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Rodney Dawson

Rodney Dawson

I am a licensed and board certified professional counselor, and a board certified art therapist in Ann Arbor, MI, serving clients that seek therapy for a variety of reasons ranging from mental health needs, to purposes of personal growth and awareness. My work in the field started as a clinical psychologist in Turkey working with children, adolescents, and parents offering play therapy and psychoanalytic talk therapy. Read more

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Hello from Firefly Art Therapy,

I moved into my dream space on March 1st, 2015, and recently got to celebrate it with friends and colleagues during my open house.

More then one person asked me why I chose the symbology of the Firefly, so I thought that it would be a good place to start my blogging.

The goal of my blog is to give you a flavor of who I am, how I think, and work. I want to philosophize rather then write about theories, modalities and techniques. I look forward to hearing back from you. I will start with describing what is at the core of my work with clients and how these relate to the firefly.

  1. To normalize, make space, and allow the processing of pain.

    Be it anger, sadness, guilt or shame, all our emotions need from us is for us to give them breathing space.

    Emotions are cyclical in nature, and like a wave, have a cycle of building up, reaching a crest, and then decreasing in intensity to become part of the ocean of our psyches.

    What happens when we don’t allow this cycle to run its course is a lot like what happens with clouds. The way the gathering of innocent clouds can lead to a storm, unfelt emotions tend to intensify and hold the potential to erupt with a stronger release.

    There is an anonymous quote that goes “If there was never any darkness, we would never see the fireflies”. I see the pain and suffering that life brings each of us as the natural darkness that is part of the human experience. The challenge is how we meet it and navigate it, whether we resist it, project it, blame the world for it, or feel it, let it run its course, and flow with it, grow from it.

  2. To recognize and move away from unnecessary suffering.

    I learned about the difference between necessary and unnecessary suffering in my thirties while going for my masters at Naropa University. Mindfulness meditation was an integral part of our counselor training and involves the commitment to bring awareness to our thoughts and emotions and to differentiate them from the ‘Truth”.

    So much suffering can be avoided when we realize what our “Inner Critic” is saying is simply not true. Yet the challenge remains not buying into the counsel of this very creative, persistent and ruthless part of our minds.

    So, I am a big fan of teaching mindfulness, not sitting meditation, but mindfulness principles as they apply to every moment of our lives that have to do with perspective and awareness. I am passionate about this because it gives us a lot of control. Not over what life brings our way, but around how we react to it. The Firefly is symbolic of inspiration (a light bulb going on in our minds) as well as guidance and hope (the light that shines onto the darkness and shows the way out). Mindfulness and learning about our resources offer us all these and more.

  3. To allow the expression of our authentic selves.

    This is something that happens over time. I think it has much to do with trust, respect and inviting authentic expression over and over. The firefly is a symbol of the illumination of the Spirit Self. If there is one thing I am committed to above all else, it is that I want to know your True Self, with all its parts; the good, the bad and the ugly.

    I can best explain this through a paragraph from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s “The Invitation”:

    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

    I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream meeting your heart’s longing…

    It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

    I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away…

    If you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments…

    And if you are not there yet, at peace with yourself and the world, then there is a lot we can do to work towards it. What I know is that it is possible to get here. And because everything is cyclical, you and I will lose it again and again throughout a lifetime. And so, just like practicing mindfulness, we will set on the journey to regain it over and over. This seems to me a very meaningful pursuit indeed.

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This article was originally posted on The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal

Sibel Ozer is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified art therapist currently in private practice at The Parkway Center in Ann Arbor. Sibel contributed an essay on art therapy for our January through April 2014 issue, which you can read here.  

">Sibel Ozer is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified art therapist currently in private practice at The Parkway Center in Ann Arbor. Sibel contributed an essay on art therapy for our January through April 2014 issue, which you can read here.  

Sibel Ozer is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified art therapist currently in private practice at The Parkway Center in Ann Arbor. Sibel contributed an essay on art therapy for our January through April 2014 issue, which you can read here.  

By Sibel Ozer

In this first blog of the season, I will share with you three art therapy stories in hopes of giving you a sense of what may unfold in a session.

