Thursday, December 16, 2010

Therapeutic Thursday: Talking about the "RE" Factor

“The most fundamental skill of the creative person is the ability to constantly re-vision the world. Everything is subject to reconstruction and renewal. The “re” factor is the basis of resurrecting, reshaping, regenerating, reviving, and rejuvenating. Create persons live in a state of constant search and exploration.”  
- shaun mcniff Trust the Process 1998

Looking at the world through a creative len, means having the ability to make new meanings of old truths, feel new emotions about known situations or familiar people, and sense new movements where there was stagnation. Re-framing can be the key to help us move away from habitual action into fresh forward movement.
When we act in our lives, we have multiple choices of how that action will take metal, emotional and physical shape. To keep action fresh, new, creative, and free the re-factor allows us to re-vision, re-flect, and re-shape action.
When I am working to increase client’s re-siliency, part of the work is re-framing. It involves re-visiting memories that may be stuck in deficit mode or focused only on what the client didn’t do, say or feel. A re-visit or re-vision of those memories often re-veals an overlooked strength or re-source that helped my client re-sist or even survive. Part of the work of trauma re-covery is learning to be able to be with all of us, all of our life experiences and re-frame the trauma into an experience that can now enrich and add wisdom to the clients life instead of blocking or re-ducing the clients life force.
As we increase our capability to be with our whole life experience, we often need to re-invent our self concept. Trauma or past losses may have re-duced our ability to see ourselves as strong, re-sourceful and intelligent beings. We often need to re-member the parts of our life experiences where we felt successful, passionate, and strong. When we go through a healing process we can play with what the re-connection looks like. As an artist, I am aware that creative practice means the ability to see from many different perceptives, and I have the ability to change that perceptive into something new and exciting. There is no true way to view or create something just as there is no one true way to re-member or re-create yourself.
An example from my own life was my inability to read in early grades at school. I was dyslectic and it was not diagnosed nor did anyone help me with my struggles. This condition resulted in lifelong feelings of shame and failure. As a child I had very little self-esteem and often did not talk. When working in re-frame, often the problem or experience that disturbs you that most may have the most creative energy locked in it. I had to learn on my own to de-code words, learn to pronounce them and read them. This obstacle helped me develop incredible life skills. When I mentally and emotionally re-visit this time in my life, I feel overwhelming sorrow for what I experienced and also wonder at the creative, inventive, and ingenious way that I lived through this time. Since I have re-framed it as a positive time of growth in my life, I now valve the creative skills I learned from having this disability, even though the memories of being shamed are also part of the story. When I used to remember this younger me, I only felt shame and sadness. Now I also am re-ceptive to feelings of compassion, acceptance and pride for my younger self. I am amazed that I could have lived through those years and re-sisted the temptation to let everyone’s option of me defeat me.
It makes me feel excited to look at other areas in my life that I re-sist change, or feel stuck. Instead of being locked in habitual ways of seeing, acting, feeling and thinking I can at any time entertain the practice and play of re-frame. As I become more flexible, I also become more re-silent. This is re-newal.
"RE" art therapy exercise:

Let yourself look at the following picture for 1 minute and then write down what you saw.

Take a deep breath, relax and think of the last time you felt successful in your life. Replay the memory really taking in the good feelings. Now look at the following picture  for 1 minute and then write down what you see. What was the re-frame or difference?

I Spy Christmas    By: Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo


The Creative Beast said...

Karen, I just read this amazing post and I love the theme of "RE" throughout!

It is a marvel how CREATIVITY is used to help us get through difficult times yet so many discount it's importance in Life. Thank you for writing this post - knowing about your story of dyslexia, I am in AWE of your storytelling skills at this blog =-)!!

BTW: I worked through the exercise and found that when looking at the same image AFTER the happy memory, the image seemed a bit darker than when I first looked at it - does that mean anything???!? ;)

young-eclectic-encounters said...

Wonderful wonderful post- I have worked for years at re-framing my thoughts and looking for the beauty around me. I now share that through my blog.
Johnina :^A


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