Monday, June 18, 2012


Have you ever thought about drawing an image of your heart? Not the biology of your heart, but the emotions it holds, the energy it produces, the feelings it has? For instance, how does your heart feel today? Is it feeling light and free-spirited, or is there something else going on? Does it feel heavy with grief? Confused? Frustrated? Angry?

If you had to choose a color to represent how your heart feels today, what color would you choose? Is the image soft-edged or, jagged? Does it feel small and maybe frightened? or open and alive with joy?

The above image is one I did some years back. It is mixed media including collage and pastels.  I was feeling a variety of emotions,  and my heart felt contained and whole. This was a relaxing project, because I worked within the image of my heart. It was fun and provided me an outlet to express how I was feeling that particular day.

Pick a medium you would like to work with such as colored pencils, pastels, markers or anything that you are drawn to today.
Close your eyes and begin to tap into your feelings.
Bring your attention to your heart.
Breathe in and out.
Does a color come to mind?
Does a a size emerge?
Once you have identified a color and size, open your eyes and draw an image of a heart on a piece of paper. You can also do this if you have not identified a color or size and begin filling in the heart with whatever color you are drawn to.
Begin filling in the heart image with the color or colors that came to mind.

I suggest doing this exercise in your journal and create a heart image daily to track your feelings. You will begin to learn the many shades your heart reveals.
Most of all, have fun and allow your heart to speak!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Try A Little Bit Of Kindness!

Leave your critic at the door, I once heard a writing instructor say. I love that idea. For most of us, our critics and/or judges are alive and well. They keep us in a place of self-doubt and many times support a core belief we have about ourselves.  For instance, a belief that we are not good enough, that we are unlovable, that we are not smart, etc. I had a client do a collage once of her internal critic. Her collage ended up being an entire committee that each reacted differently to her depending on what the issue was she was dealing with. For instance, there was an image of "there you go again making another mistake," in other words, the voice of shame. There was the image of imperfection, the doubting Thomas, the list went on and on. Some of the images, she realized, only came to light because of doing the collage. 

I really encourage clients to listen to how they speak to themselves. It is amazing how we are programmed from a young age to relate to ourselves.  Very rarely to do we use a loving supportive voice with ourselves. We choose instead to beat ourselves up any chance we get. We doubt ourselves, we look for imperfections, if there are such things, we dwell on what we view as our faults rather than our amazing abilities and strengths.

The next time you find yourself choosing to beat yourself up or doubt yourself, STOP.  You might have to actually say that to yourself...STOP. Really listen to this voice. Try to grasp an image of this voice and if you wish, put it down on paper anyway you wish.  Give it a name. Be curious about this voice and know that at one point in your life it might have served a purpose. Maybe as a kid when you were being criticized, it kept you agreeing rather than disagreeing with the instigator thereby avoiding conflict. AND, know that you now have a choice about how you speak and relate to yourself? You do not have to buy into its criticism!

Try a little bit of kindness!