|"Renewal" Winter 2012|
Mixed media collage
Earlier today, I felt much gratitude and felt deeply honored to be part of a healing art exhibit at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula's (aka CHOMP's) Cancer Survivor Celebration, an educational and celebratory event with a cooking demonstration, lunch, informative booths, a "hands for hope" mural of survivor hand prints, a healing arts group project (creating joyful flowers with pastels and bird seed!) and a wonderful opportunity to connect with our local community. It seems fitting at the end of today to begin to share more about my healing arts exploration.
As I was emerging from my health detour and starting to feel better physically, I was perplexed as to why I was suddenly feeling so emotionally raw. “I should be celebrating my improvement, and indeed I am, but why do I feel like crying at the same time?” I joked that perhaps my severe anemia had dulled my emotions! In reality, although they weren’t dulled, those emotions had been suppressed during my battle as I intently focused what little energy I had on traveling a positive path. That suppressed fear, an unsettledness and the dawning realization of having averted the unthinkable were rising to the surface and creating unexpected post-traumatic stress.
The monthly day long retreat welcomes anyone who feels the need for healing of any sort, regardless of their situation and gently balances creative directives with the freedom to explore a variety of art mediums. The atmosphere is comfortable, quiet, respectful, empathetic, caring and supportive, and the artwork, stories and thoughts shared are truly heartfelt and inspiring.
By sharing this personal work, my intent is to let others know about the powerfully therapeutic qualities of healing arts. If a particular piece happens to resonate with you, my humble hope is that perhaps it will provide you with your own moment of reflection and insight.