Thursday, April 12, 2012

Art Therapy and Priorities



What are you priorities? In a busy life, priorities are what you make time for no matter what. Some things in life are not and never will be priorities like, ironing, having tidy drawers, keeping my files in order and grocery shopping. Some things are always priorities as making time to exercise, research, meditation and spend time with my family. When you are confused about saying yes to someone, ask yourself, “Is this a priority?” If not, saying no may be the best course of action. There is only so many hours in the day. If I am going to fill up that time, I want to fill it with priorities. That way I don’t feel over tired, stressed or that I am wasting my time.

Art Therapy Exercise and Priorities

Gather some art supplies and sit. Start by getting comfortable, feeling grounded in your chair and noticing your feet and legs. Take a minute to notice how your feet are feeling. Take some time to relax your feet and let them make contact with the floor. Notice the chair under your legs and buttocks and adjust yourself to get even more comfortable in your chair. Take a deep breath into your stomach. As you pause here, staying with your stomach, notice if you sense a colour, image or feeling here. Bring awareness to your back. Are you sitting in a way that is comfortable and supportive for your back? Now move to your chest. Can you breath freely? Is your chest open or closed? Now move your awareness to your hands and arms. Take time to sense into your hands, stretching the fingers. Bring awareness to your neck, head. Release any tension in your jaw and neck area. Do a body scan and observe what parts of you feel the most energized. Now notice what parts are holding any pain, stress or worry. Spend a few minutes working with helping the parts that are holding tension to become more relaxed and fluid. Now gently turn inward, sensing into your inner throat, chest and then resting in the belly area. As you stay Present and aware of yourself sitting in the chair, give yourself a gentle invitation to focus on what you feel to the priorities right now in your life. Take some time to notice where in your body you sense this the strongest, and sit with it for a few minutes. See if you can hear from its point of view, what this part of you has to tell you. You might write down or draw its response. Now while staying in presence, take your art materials and create on your paper what you just sensed in your body. Stay body centered as you continue to move your hand on the paper. Check back to your body to see if any fresh information is emerging. Now ask yourself what in your life right now takes up your time but really is not a priority. Ask yourself is this a priority and if not, ask yourself if you really want to continue giving that activity or job your precious time and energy? Take some time now on your paper exploring ways that you can remove these activities from your life. Who else could do them? Which jobs do you need to eliminate? Bring this exercise to a close by choosing one word to reflect how you are feeling in the present moment.

6 comments:

Ms. said...

Timely. I just quit a commitment that was driving me batty...and for days felt bad. Got sick, recovered and feel like I'm drifting. I will sit and do this exercise later this evening. Right now, I'm off to the store to lay in some needed supplies. Wish I lived closer to you, and could join a group for awhile!

asahi princess said...

great article.

Café Ciza said...

Karen, I find your posts always create such endless comfort in my mind ... have you done coaching in a classical (mentor) sense of it in addition to your art therapy? (just seems so natural in you!) We haven't chatted for a while, but if/when you are in Toronto (or if I ever head out your way), a session with you would be such a treat!

Elena said...

I'm with Ms. Perfect timing. You always have a way of soothing...I can only imagine what you're like in person. Hugs dear lady.

Karen Wallace said...

Such kind comments. Thank you all. Karen

Toll-Art Therapy said...

I just want to say what a fantastic blog you have that is quite informative and helpful to others. I'm really glad to stumble upon this site and be more connected to other forms of art therapy. Will certainly be bookmarking. Thanksyou. :-)

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Karen Wallace M.Ed. BCATR is an art therapist, artist, and art instructor living and working in Regina SK. Canada. She has a private practice with adults and children and specializes in depression, trauma, life transition and abuse work. She facilitates art therapy, creativity and art groups. She teaches internationally. She shows her mixed media art in galleries in Regina, Victoria B.C. and the Gulf Islands. Karen is known for her enthusiastic and dynamic teaching style. Her workshops are rich, playful and creative. Karen’s art work is a reflection of her art therapy work. She expresses her love of nature, her practice of Buddhism and her family in her art. Web site: www.islandnet.com/~kwallace