My Story 

I’m from Turkey originally. I came here when our oldest, who is now 15, was one-and-a-half. People will often ask me if I like it here, if it’s hard to be away from country and family. My answer is that it is a mixed bag. While I like a lot of things about this country, there are things I might never get used to — or enjoy. (You never know, though, since I actually enjoy oatmeal for breakfast now, and appreciate a good bloody Halloween costume.) I’ll always miss the food, the smells, my friendships, the language, the humor. . . 

You might think it overly sentimental, but there was a period in the early years where birthdays were especially difficult, even though I was in my 30s. I was enrolled in my masters in art therapy and leading a satisfied life of learning and parenting my two boys. I remember a particularly emotional birthday and a session with my Jungian therapist. I was missing home and that organic sense of belonging, being where I fit like a glove. I have never been a fan of sobbing, and since the emotions were threatening, had decided not to mention any of this to my therapist. We started our session with a sand tray inviting the images/symbols to arise from the unconscious and then moved into active visualization, which is a Jungian practice of inviting the image/symbol to become active in the mind — a type of awake dreaming.

“I was missing home and that organic sense of belonging, being where I fit like a glove.”

The problem with writing about transformative experiences is that words fall short in captivating the numinous, that sacredness of a moment, which, when described, could well appear quite ordinary. Long story long, I ended up finding myself surrounded by a family of seals and somehow could understand their language and was given a momentary experience of what my heart/soul most needed, which was that sense of belonging, that being a part of, which came with unconditional love and acceptance.
 
I don’t even have an affinity towards seals, like some other animals. This is another mystery of the therapeutic journey, how so often what ends up being healing is not something we could ever have thought up.

It is not always animals that come forward as healing agents, but they sure show up often in this kind of psychological work that engages the unconscious realm. I tried to capture the experience in a painting and whenever I should get anywhere near those feelings, all I have to do is look at it and the emotions will return for an embrace, and I will catch myself smiling.

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"Belonging" 2004

The Power of the Blank Page

Honestly speaking, after my experience with the seals, I have not had to deal with that level of vulnerability around the issue of belonging, which is why I am so excited about the work  I do and the potential to offer this type of transformation to my clients. This doesn't happen in every session of course, but I don't believe in deep, lasting change coming easily anyways; it is enough for me to know it is possible.

My second story of a powerful session is about a client in her late sixties who proved to me that it is never too late to overcome past trauma. She was emotionally neglected and abused by her family of origin, and then she married a man where the emotional abuse, though not as severe, continued in numerous disguised ways for over 30 years. She came to me for complicated grief, and before long, we were focused on her sense of self-worth. And now that she was free of those past relationships, she was able to experiment with achieving the things she wanted in life, as opposed to continuing to cater to others’ wishes in order to prevent real or imagined abuse.

We worked together for three years doing a combination of Jungian art and sand tray therapy and EMDR, so I don’t want to give you the impression that her transformation happened overnight. There were a few memorable sessions, though, and this one remains with me because of its simplicity. And because I remember struggling with it in my role of art therapist. And of course because she spoke of it numerous times afterwards, its impact on her.

It was a simple session of water coloring. We had been working with pastels for a while, and she said she’d always wanted to try watercolors. It is not my primary medium, which always worries me a little; I think, What if she asks me about technique and my lack of expertise gets in the way of her getting what she needs? I suggested that she start with wetting the watercolor paper, which is one way to begin.

She chose a medium size brush, which would lead to the preparatory stage lasting longer than if she had chosen a larger one. I could have suggested she do that and she would have likely obliged, but thankfully, I respected her choice. She kept on wetting the page for a good while (5 to 10 minutes) before I checked in with her about beginning to add color. She replied that she was rather enjoying this process and wanted to continue.

There is a sense of something needing to happen in a session, a general assumption to complete a “cycle of experience,” which includes a beginning, middle, and end.

A regular therapy session is 60 minutes, and art therapy sessions, because of preparation and my personal style, often last for one-and-a-half hours. There is a sense of something needing to happen in a session, a general assumption to complete a “cycle of experience,” which includes a beginning, middle, and end. Some projects are long-term; others can be completed in a single session. So I was sitting across from my client with my regular “monkey mind” thinking of what her choices might mean, thinking what to mention out of the myriad things I was observing, worrying that time was clicking and there seemed not much to be happening.

