Welcome to my creative Resources page
Here you will find Prompts, Suggestions, Exercises and Quotes to help you explore as you create. You can enquire and get curious with your painting - AND...you may find these resources very helpful in everyday life, in your relationships and in your work either with colleagues or with clients/patients.
These are based on ways in which I have developed as a Human and Therapist. They are informed by Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Gestalt and Body Therapies to living and relating with others and very importantly, with Oneself.
I hope you enjoy using them.... You may prefer not to use them. Go with your Gut, in my opinion, it won't let you down.
You could randomly choose one, two or as many as you like from the following Resources to help you explore whichever stage of your painting you are working through. You may not feel the need to use any of the prompts... the choice is yours.
The section at the end (bottom) relates specifically to your overall experience as you have journeyed through this ecourse.
You may have a favourite pack of Oracle cards or Angel Cards that you often use for support and/or inspiration or motivation. I have four packs and have drawn two or three cards at each stage of my journey through this course. I haven't shared much about my Cards but just to let you know I used The Goddess Cards, Earth Cards and Tree Oracle Cards. You may wish to purchase some cards for inspirational purposes. You can find them in book stores and online.
There is no need to be concerned with forming sentences or using capital letters, paragraphs or punctuation. Just simply write...
Alternatively you could write a list of words, feelings or emotions that immediately pop into mind in relation to your painting.
You could sketch unconsciously (without thinking) in your journal. Just allow your sketch to emerge - you won't have any idea what it will look like until it appears. Alternatively you may have a strong impulse to sketch a particular 'thing', object/shape... or use particular colours... go with your impulses. There is no right or wrong to this process - just do it in whichever way feels right for you. Do your best not to censor yourself.
"It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship required."
If your (Background/Roots/Branches/Foliage) could speak to you, what might it say? Does the part you are currently creating remind you of anything or any one?
Try turning your canvas or picture around 90 degrees, turn it upside down. How do you feel about your painting upside down? Do you prefer it? There is no reason why you can't continue painting at a different angle. If you would like to but feel you "can't" get curious about that "can't". is this your inner critic at work?
Describe (the part of your painting that you are currently working on) literally and make a note of your comments in your journal.
Note anything from your Inner Critic (remarks, judgements, sarcasm, facial expressions such as eyes shooting skywards, or strong emotional responses 'I hate my Roots') jot it down in an accepting way, with an open and curious mind… do your best to remain focused on creating and not become too involved or distracted by your inner critic. A way of thinking about your Inner Critic is this; he or she is archaic, inflexible, brittle and quite ignorant. Your Inner Critic evolved as you were growing up. You were influenced strongly, powerfully by Parents, Teachers, Religion, Government swallowing down these "rules" unquestionably. They were the Rules, we must not rebel or we won't be loved and protected by those who taught us. Your Inner Critic leaps in to question you and herd you back to your family of origin, your beginnings, your Tribe, your Community as quickly as it can. You may notice him or her more so when you are stepping outside of old ways, considering new ways of Being, developing and growing. I remind myself my Inner Critic is young, small, brittle, has black and white thinking and cannot be swayed however, he or she is too young to know what is 'right' for me today, that is up to my Adult Self to decide what is 'right' for me now.
If anything occurs to you as you are creating, such as... 'I don't like my roots' 'my branches are too yellow...' or 'My roots make me feel safe,' just make a note of this information as it emerges, without judgement or getting involved.
You could thank your inner wisdom for the information that it is sharing with you.
Maybe you would like to sit for a while or make your favourite drink. Self Care is very important and when we are working - and this is 'work' we need to take care of our selves. Maybe sit in the garden and listen to the birdsong with a lovely herbal tea?
Personal Development Exercise:
Take three nice deep breaths and close your eyes when you are ready... For a moment picture yourself as you are today... If you would like to, just allow all the Roles you occupy in everyday life to just loosen up for a few minutes... let them drop to your feet only temporarily... you can pick them all back up in a minute if you wish... So maybe you are loosening up your Mother or Father Role, your Sibling Role, Your Employee Role, Your Daughter or Son Role, Your Caring Role...and now... see YOU as You are... The You that makes up the essence of who you are... Smile at yourself... Beckon yourself to come closer and Whisper one, two or more Hopes and Dreams that You have for yourself... and listen carefully to You because not many people really do listen very often...When you have listened carefully, pick up your Roles again and breathe deeply a few times... Tell yourself the day, date and notice the weather outside... and now write down in your journal those hopes and dreams that are truly Yours...
How do you feel when you look at your overall painting - or the part you are currently creating? Does your painting or Roots/Branches etc resonate with you somehow? If they do, how do you know this? Tune in for a moment to your body. Try to identify where this information is coming from... For example, do you have some bodily sensation / Felt Sense that demonstrates this to you? What kind of sensation or felt sense is this? Describe it as fully as you can... Give the sensation an apt, descriptive name or short sentence... Say it aloud... Try it on for size and see how it feels... Does the felt sense shift inside you in any way and if so, notice and follow that shift. Explore it in the same way we just did above.
