Turning the Tables on Trauma through Creative Self Expression
Shit happens! While that won't be news to you, the possibility of real recovery from that shit might be... But you owe it to yourself to heal from the wounds inflicted on you, so let's look at how do you do it.
Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron is one of the secret weapons that I deployed on my own recovery journey, and I'm going to let you in on the secret of why her process will probably work for you too.
Firstly, because creative recovery is not an intellectual process.
Your adult self understands a wound, but can't fix it - it's your creative self that heals it.
Trauma's and challenges bring you to a place where you can unlock your own inner riches. If like me, your inner resources are unmined, and even unknown and unacknowledged, then you now face an opportunity Think of your trauma as the lock to your inner resources. with creative activities acting as a key to unlocking your treasure and healing you.
As Julia says of the creative process. "I found you when you were beaten, battered, starved, malnourished, discounted, dishonoured and disowned. I must restore you to health so we can have our adventures."
I'm sure you know that art therapy encourages free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modeling, and is often used as a remedial aid/activity to psychological diagnosis. But, if you're anything like me in your trauma, you're also not an artist at the outset, and so artistic techniques don't lie in your current basket of skills. Like me, you'd have to develop them, and you're probably unsure of how difficult that is going to be.
Julia's Vein of Gold is filled with activities that are simple, fun and creative. They help you make the jump from jaded, hurting adult to open, curious child. You get to explore your life through tools that feel like child's play to you - namely. movement, writing, sight, sound, and silence.
Vein of Gold is a serious book in that it is about healing and rehabilitation, but its cloaked in fun. It's not a book that can be understood by reading it, but rather by doing it. it is extremely practical and introduces story, sight, sound, spirituality and possibility to you. It teaches you to play again. It's not intellectual, its creative, and makes a big assumption that at this point in your life you have the courage to switch off your left brained logic for awhile, and open yourself to your artistic, right brained creative side.
Julia calls her book a pilgrimage of healing, a journey home to the self. As you travel further and further into your own interior, you will be taking the dross of your life - the disappointments, wounds and burdens, and you will make them into gold through creativity.
Because at its essence, creativity - art is an alchemical process.
"By practising art, by living artfully we transform dross into gold.
The vein of gold in every life is located in the heart of that life. The heart is the origin of creative impulses and If the heart has been wounded,
it must be healed for our vein of gold to flow freely. "
I read many books over the years, but the practical, lighthearted and fun approach that Julia Cameron takes in Vein of Gold brought me through safe and sound into my own healing. Art Therapy worked for me, and specifically the activities in this incredible book.
It opened me up to new activities like oil painting, ceramics, specifically Raku pottery and writing. But it's what lay behind each activity that changed me. I learned the benefits of using silence and introspection, to experience emotions. I got past shock, past horror, I forgave my attacker, and I accepted new reality... She helped me to really look at and see the hidden beauty in life and events; I learnt how to colour my life differently and to open up again to experimentation, and not to fear.
If you are someone who has unexamined and unresolved wounds, I really encourage you to buy this book or make the jump into your creative process. You will find it an exhilarating, fulfilling and successful healing process.
Simply click on the link, and you'll go through to Amazon.com. Order and have it delivered straight to you.
I wish you well on your journey, let me know how you experience her exercises...