Your art makes me feel human

On Monday, one of my patients after our session was looking at this shelf of a lot of my altered book projects and spontaneously said, “I love your art work because it makes me feel human and alive.” Then she made a comment of how looking at it reminds her she doesn’t have to be perfect and that being perfect is not what’s important…

As an artist and a human, I have to say that although I’ve heard people say similar things to what she said, what she said really sunk in and I thanked her for it because it was a very valuable gift. “I could die happy.” as they say. Hearing those words from her reminded me of what makes me want to make stuff all the time in the first place. It helps me stay and be alive and now I know that others feel how she does, and that she feels that way. It was worth a million times more than a big show on 23rd Street in Chelsea, which every artist wants, but really, this is it. To feel that your own idea of what makes your life meaningful and purposeful, not including family and friends, that it is really resonating with others in the best way possible, there is no other feeling like that.

In my recent post, I talked about being authentic, and her comments reminded me that my art is always real and authentic and comes from a very  “unstruck” place inside of me. At a recent chakra, yoga and art workshop the leader reminded us that the word for the heart chakra, “Anahata”, means “unstuck”, that we all have it there and that no matter what you have been through in life, there is a tiny or maybe big place inside you that is Anahata. I think my patient with her words quoted above saw that part in my art reflecting back to her her own humanity and Anahata…






The Fifth Chakra and its Connectionto Art Therapy

The Chakras are areas in the body, types of energy which can be in or out of balance. The word chakra means wheel and the chakras (fields of energy) can be visualized as wheels of energy within the different locations on the body. This is a photo of the fifth chakra card.image

I have some great circle chakra cards (even shape of card can remind you of a wheel or mandala), which I got a long time ago with a great book and CD: it also includes guided meditations.

At times, when patients notice there is stuck energy located in specific area or areas of the body, I utilize the chakra cards as further information on what is not in balance.

This is the Chakra for this week:
It’s the fifth of the seven chakras, located in the throat. It’s called Vissudha in Sanscrit. That word means purification. These chakra cards have categoriesin this order printed on the back of each card: name, location, purpose, issues, element, endocrine gland, color, sense, seed sound, vowel sound, identity, orientation, demon, rights, developmental stage and cosmic principle.

Endocrine glands are part of the endocrine system located throughout the body and secrete hormones into the blood stream. You can certainly find a lot more about them in the Internet. The thyroid gland located in the throat. It’s actually shaped like a butterfly. Webmd says it secretes several kinds of hormones and
“Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature.”

This fifth chakra is concerned with the right to self-expression and all that’s connected with it and one’s “creative identity”. So it encompasses the most important aspects of art therapy and to some extent, Amy kind of therapy: being heard, right to speak, speaking your truth, listening. So the sense is hearing.

The developmental stage, 7-12 years old is an interesting connection and a pointer for exploration with yourself and patients. Do you remember these years on your life? Were you validated and acknowledged especially for what you said or expressed through your creativity or was that ignored? At this time were you in a validating environment or an invalidating environment? We’re there secrets and lies you were aware of or found out about that were part of the family system at this time period?

Have you in your life experienced any physical imbalances or health challenges in your throat area and when was this?

At present do you feel heard and safe to express your truth in therapy and your life outside therapy? Are you afraid of speaking up in any arenas of your life? What does this fear remind you of or feel like in your body?

As you can see, the chakra system is useful in many ways for healing process.

Where did it originate?
This website
“Chakras are first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts of knowledge. Early text that provide the location of the chakras include: the Shri Jabala Darshana Upanishad, the Cudamini Upanishad, the Yoga-Shikka Upanishad and the Shandilya Upanishad. Hiroshi Motoyama in “Theories of the Chakras: Bridge to Higher Consciousness” discusses these text and that of 10th Century mystic Guru Goraknath who wrote in the Gorakshashatakam about awakening these energy centers through meditation.

According to Anodea Judith in her book “Wheels of Life”, these early Hindu writings come from an even older oral tradition of the Aryan culture. This Aryan culture was believed to have invaded India during the second century B.C.E. bringing with it its culture and beliefs.”

So the Chakra System has been around for centuries but continues to be a useful tool in the healing arts!