The Creative Self-care Journey – the final session

Jane’s Journey Part 3 – Exploring One-to-One Creative Self-care

Jane recently undertook my one-to-one 3 month creative self-care journey.

In her first session, she opened herself to creativity and grounded herself where she felt supported. Read HERE. In her second, she explored opening and giving voice to new possibilities. Read HERE.

Exploring creativity: 1-to-1 self care sessions

Jane returned for her third and final session having the image from the 2nd session in her thoughts a lot over the past few weeks.

She spoke about her desire to return to the image as she had thought about the single flower she had started with several weeks before. She wondered why she had not simply left this flower alone on the page. Why had she filled in the whole page with so many other flowers? A discussion about this took a good proportion of the session that followed. And in the enquiry, came an element of understanding not yet brought into her conscious awareness.

She had considered creating another image during the weeks that followed our session, one with just a single flower. Yet, she never did.

Her thoughts were filled with the practicalities of how this could be done. How would it stand on its own? How could the flower be made a shade of white? How would it be shaded? The complexity of drawing a single flower on the page dissuaded her from following through. Perhaps the potential imperfection of the flower could ‘hide’ if surrounded by other flowers. As she spoke, I listened closely.

Listening and exploring in creative self-care

Listening in an individual session is an active and engaged process. Yes, you are listening to the words, to the movement of the face and body. Yet, you are also listening to what isn’t being said. You are listening to the spaces between the words, what the silences are saying, what sensations and feelings are arising in the body.

As Jane tried to ‘figure out’ how to draw a single flower, some of her words really began to stand out. Often we create an image that we think is about this or that. Yet, often, we draw an aspect of our world, our inner world or part of our outer reality. I could really see Jane talking about the flower as if it was part of her, perhaps an aspect she wasn’t fully aware of.

I suggested to Jane that in all the practicalities of her conversation, what stood out was her concern that the flower would not be able to stand alone, and perhaps a part of her might be unable to stand alone.

When an aspect of the truth is spoken, a silence descends. It is like time stands still and what has been spoken, what has been moved from the inner world out into the open spaces around us, takes on a greater gravitas. The tears welled up in Jane’s eyes as something in what I said struck a chord. We sat. We allowed our world to shift slightly with this new revelation.

Often an image presents us with something that is meant for us. A new understanding, a new realisation. It’s what makes the process of creativity so magical. We spent some time, we spent some words, exploring this a little.

Yet, in some ways, it didn’t feel the right time to dig any deeper. I offered Jane the opportunity to create the image she had spoken about, yet she declined. The potential of the image seemed to be enough for now, and perhaps, in time, she would come back to the art materials and draw this flower for herself.

As a way of closing our time together, I asked Jane if she would like to do a meditation and visualisation exercise. I often create a specific meditation or visualisation that is adapted to where people find themselves at any given time. As a way of closing up our work together, I suggested that Jane walk along the coastline and come across a gift that would guide her going forward. Jane had found a smooth rock on her walk and drew a simple rock placed on a sandy beach. So what did this rock represent?

For Jane, the rock symbolised in some way her journey over the last 3 months, and also her desires going forward. There was something solid about the rock, comforting in some way.

Yet there was also an ordinariness. Its smooth surface fitted perfectly in her hand as she felt its cool weight. Jane expressed how it wasn’t always about the big realisations, the mammoth ordeals or the great explorations.

Continuing the self care cycle

Sometimes it is simply about carving out space to try something new. Opening yourself up to more possibilities by playing with something that was unfamiliar. It wasn’t always about resolving, yet could be about seeing situations from different perspectives. And in this, a growing awareness of herself and her way of being in this world.

There was a sense of satisfaction as we began to close our time together. I offered Jane a way to complete the cycle in some way, a way of closing the circle. Jane reflected that she did not want to necessarily complete this cycle. For her, this was an opening, this was a beginning.

She wanted to continue her creative journey in some way, and wanted to see how it would emerge. I also looked forward to seeing what would come out of our time together.

Jane’s journey is over but, as always, my time with her opened me up to another perspective of self care. I’ll share my thoughts in my next blog.

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