Except, she had this lovely Mona Lisa smile that communicated a sense of utter contentment. This was verified when I checked in with her, so I continued to practice watching my thoughts, emotions, and impulses and holding them as opposed to sharing them.

She spent the entire session preparing the paper, which turned out to be more of taking a stand against needing to do what was expected.

I would have never thought at the time that this was precisely what she needed and that it ended up having a powerful impact. She spent the entire session preparing the paper, which turned out to be more of taking a stand against needing to do what was expected. She ended up doing what she wanted from moment to moment, leading to the entire moments of the session, and the result was a wonderful, bold blank page. We framed it and kept it in the office for a while as a reminder.

We are definitely a product/progress/accomplishment oriented society and most of our psyches are deeply craving the opposite as a result. The permission to enter and stay in the non-doing is often a gigantic challenge for most of us, let alone someone who has spent a lifetime doing what is expected of her, since it meant survival.

My Final Story 

When a client first comes in, I like to ask them what it is they would like to get out of a session, sometimes encouraging them to think beyond what they think is possible. A gentleman who was coming for grief counseling voiced his deep desire to know where his deceased partner was and that he was “doing okay.” Impossible, indeed . . . 

I offered to do a guided imagery, which we often conclude with a sketch/drawing of what comes up to capture what mattered. I start with inviting the client to imagine a space and then begin to explore the qualities of that space using our five senses. The mind often gets in the mix, rarely in a helpful way, so it is a practice of mindfulness, of returning over and over to what one is seeing (in the mind’s eye), hearing, smelling, sensing, and so on.

He ended up walking toward a green meadow where a tiger was waiting for him. He moved closer and realized that the wild animal wanted to play with him. He chose to engage, and ended up wrestling playfully, noticing along the way that the tiger did a lot of personal gestures that were unique to him and his partner.

Once again, it is hard to explain why wrestling with a tiger would give this client what his soul desired, yet this is precisely what happened. His deep concern/worry was replaced by a big smile; he thanked me profusely and said that both his questions were answered. How many grieving people hear the words that their loved one is in a better place, or that they might be needed by God, or that they are where they’re supposed to be, and how rare these words meet the needs of the wounded, grieving, missing psyche. 

“Expressive therapies are not magical tools or easy fixes, but ways that allow us to go about problem solving without relying on our brilliant minds alone.”

The world of images, symbols, and the unconscious is a source of healing that is potentially boundless. Expressive therapies (Some call Carl Jung the father) are not magical tools or easy fixes, but ways that allow us to go about problem solving without relying on our brilliant minds alone. There is a lot of suffering that is unavoidable and much that is unnecessary. I am grateful to know about these ways to help others and myself minimize the unnecessary and support them as they face the unavoidable.

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This article was originally posted on The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal

Frosty tree in Ann Arbor; photo by Sibel Ozer

Frosty tree in Ann Arbor; photo by Sibel Ozer

By Sibel Ozer

The arctic cold has taken a toll on many of us. The psyche desires to retreat with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other, preferably in front of a fireplace, all the while reality demands that we continue attending to our responsibilities and enter the cold over and over.

We didn't have enough participants for an art therapy group in January, so I ended up reminiscing about groups from the past.

Years ago I had the privilege to co-facilitate an art therapy group for refugees from around the world that were torture survivors. While some refugees come from camps with the U.N. status of "Refugee," others arrive, literally running for their lives, with no previous preparation, or papers, and have to face a grueling process to reach that status.

Their life is a gift no doubt, but the state of shock/trauma and depression continues, as communication with their loved ones are cut, and any picture of a secure and reunited future is far from a certainty.

A lot of thought is given to how a group is structured considering the unique needs of its participants. The refugees all spoke limited English, so creative expression would give them an additional outlet. The experience of trauma was both a common thread and a vulnerability, so the creation of safety within the group was our first priority.

We decided to start with the creation of Inside/Outside boxes as a way of getting to know each other, and to build safety, so that members would be able to share their stories. Participants were asked to represent their safe place inside the box the first week, and to decorate the outside with symbols and images that empowered them, that made them feel better, stronger, and more able to face adversity, the second week.

