Monday, April 6, 2015

Lushness Of Possibility

The time I spend creating, contemplating and connecting with others during Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula’s monthly Healing Art retreats is most precious.  Regardless of a lengthy to do list or full calendar, I always try to reserve this time, to allow a few hours to become fully immersed in the intuitive flow of creating expressive art, to follow where it leads and find out what personal significance is revealed in the process.  I’ve been a regular participant in these retreats for over 3 years, and the experience has been tremendously beneficial to my healing and well-being as a lymphoma survivor, mentally, emotionally and physically, too.  I discovered, while receiving treatment, that focusing energy on creativity has a powerfully calming effect on the body.  My blood pressure is normally at lower levels, but it would often rise much higher at the beginning of treatments, then when I turned my attention to tracing and cutting images for notecards, collaging or painting, it would drop back down to a lower level.  Even now, I still bring along art supplies to occupy extra time in the waiting room when appointments are running late at the doctor’s office.  This creative activity helps ease any anxiety I may be experiencing as I wait for test results.  Tapping into creativity and art in all forms can be calming, uplifting, enlightening and healing for any of us!

During the past couple Healing Art retreats (prior to last Thursday’s most recent retreat), I encountered some unexpected and perplexing difficulty in flowing freely with creative energy.  I found myself frustrated and disheartened as my self-critic picked apart my creative process and the end result of the art itself.  My head was getting in the way of my heart!  When we follow our hearts and intuitively create, that’s when our inner wisdom can be heard and the “magic” of deep meaning and insight can occur.  These experiences always have the potential to be very profound and powerful.  Our heads can step in later to  contemplate how the resulting art feels and what it may be expressing.  My stated intention for last Thursday (we always share our intentions for the day with the entire group) was to “go wherever the flow was taking me.”  I welcomed last Thursday's intuitive wave, and riding it was very liberating.  Creating seemed effortless and indeed in the flow which led to meaningful insights and an overall sense of gaining more healing inner wisdom.  

For the first directive, we selected an image or two to incorporate into a mixed media piece.  I selected images of a circular window and dainty flowers which I collaged onto a background of soft pastel rubbings.  In my interpretation of this piece after it was completed, what surfaced were “blossoms” of opportunity visible through an "open window."  The following morning, I felt inspired to write this short poem to accompany this piece...


Through an open window,
I can see the lushness of possibility,

by Lisa Handley

There are, of course, two sides to possibility, the negative, worst case scenario and the positive, favorable outcome.  I've been focused over the past few years on the ongoing inner work of shifting my perspective, more often, to the positive "lushness of possibility."  In doing so, I've discovered that "open windows" always exist if we believe in them, take time to see them and open our hearts to what comes into view.  

When you immerse yourself in intuitive, creative flow, what "lushness of possibility" blooms for you?