I recently came across this collage while organizing my studio cupboards. I remember creating this image last year while participating in the Oracle Lab art therapy group. This group focuses on the art of intuition and I needed all the help I could get - I had just moved my entire practice to my studio, leaving behind many of the support systems that I had in place for my business.
I was scared during this time, but also really excited. I knew deep in my soul that this was the right move for me. I labelled this artwork “New Ground”. It depicts slowness, gentle movement, beauty, nature and rest. A new way of being in the world for me after years of busy-ness.
It feels serendipitous that this artwork came back to me now, as Alex and I are preparing to host our first therapeutic retreat this weekend. We are focusing on building self-trust, leaning into authenticity and intuition.
It is often really hard to describe in words the magnitude of change that can be achieved through therapeutic work. With different ways of seeing the world come different ways of being in the world. Alex and I were brainstorming how we could communicate these new ways of being to people interested in participating in our workshop.
All I could think of at the moment was Elizabeth Gilbert’s quote: “When I refer to creative living, I am speaking more broadly, talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear”.
This is what we are trying to do - inspire curiosity and let it be the guide. So often fear is the guiding force in our lives. As humans, we may criticize ourselves and use shame-based language to motivate ourselves. How often have I said to myself: “you’re so lazy” or "Why can't you just do this one simple thing?", when I haven’t done the dishes or finished a project? The fear of being perceived as not good enough is good inspiration to finish essential tasks, but it also erodes self-trust and compassion.
What if instead I offered myself gentleness and my own inner wisdom? What if I responded with curiosity instead of fear? Wondering: is “laziness” simply my body asking for a break? how might completing these tasks now be useful for my future self? how can I be kind to myself in this moment?
Looking back at my collage from 2022, I see the curiosity there. I see all of the things that I wanted for myself and have offered myself in the past few months. Swimming, new architecture, deep rest, solopreneurship, connection with nature.
I am honestly still scared about my adventure in business. This first year in my studio has been full of ups and downs, financial hurdles, holding boundaries, creating new space and hard conversations. Fear will always be there, but I try not to let it be the focus. Instead, I get curious about what fear might be trying to tell me and refocus with compassion as a guide.
As I welcome participants to the first ever retreat in my studio, this will be my guide. Curiosity and compassion will lead us to new ways of living. Introducing folks to a new way of life is an immense privilege and honour. One that I hope to keep sharing with you for the months and (maybe even years) to come.