I’m sure we all have such moments, of previously stored data becoming a “Knowing” following a particular experience…

A member of the group, who had experienced heavy depression for months upon her arrival in the U.S., woke up one morning to see it snowing for the first time in her life. She was reminded of a story about God that she had theretofore not quite understood. I’m sure we all have such moments, of previously stored data becoming a “Knowing” following a particular experience… She created a box that was covered with white cotton on the inside and had images of snow covered landscapes on the outside, embellished with white sparkles.

She was able to explain, despite her limited English, how as she was watching the snow, she recalled words (origin unknown) that explained that God would take away our worries in the same way he would cover everything in white. As she was sharing the meaning of her box she said that that was precisely what happened for her. As she watched the snowflakes turn the world outside to white, a lightness came over her feeling state inside, and she felt her depression begin to lift for the first time.

One of the gifts of art therapy is that the art object that expresses the particular story continues to be a reminder of it and the feelings it held. In fact remembering that particular session enables me, maybe even you, to see the white outside, in a new light. Even if only for a moment…

In the following weeks we created dolls with a focus of what was left behind and what was gained, with dialogues addressing the dolls’ current needs and hopes.  I will never forget how the separation of the self from the doll had allowed one participant who had never shared her trauma experience to share it through the doll. Everyone knew that it was her story that was told, and everyone knew that it had to be told as the story of the doll so it could be tolerated. This is another gift of art therapy, the opportunity to address themes within the safety of a metaphor, through an object that holds that metaphor, without making the link to reality that would be overwhelming in that moment.

This is another gift of art therapy, the opportunity to address themes within the safety of a metaphor, through an object that holds that metaphor, without making the link to reality that would be overwhelming in that moment.

The group continued with creating lifeline pieces with a focus on giving meaning to the trauma experience through an evaluation of their changing roles and identities. The goal was to reach a sense of groundedness even as the refugees remained uprooted.

The creations of this group have stayed with me more then any other group I facilitated perhaps because of the potency of the stories. I think the power of what was communicated despite the limitations of language was a huge part of it. And the getting to be a witness to the limitlessness of human resilience… As humans we are capable to hurt one another to the point of destruction, and also to save one another from the brink of despair. Art adds to groups an added potential for finding the universality of our dilemmas, not only to learn and grow with one another, but to move into our altruistic nature.

Art adds to groups an added potential for finding the universality of our dilemmas, not only to learn and grow with one another, but to move into our altruistic nature.
 
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This article was originally posted on The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal

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By Sibel Ozer

In the art therapy stories I've shared thus far, I have explored various themes of change. The need/want for it, on the one hand, and the mechanism/process toward it, on the other.

Despite the numerous psychological intervention methods that claim/guarantee change and improvement, the mechanism of healing appears to remain somewhat of a mystery. There continues to exist a discrepancy between what therapists report as pertinent to therapy and what clients say helped them. I like how Sally Denham-Vaughan’s puts it: “Change seems to be a slippery, unpredictable, and somewhat feral beastie.”

...the mechanism of healing appears to remain somewhat of a mystery. There continues to exist a discrepancy between what therapists report as pertinent to therapy and what clients say helped them.

Gestalt therapy contributed “The Paradoxical Theory of Change” to psychology, which postulates that change happens: when we become more of who and what we are rather than attempting to move toward or try to become what we are not. So, Gestalt therapies encourage us to seek awareness, as opposed to change, based on the assumption that the former leads to the latter.

So what is one way art therapy helps increase our awareness through being more of who we are?

I wrote about the role of materials in my first article, how different materials call up different responses for each of us, based on their unique and varied qualities. Because I am committed to exploring and deepening my own personal awareness, I like to periodically look into the materials I happen to be using at that time. So, one way to increase our awareness is to be curious about what our hands are choosing. Of course, given we are allowing them to do the choosing.

Sometime around the beginning of this past fall, I started doing mosaics for the first time, and have yet to fully decipher what this material is doing for me at this time in my life.
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Sometime around the beginning of this past fall, I started doing mosaics for the first time, and have yet to fully decipher what this material is doing for me at this time in my life.

My primary medium is acrylics. I will have periods of exploration with different materials and keep on coming back to painting.