Describe the kind of Tree/Roots/Branches/etc you have... Maybe they are a surprise to you? Describe them fully and literally out loud to yourself. One Tree painting I created a year or two ago revealed to me just how many 'Mother' figures I had had throughout my life time. This was revealed to me through the 'umbilical' type of roots that there were. I really enjoyed discovering and remembering how many beautiful Mother figures have influenced me over the last half century.
As you are journeying through your reflection of your Tree you could just slow everything right down. When you ask yourself a question, don't expect an immediate answer. It may happen that way, however, it may not... I invite you to be okay with whatever happens - to be patient with yourself and your process.
If an image occurs to you... no matter how random it seems, do your best to trust and accept it. You may wish to jot it down or sketch it in your journal. Get curious... imagine you have been handed a wrapped gift.. what is inside this gift (image) for you to see or learn about.
For a moment, imagine your Tree/roots/branches etc has a mouth and a voice… If they could speak, what might they say to you? How might you respond? Bring your ear in closer to your painting and really listen to what messages it gives to you.
Is it time to take a break, stretch.. walk about a little...breathe deeply or have a snack and drink. Don't forget how important Self Care is.
Maybe your most recent part of your Tree painting is a complete surprise to you? In what way is it a surprise?
You may wish to photograph your work so far. I take lots of images of my Trees as they emerge.
Quote - Martha Graham:
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening, that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is Unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It isn't your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly. To keep the channel open."
Consider for a moment... what are Your gifts? What is the expression of You that is Unique to you and that you can or do bring to the World? Make notes in your Journal.
How do you feel about your tree/branches/trunk/etc? How does your Tree so far impact you? Turn your attention inwardly to your bodily felt sense and notice what is happening inside of you... describe any sensations... perhaps you have a ripple in your tummy or a sensation of a balloon in your chest... it really could be any kind of sensation as it will be as unique as you are.. Acknowledge those sensations if they are present in a descriptive way...
Be a patient 'detective'... slow everything right down and just see if anything emerges from deep within you. Be accepting and curious... treat any information as a gift...Information can come in the form of images, memories, smells, tastes, bodily sensations, feelings and emotions...thoughts.
Once again try some Creative Writing and see what comes from that exercise. Set yourself a time limit in which to do this, perhaps 3 minutes and just free yourself up and let it flow.
Quote: Howard Thurman
"Don't ask what the World needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it,because what the World needs is people who have come alive,"
Consider this quote for a moment... What enlivens you? Write a few notes in your Journal. Here are a few things that enlivens me... The Moon, Sea, Waves crashing on rocks, Music (loud), Being held by my Beloved, Hearing the Birds singing at Dawn or late in the summer evenings, Smell of Lupins, Roses and Stargazer Lilies, Puppies, galloping on horseback along a stretch of sand, Painting!
Take your time and using all of the skills and prompts that we have been using so far, explore your foliages, blossoms, embellishments and/or creatures that have appeared on your branches. If there are any living creatures such as birds or butterflies, deer or any other creatures present, you could invite them to speak with you. Maybe they have a message for you? Listen carefully!
If you are at the Foliage stage and your branches remain bare, or very minimal, get interested in this. Is it winter? Is it winter in your life? What life stage are you in? Could you be in the menapause for example? If so, perhaps you have something to write about...
Do you have anything to say to your Tree? Note it down and let your tree know.
Overall Reflection of your journey...
Have you enjoyed being creative? Did you notice what happened for you as you became absorbed in your work? Did you feel relaxed? Calm? Or maybe you felt something else? Perhaps it disturbed you somehow? This is equally interesting and I would become curious and open to your responses as you reflect on your process.
You could write in your journal about the process you have been through. How did you feel as you drew, coloured, painted or glued on your tree? What was it like as more information filtered through as you pieced it all together?
Do the same if you have Not enjoyed creating your tree. Notice what it was you did not enjoy and write about this. This too will offer you lots of important information.
Take plenty of time to reflect and allow thoughts and feelings to surface from your unconscious.
What was it like to just 'go with your gut'? Did you find this an easy or difficult way to be? Do you tend to work from your gut or are you a more cognitive type?
Let's turn our attention to your Inner Critic? Were you critical of yourself or did you manage to suspend judgement and just 'be' in the process? Spend some time reading through the work of your Inner Critic.What do you make of this? interestingly, theorists say, our Inner Critic wants the best for us but goes about getting this in rather an attacking way. If you look over all of your Inner Critic's remarks and thoughts, can you see some Positive Intent from your inner critic? For example, with mine, 'he' doesn't want me to fail, so he keeps at me by criticising, thinking this will help me to do a much better job.
Just check in with yourself right now... how are you feeling, what if anything is going on for you - perhaps something to process for yourself? You could make a note of it in your journal if you wish.
Quote: by Marianne Williamson
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is out light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you Not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as chjildren do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us. It's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Take good care of Your Self,
With warmest wishes,