I apologize that I’m late in launching the April newsletter. After filming this month’s video, the juniper pollen overwhelmed me, and I quickly succumbed to allergic bronchitis. I’ve also been busy moving my riverfront office, with its fair share of logistical challenges, to a more functional, reliable, and spacious office on Aspen Drive. I’m sad to say good-bye to the river, but happy to offer more art-making space for clients to experience the wonders of art as medicine.
In alignment with the theme of renewal, this month we explore how unprocessed feelings and unexamined thoughts can get stuck in our bodies and minds, limiting our growth and constricting our sense of what is possible. Conversely, if we tune into our bodies and acknowledge our painful feelings and “stuck-ness,” we can more easily envision who we want to become during the next phase of our development. It’s as if our bodies and minds are like the earth’s soil that needs to be tilled, the rocks removed, to make way for new growth.
In this month’s video, I take you through a process of envisioning who you are becoming. As you go through the video, notice what comes up that you may need to let go of, clear yourself of, shift… Healing ourselves is always a process of becoming more self-aware, honoring our feelings, examining our limiting beliefs, and developing the skills we need to become happier, more whole, and more connected humans.
Happy Easter and Happy Spring!
Adriana’s “check in” drawing shows negative energy in her belly and her mind and shows her heart contracted and “squeezed” (image 1). After facing what was in her body, she visualized meeting her future “self” (image 2) and felt a sense of empowerment at imagining who she wants to become. Her final image shows her future self-merging with her present-day “self” (image 3). There are seeds in her right hand suggesting the potential for new growth when she is ready to plant them. After the visualization she felt grounded, present, powerful, and hopeful.
DRAWING IT OUT
“Approaching life from the inside-out has felt like shifting from a state of constant instability to being grounded in my truth and my inner vision. I have been able to know gratitude on the experiential level, not just the intellectual. This healing process has supported me in continually returning to the present moment to feel deeply connected to myself and life.”
Why is it important to visualize who we want to be?
“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild, but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fell therein and will continue to produce their kind.”
Some of the reasons why visualization helps us heal and become more of who we want to be:
1) The brain doesn’t differentiate between a real memory and an imagined one. As an imagined memory or picture of the future self takes hold, our physiology responds and can help shape our experience of what is possible.
2) Imagination is one of the quickest ways to relax. When we are relaxed, we can change our physiological state including blood pressure, immune response, pain threshold, and blood flow among many other biometric parameters.
3) Imagination helps skills develop faster – Many world class athletes include visualization as part of their training as it helps provide a template for sustained motivation.
4) Visualization programs our inner GPS as it communicates what to focus on to the mind. The object of our focus determines our perception of reality.
5) Visualization helps to override limiting beliefs and opens us to other possibilities.