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Art Therapy's Profound Healing Potential

Much has been said about art as a therapy... in my experience, few of us can achieve balance and wholeness without art as an integral part of our lives. I hasten to define art somewhat differently than is normally understood by that term. For my part, art is simply about experiencing wholeness or at least exploring that possibility in our moment to moment experiences...To begin to see our lives as unfolding, inquiring art forms. What is appropriate in art is most often appropriate in life... order, continuity, integration. So the question then becomes, can we become living art forms, responding to the realities of our lives and of our time? This, a time that is challenging we who are artists, (that potentially means all of us) to be critical observers, to cut through existing beliefs, to recreate our selves as inquiring art forms... to become that person who is up to the challenge of new realities that are sweeping away our commonly held assumptions, dis functional assumptions that now threaten our very survival, both personal and global. Are we up to the challenge of art as a potential healer, both for our selves and for our planet that is in great need of empathy, compassion and healing?

Today, art, with rare exception is alive with distraction, devoid of deep inquiry, often caught up in the pop cultural phenomenon of celebrity (Artists, when they," Make it" are not unlike sports heroes and movie stars.) Meanwhile, how many undiscovered potential Matisse's, Jackson Pollack's, Picasso's, are shoveled out of garages or sold for a dollar upon the death of the artist?... Often the artist who couldn't understand why no one saw his genius. One reason is because there is only so much room at the top... only so many stars to promote if one is to maintain the mystic, the environment must remain rarefied, for the anointed few... It's the market, the market. Illusion, delusion.

Meanwhile the world cries out for someone to observe the dismantling, the abuses, the fragile beauty rarely recognized... as many of us supposed artists strut like potential rock stars to our hoped for Picasso like place in the sun. Let us not be detoured by the,"Fame game." Let us keep the artist within, vibrant and alive... inspired. Let us simply observe deeply... life is much more than the sum of it's parts...No it's the whole, the Holy... the only way life can be really understood.

Look what the reductionism model has brought us -- Division, alienation and strife. No wonder we're in need of an art therapy. A therapy that gets us back in touch with the heart, body mind connection.

It seems to me that with our meager intellectual resources, life can never be figured out. However, there is another intelligence that lies beyond knowing and what we perceive as the intellect. We have all experienced it; even though it may have been for many, a fleeting experience. The more we can live in that space of oneness, as potential art forms, the more alive and one with the universe we become. Otherwise we are prisoners with a life sentence, locked into endless frustrations, endlessly on the wheel.
What a pity.

To the extent we walk around in our heads, in our hypnotic trance we live a gray half life, always seeking something to hold onto, to believe in, to be anchored to. The unfolding mystery of art reveals itself only to those willing to lift anchor, to live the moment of continually unfolding revelation... As for method, let us seek the method that offers us the most opportunity for exploration and discovery... and that method may change often if we are truly courageously bold explorers.

Being on the artists journey opens us to so many possibilities for healing, both our personal healing and by extension the healing of our mother earth.