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Why the Firefly?

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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.

Tagged in: Art Therapy

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


  • Emily Duhaime Monday, 17 August 2015

    Oh Sibel, how wonderful to read your words and hear about how you are putting it all together these days. I miss being closer and sharing about these sorts of things!!

  • Rod Friday, 17 July 2015

    I love this blog

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