Sometime after I started working at hospice, I began getting interested in wood burning. Initially, I wasn't even thinking about it; it seemed to be merely a new and exciting discovery. It turns out there was more to it. When painting, I do a lot of layering which allows me to change colors and texture dramatically during the creation of a single piece. Sometimes I’ll photograph the stages of a painting that’ll reveal this process. It is lovely to see how a painting that was mainly blues and greens in the initial phases reaches completion only after I've let the colors of fire take over.

“It is lovely to see how a painting that was mainly blues and greens in the initial phases reaches completion only after I’ve let the colors of fire take over.”

With wood burning, the marks you make are much more permanent. The integrity of the material is changed forever upon application and you cannot just gesso over it and start over.

So the material my hands were choosing was allowing me to better process, reflect, hold, and help express the reality of working with death and dying on a daily basis.

Another time I got a burning desire to explore quilting. Again, initially, I wasn't thinking which material should I choose that’ll best express what I am currently dealing with, but I just followed this desire to work with the material of fabric. It was much later upon the reflection of how the materials could inform me about what was going on inside, that I saw a connection. We were in the process of moving from one state where we had lived for seven years. A big transition given our kids were older and would definitely be deeply impacted. I noticed that sewing is very grounding and is associated with preparing for the future, home, and nesting. One of my quilts had the flying geese and the other the log home design, again not chosen particularly consciously… The material of fabric and the process of sewing were offering a sense of stability in the midst of change that proved to be very balancing.

So what is it about mosaics that is attracting me at this time? Little broken pieces of different sizes and shapes coming together to create a unique whole / final image…

Last Thursday we went to the courthouse in Detroit for our citizenship ceremony. The presiding judge talked about how American culture had repeatedly been defined as a melting pot. Indeed there were people from all the corners of the world, from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East who stepped forward to receive their certificates. The Judge said that Jimmy Carter had a different metaphor to define the diversity that is a cornerstone of American culture. “We become not a melting pot, but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” Issues of identity, belonging, the review of hopes and dreams, and our individual journey has naturally been up for me recently. Mosaics turned out to be an excellent material to hold these explorations. The varied little pieces that don’t seem to look like anything (or make sense) initially eventually find their place in the overall picture and reveal their meaning…

The varied little pieces that don’t seem to look like anything (or make sense) initially eventually find their place in the overall picture and reveal their meaning…

What are the pieces that make up the mosaic of your life?

What materials are your hands going towards these days?

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This article was originally posted on The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal

I had ended my last blog with the question: What are your hands going towards these days?

So, I will start there today myself.

I have been continuing to create little mosaic pieces on my son’s broken Taekwondo boards. What stands out to me this time around, rather than the materials, are the forms that have been emerging . . . 

I was raised in an atheist family who values the pursuit of sciences and truth above all else, so the emergence of angels is . . . interesting.

While my skeptical/intellectual mind could be (I admit, is) a little doubtful, my art therapist self gets curious about and respects the images that show up.

On a side note, I want to let you in on my thought process of late, especially the nasty parts. But first, a few lines about a book . . . 

I have been reading M. A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul . In it, he talks about the distinction betweenThe Voice of The Mind  andThe Real Self:  the one who hears the voice.

I have been reading M. A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul. In it, he talks about the distinction betweenThe Voice of The Mind and The Real Self: the one who hears the voice.

It appears that the purpose of the voice is to make us feel comfortable through the narration it offers, providing a sense of control of sorts.

The downside, however, is that it talks incessantly and often critically.

Furthermore, more than half the time, we’re not only listening to it as The Voice,but also completely buying into all that it is saying, especially the self-criticism.

Singer also adds that our will is stronger than the habit of listening to that voice.

I think it not only requires an iron will, but constant reminders from our therapists, loved ones, or fellow meditators, not to buy into what the Inner Critic is saying.

What my inner voice has recently been wanting me to believe, is that I am not valuable since I am not generating nearly enough at this particular stage of my life.

No need to go into the roots of this line of thinking, which is ancestral. Suffice to say that it can very easily be rationalized and proved by my mind using valid arguments.

So before I know where it comes from, I am feeling low, lazy, and worthless . . . 

And my guess is I am not alone in entertaining a perspective that is off in where I put my self worth. It can be difficult for all of us to differentiate between the enduring things in life: loving and being loved, family, friendships, helping one another, integrity, etc., and the things that are passing: jobs, performance, generativity, the things we own . . .

Especially when the larger culture values the latter more.

