Art Therapy Practice Fall 2017

October—the month where autumn is in its full glory. Colors are vibrant while the trees let go of their leaves, and the Northwest rains resurface after being tucked away for the summer. It is the season of harvest, and of letting go…

Try this simple Art Therapy practice to ease into autumn:

Find a time to go for a slow, meditative walk. Maybe it will be first thing in the morning, or perhaps at dusk. Give yourself the opportunity to be outside and notice your environment. In this walk you will notice what is around you, what you are drawn to... perhaps a certain tree with changing leaves shows a brilliance of color on the backdrop of evergreens, or maybe the light is shining and you’re feeling the last of the late summer warmth beaming upon you. Take some time in this walk to follow any symbols—perhaps a crow flies by and it leads you to think of a dear friend who loves crows, or perhaps you hear music in the background which uplifts your spirits… Focus on your senses while allowing thoughts to come and go.  

In the midst of your walk consider pondering what in your life or habits you would like to release at this time. Have you been too hard on yourself and would like to release the overly critical nature of your mind? Maybe you'd like to let go of a bad habit or a negative self-belief?  After you clarify what you want to let go of, think about something you would like to cultivate in place of what you are releasing. Maybe it is acknowledging how far you have come and the hard work that has paid off, or perhaps it is cultivating a new daily practice in place of a bad habit.  

When you return home take five minutes to write about your experiences on your walk. Take it a step further by making a piece of art about what you are cultivating in your nature at this time. It could be as simple as writing an affirmation on a piece of paper... or maybe unearthing some old magazines to make a collage. Anything goes. Just allow the process to be flexible and nourishing, letting go of perfection and criticism to allow the creative exploration to flourish.

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