Taking time out for creativity is a gift to ourselves

I am busy planning and preparing for my latest 6 week Women’s Wellbeing Groups here in Sydney. I love to run groups that go beyond a single workshop because it really feels like a journey – participants journey deeper into themselves, they journey into a shared space with trust and they journey in relation to their own creative expression: trusting that, enjoying that, seeking wisdom in that.

I think people are often surprised at just how connected they can become to their own art making and also each other within a few short hours each week.

I see this as a beautiful circle – when we make art we set down our defences and become a little bit more vulnerable. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable around others opens us up for connection with others. As we begin to connect with others in a safe and respectful setting we feel less alone and more comfortable expressing our feelings and experiences. As we feel more comfortable expressing our feelings and experiences we are willing to go deeper into the art making as a tool for expression and making meaning. And so it goes, deepening connection with our art making and with each other.

Safety is paramount for art therapy – not in terms of physical safety (although of course we offer that!) but emotional, interpersonal, psychological safety. To create a safe feeling space we need to offer some stability, some predictability and structure. Making sure we have clear ground rules, that we have some consistency of process, that people feel welcomed and seen, accepted without judgement is a big part of laying the foundations for the work we do.

People often find that in a well facilitated group they feel safer to try art making than they do at home. Less distractions likely plays a part in this, but it’s something more than that. It’s the safety of exploring new materials when we have a trusted guide. It’s the feeling of companionship when others are trying new things as well, working alongside us. It’s the guilt-free dedication of time (“I have to go…after all, I’ve committed to it” you might tell yourself).

It’s a gift to ourselves, to make time for creativity.

We give ourselves permission to emerge refreshed, challenged, changed.

We give ourselves the chance to experience whimsy, joy, surprise.

We give ourselves trust, that we can handle an unfamiliar situation, and hope, that we will benefit from it.

When we do this in group we also give ourselves companionship, honouring and connection.

And as women, to give to ourselves this time, for no other reason than the fact that we would like to experience it, is a wonderful, wild, investment in self care and kindness to our creative selves.

———————-

Interested in joining us?

Join us to relax, restore and reflect – take some time for your wellbeing. This 6 week women’s group meets weekly in face to face mode in Sydney and is DELICIOUS!

It has been described as like attending a mini retreat every week.

If ‘art’, ‘art therapy or even ‘creativity’ are words you have mixed feelings about – don’t worry, you are still welcome here:
– all processes are simple and suitable for beginners
– all art materials are provided
– the space is calm and beautiful, the discussion is frank and deep
– I will explain and demonstrate how to use any new materials that you might not be familiar with
– unlike an art class the focus is not on ‘pretty’ outcomes, but on raw, authentic expression – whatever you do will be the right thing for the moment and there is no competition or need for comparisons

We have a Friday morning option and a Wednesday evening option – book into whichever suits your schedule best.

‘Finally found a space that made me feel like I was truly doing something for myself. The art therapy group with Jade was inspiring, creative, liberating and nourishing. It was wonderful to share feelings and experiences with other women through art, and I enjoyed experimenting with every technique we used week after week.’ – Valentina

Book or more info 

2 thoughts on “Taking time out for creativity is a gift to ourselves

  1. This was lovely and wonderful entry Jade! The parts about safety and facilitated activity is something few others talk about and really hit deep for me. I wasn’t allowed to take art in school — only for art majors and in high school was a small cliquey group that the teachers nurtured to exclusion of others. Maybe you can do a blog about how to deal with negativity or making a “safe” place at home to create when those around you are not as encouraging and nurturing as your workshops? Sometimes even art classes are not safe! Right now I’m trying to get the courage to attend a fiber spinning (wool) group that meets at local coffee shop and then get lessons from a member…my head sez “yes” my heart from so many putdowns sez “not yet”…stalling. I’m sure many of your potential workshop participants may be stalling too — like me — because of historical backlash from friends or home family and even teachers! — most common — “what do you want to do art for if you aren’t an artist?” and the ubiquitous trio, “What good is that? How can you make money with that? Can you sell it?” That your workshops WELCOME outsiders to art and show how powerful doing art can be without exclusion or criticism is a key to appreciating the value of your amazing gift as art therapist —

    • Thank you so much Nona Makes for those encouraging comments and sharing your reflections. They resonated with me. I think a lot people have been turned off art because of unkind comments, competition or the idea that art making is *only* for exhibitions and becoming a professional artist. I agree that classes don’t always feel safe – I remember a hula dance class I attended a few years ago that I almost left in tears (remember this was hula hooping – surely meant to be fun!) because the teacher was so stern and critical. So I really understand that fear – being an adult learner in public puts us in an extremely vulnerable position. I hope you get to explore the fiber spinning group and find a kind and skilled teacher! PS yes, thank you – they are great potential blog post topics, I will definitely follow those up.

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