All Courses Forums Course Discussion Forums Grief and the Healing Arts Week II Discussion: Trying Art on for Size

4 replies, 3 voices Last updated by Gail Henson 2 years, 7 months ago
Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #4579

      Gail Henson
      Moderator
      @GailHenson

      Hello everyone,

      This week I met with a person whose 95-year old mother is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.  My friend has had several years of grief as she becomes aware of her mother’s disease, tries to honor her, yet make difficult decisions about moving her out of a house, then to a series of living arrangements.  Now her mother is close to death.  My friend is an artist and paints in watercolors.  She herself is very agitated and stressed with caregiving duties and making burial arrangements in another state.  I shared with her what we are doing, and she was very forthcoming that painting is the way she meditates.  It brings her deep concentration and a way to put together the jigsaw puzzle of her ongoing grief.

      As we have moved into the second week of our topic, we are focusing on the visual arts as tools for grief work.  The second lesson has a series of experiences that can be used in a grief group or in individual counseling or encounters.

      As you look through them and even try one or more, do you find that one might be useful in your practice?

      Faithfully,

      Gail

    • #4623

      I appreciate the brief grief questionnaire (say that three times).  Almost wish I could memorize them–especially Drs. Shear and Essock’s for when I encounter a patient/family member grieving.    I just listened to a fiction book where one of the characters was portrayed as grieving the loss of her husband and appeared to be stuck–the loss interfering with life and appeared to be unable to even be in the home that she shared with her husband and family.  She also was portrayed as unable to make connection with friends.  I realize this was probably a characterization, but it certainly portrayed several of the questions on the grief questionnaire.

      As I move from location to location, I guess I wonder about carrying around sand or art supplies.  But as I read I could see asking the patient/family–What color do you see or feel in your grief?  Or is there an image of something in nature that reminds you of your loved one?

      I have a packet of paper mandalas and labyrinths that I share with patients sometimes.  I suggest the mandalas as prayer tools as suggested in Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth but I can see suggesting a griever write a quality or experience about their loved one in the mandala.  I could also suggest the paper labyrinths for a person in grief.

      Hmmmm…ideas are flowing.  Thank you!

    • #4624

      What about a labyrinth app?

      I just googled
      https://www.iclarified.com/7023/first-meditation-labyrinth-app

      https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/labyrinth-walk/id321781256?mt=8

      https://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Software-Development-Finger-Labyrinth/dp/B00HNZHA4O

      haven’t downloaded them, but looks interesting.

    • #4626

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Hey folks,

      As you discovered, our website was down for a few days. Hope everything is working well now. I have asked Jason to post week three’s assignment and resources. Hope that will be up by tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.

      After reading week two’s assignments, I went out and bought a sketchbook and coloured pencils and I have been using the exercises to process my grief about selling our house that has been home for 36 years and growing older and the natural losses that go with that.

      The other thing I have been using art to process is my keeping myself extremely busy at age 71 to avoid some of the prior losses.

      While I have not had a profound experience of release, I must say the artwork has helped me identify some areas that need to be released.

      I haven’t tried using the art in my spiritual care of others but I have been more tunned to the art expressions around the hospital and in our church and in my home.  If one takes a few minutes to look and be aware of emotions it is amazing what comes up.

      Rick

    • #4636

      Gail Henson
      Moderator
      @GailHenson

      <p style=”background: white; vertical-align: baseline; margin: 0in 0in .25in 0in;”><span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: ‘Calibri’,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: #737373;”>Hi,</span></p>
      <p style=”background: white; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px; margin: 0in 0in .25in 0in;”><span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: ‘Calibri’,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: #737373;”>I love the idea of the labyrinth app.  Thank you for sharing the many ideas, Karen.  You mentioned mandalas.  Thank you for sharing that.  Rick, as you mentioned the transitions you’re experiencing, some of these ideas may provide ways of meditation and focus.  Who knows what works, whether with ourselves or our clients.</span></p>
      <p style=”background: white; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px; margin: 0in 0in .25in 0in;”><span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: ‘Calibri’,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: #737373;”>I have used mandalas in with cancer patients during workshops.  Whether one uses mandala coloring pages or books or creates one independently, mandalas can be powerful tools and practices for healing and meditation.</span></p>
      <p style=”margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; orphans: 2; widows: 2; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;”><span style=”color: #737373; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt;”>I’d like to share the following from a  site ( </span></span><span style=”color: #0bc63d; border: none windowtext 1.0pt; mso-border-alt: none windowtext 0in; padding: 0in; text-decoration: none; text-underline: none;”>https://coloring.club/how-coloring-mandalas-can-be-used-as-a-spiritual-practice/</span&gt;<span style=”color: #737373; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt;”> ) that described the power of mandalas in the following ways.  </span><span style=”font-size: 14.6667px;”>The</span><span style=”font-size: 11pt;”> power of the mandalas has much to do with the circular </span><span style=”font-size: 14.6667px;”>design</span><span style=”font-size: 11pt;”> of them.  Circles are believed to help people focus inward.  They are symbols of wholeness, connection, unity, harmony, and continuity.  Circles are reflective of the circle of life.  Circles are flowing and calming in design.  From the center of a circle comes infinite opportunities.  The layers and circles of a mandala may represent different things, such as wisdom, death, and nature.  The circles remind and reinforce that we have unlimited potential.  Coloring a mandala may be used as part of a spiritual practice because doing so can evoke a sense of calm and meditative state, expand creativity, increase self-awareness, balance mind, body, and spirit; enhance focus and concentration; reduce stress and anxiety; and evoke a sense of calm and meditative state.   Designs for mandalas–religious and non-religious–abound.  Here is one site to play with: </span></span>https://www.justcolor.net/relaxation/ </p>
      Maybe we should each color a page and tell about it….!

      Until later.

      Gail

       

       

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.