All I have to do is listen to what it whispers: “Don’t lose sight of what truly matters and what is transient in life, your self worth resides in the things that endure.”

It is really such a waste of time for me not to be in a state of contentment most of the time, having abundance, health, and love from family and friends and work that feeds my soul. And still, despite all my knowledge and practice of mindfulness, the voice inside my head managed to pull me into my inner hell yet again.

And yet again, my art that comes not from my head, but from following my hands, saved me by bringing forth an angel. All I have to do is listen to what it whispers: “Don’t lose sight of what truly matters and what is transient in life, your self worth resides in the things that endure.”

What is your Guardian Angel whispering to you?

Are you listening to His/Her Voice or the Critical One?

 
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This article was originally posted on The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal.

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“Season’s Changes,” the process-painting group I've been offering through The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan, is going strong. As we increase our awareness of the context of our lives, we simultaneously attend to the changes inside of us. We stay with the same canvas for four weeks in a row and paint away without an attachment to creating “masterpieces” (or thoughts of, Is it good enoughPretty enough? Intact enough? etc.).

Painting in this way is a mindfulness practice more than anything else. Instead of sitting, we paint; instead of coming back to the breath, we come back to what our hands want to do from moment to moment. The nature of the mind doesn't change with the activity itself; we still get hijacked by thoughts of the past or future, or are influenced by critical inner voices, such as, It’s supposed to look like something by now, or What everyone else is doing is so much cooler, or I can’t really change it in the last week …

So we practice giving permission to the deeper needs of the psyche over the loud and domineering voices of our inner critic. In the end it is empowering and inspiring to practice within the safety of materials and community, where our choices don’t have serious life consequences.

So we practice giving permission to the deeper needs of the psyche over the loud and domineering voices of our inner critic.

I participate in order to model engagement with freedom. I am caught off guard when I find that the process actually benefits me even in my primarily facilitator role.

Let me backtrack a little and tell you what’s been on my plate.

I’d been getting ready to move into a larger and more art therapy friendly office for a while. The decision that it was time was half the hurdle. Next, came the search for the right place. This part turned out to be way longer and tedious than expected. I came across two dream places, as well as a whole bunch of more reasonable, decent enough alternatives. There were some outside factors too, which looking back, could be interpreted as mere luck, or the universe looking out for me. I found myself going back and forth between wanting to go for a dream (attitude of trust) or be responsible and reasonable (attitude of scarcity fueled by doubts and fears).

At the same time, in the art group, I was inviting going for what felt right, as opposed to giving in to our internal “shoulds.”

During the second week of the third art group I realized my previously layered and colorful canvas wanted to be covered in black.

Probably five minutes into this process my inner critic whispered, Look at all these pretty colors showing through the layers, you really should keep them, and Maybe you should consider how your choice is impacting group members; what if they think you are depressed, going all black, and begin to worry about you, or worse, the safety of the group, or even worse, your capacity to facilitate? ...

I shared my process with the group members as they shared their own engagement along the should/want continuum. The good news is that once you give permission to what wants to happen, a great sense of fulfillment follows.

It occurred to me that everything is birthed out of the dark; that it is out of the void that things begin to emerge. With that rephrase I was able to stay with the black as long as I needed.

What first appeared out of the void was a snake, an ancient symbol of transformation. The week after that, the face of Kuan Yin began to take form. She is the embodiment of compassion, an archetype of the therapist role. I experienced her image to be offering validation for my wants.

During the second week of the third art group I realized my previously layered and colorful canvas wanted to be covered in black.

So by the time the group came to an end, I had complete permission to go for the space that I most wanted instead of the possible other options that would have been less risky.

I have to mention that my husband’s support was essential.

I am not suggesting that the art process solely influenced this important decision, but it helped me not to lose sight of my deepest dream. I am now operating out of an amazing downtown basement space and couldn't be happier.

It is not easy to think big or to follow our heart’s deepest desires in the face of everyday realities and logical reasons against it. It is less a problem of being practical and logical, both of which are much needed ego functions. It is more about finding the right balance between them. Making sure we are listening to the voices of support, permission, and deservedness as much as the logical arguments.

When last did you listen to your heart’s deepest desires?

Even as you practice gratitude, do you believe you deserve more? better?

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