a carer and spent much of her time caring and fixing problems that needed to be solved. 

Making space to reflect and explore: 1-to-1 self care sessions

She wondered what it would be like to engage in a process that wasn’t about ‘solving’ a particular problem but creating a space that allowed her to be reflective; to reflect on where she was at with her caring role and to tune into her own sense of wellbeing. 

My 3 month ‘deep dive’, with three 1.5 hour creative self-care sessions over the 3 months, allows for plenty of time and space for creativity and contemplation. 

So together we went on a bit of an adventure, opening ourselves up the creative process and seeing what it might bring.

The first 1-to-1 self care session 

As with all clients, I asked Jane to bring an object with her to her first session. 

This object would reflect her intention for the journey and provide her with an anchor as she travelled through her own creative discoveries. In addition, I ask that people bring some basic art materials, pencils or pens, highlighter pens or markers. Any simple paper or notepad will do. 

The session started with a general discussion about the object she brought. Jane had a favourite small wood carving that was the shape of a mushroom. She really liked the mushroom for its simplicity. It wasn’t an object that had a ‘purpose’, but rather one that she chose for its beauty and feel good vibe. 

Jane’s intention for the first session was to open herself up to her own creativity, something she had never explored. So we gently opened the creative door and began to look inside.

Grounding through meditation and visualisation

We did a meditation together to ground Jane in the here and now. We paid particular attention to Jane’s breath, her living presence, and her feet grounded on the earth. 

As part of a visualisation exercise, I asked her to imagine that she was the mushroom, deeply rooted in an underground network of connections, with a strong body and an exposed head. I then asked Jane to move into drawing, drawing the mushroom within a setting, drawing the mushroom as she saw it. We spent around 20 minutes on this.

As Jane finished her drawing, I asked her to describe the mushroom that she saw. Yet, rather than talk about the mushroom, I asked her to describe the picture from the perspective of “I”. This allowed Jane to take some ownership of her mushroom and the scene she had drawn. 

She was surprised at her image and said “I could never have imagined that I would be drawing this today”. One of things I love about creativity is that it is full of surprises for the creator. 

She described in detail the mushroom’s place on the forest floor, its connection to the light and the dark, the interconnectivity with other mushrooms around it, and how supported and safe the mushroom felt. Jane was able to connect into those parts of herself that felt supported and nourished.

Jane was brought back to the simplicity of life. The mushroom represented something at ground level, and showed once you got down to that level there was a lot of detail and beauty. 

She recognised that, for now, it was not about the great oaks or big deals. It was about something more grounded and simple. To finish, I asked her to place the image somewhere in the house where she would see it. 

When a self-care session ends – what comes next?

Often we feel the need to ‘do’ something about the thoughts or emotions that come up for our attention. Yet, often, with the creative process, it is about letting the image come to you.

Let the image ‘do’ its thing. Our work is to notice, to pay attention, to watch how the image speaks to us in the days and weeks after an image is made. There is an ‘active’ passivity: noticing what thoughts, feelings, conversations, situations and environments we find ourselves in. 

Watching and noticing what the image stirs within and how we move out into the world with this new knowing.

Vivid dreams and voices waiting to speak – follow the next part of Jane’s journey HERE

For more information on my one to one programmes, read HERE.