M A K I N G O U R M E D I C I N E: Exploring Intentional Creative Self-Expression as Treatment
What if art could be actual medicine?
With this experimental program I'm posing the idea that intentional creative self-expression could be used as an actual modality for treating illness, imbalance, or disease.
MAKING OUR MEDICINE is a radical creative healing experiment. I've extended this invite to a small group of trusted visual artists whom I've worked with before. The program is open to 8 participants (plus me). I'm holding space in this program for 9 of us to work side-by-side during a 30-plus day experiment in order to explore the possibility of intentional creative self-expression as a healing tool.
Whereas art therapy often focuses on emotional and psychological healing, in this program we are dealing with healing or curing the physical body. It is my belief that once an imbalance, illness, or disease lodges itself in the physical body it may have many aspects that "hold it in place," so to speak. These aspects may include our belief systems, energetic body, lifestyle and diet, environmental factors, past lives, chemical balance, soul and spirit, psychology, family harmony/disharmony, blocked or stuck emotions, genetic predisposition, past trauma, ancestral influence, and more. During the process of doing this experiment any or all of those underlying factors may play a role.
You know how Louise Hay mapped the emotional origin of illness in the body? This is, perhaps, a little bit like that. I'm thinking of us as creative healing cartographers who will set out together to determine, first and foremost, whether or not intentional creative self-expression can relieve physical symptoms of illness and, ultimately, heal or cure the underlying condition.
Perhaps, through this work together, we will forge the beginnings of a mapping system that could be a template for other people who want to use art as medicine. It's a radical thought, but perhaps we will uncover how red or black relieves the symptoms of arthritis. Perhaps we'll learn that squiggly lines can impact our breathing rhythms. More than likely we'll learn that healing and curing are highly individualized and there is no one right way for all.
That is, if we do indeed learn that art can even be medicine. It's an experiment after all! <wink>
In this program your creative self-expression will act as your doctor. You will determine how often you "make your medicine" be it twice daily or 3 times per week. (I recommend 3x per week as a minimum). You might notice that I use both "heal" and "cure" as separate concepts. I believe that you can heal the origin of an illness without curing the physical illness, and vice versa, and for that reason I make the distinction. The decision to cure, heal, or do both is up to you.
There will be a 5 STEP MEDICINE MAKING PROCESS in this program:
STEP ONE: INTENTION. Every time we sit down to make our medicine we will set our intention to cure or heal either the symptoms or the source of the illness, disease, or sickness we are working with.
STEP TWO: CREATION: Using visual art materials - or not! - we will do our best to make our medicine by channeling whatever wants to come through to us. We might start with pastel, then realize there is a song bubbling up. Or we may feel moved to dance in a frenzied fashion. The medicine will be creative self-expression, but it may show up in unexpected ways. We aim to be open to that.
STEP THREE: INQUIRY. Once our medicine is made we will undergo an inquiry process to determine the purpose or nature of the medicine coming through. Why black? Why song? Why spirals? This inquiry process will be the place where our creative self-expression reveals its wisdom to us.
STEP FOUR: TRACKING. During the subsequent hours or days we will listen and feel in order track the effect our medicine has on our bodies or on our imbalance, illness, or disease. We will make note of anything that comes up, anything that shifts in our mind, hearts, souls, bodies and spirit that we intuitively believe to be connected to the process.
STEP FIVE: SHARING. The final step for each medicine making session will be to share the results of the process with our secret Facebook group via written text or video diary. (The frequency of medicine making is up to each participant. I recommend that all participants make their medicine at least 3 times per week. Some may feel called to do it 3 times per day.)
Should you be interested in joining me, here is the criteria for participants:
* That our aim for healing and curing is an act of love, not a reaction to fear.
* That we have a current, acute condition or ongoing condition that expresses with physical symptoms, which we'd like to cure and/or heal.
* That we have a willingness to be open to the Unknown.
* That each of us is primarily a visual artist, but remain open to working in other mediums should the medicine making direct you to them.
* That we have an outside resource person(s) who is in close physical proximity to us who can assist us should the need arise. I am not a medical doctor, make no claims to be one, and I'd like for everyone to have someone available to them should they need physical or psychological support.
* That we are open to any results, from success to failure, knowing that this program offers no guarantee for healing, curing, or symptom relief.
* That we have the time to do it and can commit to the 30 days + write up + 2 follow up visits over the course of the following month. (See below for more details on that.)
* That we are able to let go of the aesthetics of our creative work during this process.
* That we are able to feel safe in our private group, and can help create and promote that feeling of safety for the rest.
* That we understand difficult, dark, or messy emotions may arise during the process, and that we feel strong and well enough to be present to them.
* That we are willing, able, and committed to producing a "Conclusion Document" detailing our experience and findings after the 30 days is complete.
What conditions can I focus on curing or healing?
That's up to each participant. Anything from cancer to chronic nose bleeds. However, if you pick something “big” like cancer, you need the belief to match it. Since belief plays such a vital role in the healing and curing process, you'll want to make sure that your beliefs line up with possibility.
The bulk of the program will run for 30 days, from April 16th through May 15th. The week after the 11th we will work separately to produce our "Conclusion Document" so that I may compile our results. Note: these results may be shared with people outside of the program and will not include identifying factors. We will also have two "follow up visits" to check in with each other and see how the work continues to unfold. I envision visits happening on pre-determined check-in dates approximately 2 and 4 weeks after our 30 days conclude.
Cost of the program is $145.
It is open to 8 people. First come, first serve.
To register, email me at allcreativelike at gmail dot com and I will send you a PayPal invoice.
Other questions? Please email me at allcreativelike at gmail dot com and I will answer as best as I can!
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor and I give no medical advice. This program makes no guarantees of curing, healing, or relieving any illnesses or symptoms associated with those illnesses. As program leader, I am not providing health care, medical or nutritional therapy services, or attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental or emotional issue, disease or condition.