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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Art Therapy

My cross of hope

Mom's fish ornament


I remember sitting at mom's kitchen table in Seattle several years ago, feeling the urge to draw. I was receiving heavy frontline chemo, felt out of sorts and was craving a way to express myself.  Mom, being a true artist, had supplies on the ready.  She pointed me in the right direction and I just sat there, no talking, just painting what came to my mind.

The process instantly brought about a blanket of peace and calm.

This fish ornament had been given to mom by me the Christmas before and I love it so much.  My little rendition gives me a pulse of happiness because the colors remind me of her.  The cross represents my light of hope in Jesus and Love for Christ.  

I am writing today about the importance of participating in art as part of our daily life,  especially when we have a serious illness.  Everyone has the ability to create art. 

We need to nurture our creativity and art therapy is in and of itself a branch of healthcare that can help people cope with fear, pain and the unknown.  It allows for us to express ourselves without justification or explanation. Art "is".

I am not an artist by any means, not like others in my family who can actually draw and paint or sculpt.  I do though love to create things and build on ideas. This blog was originally created by me as a form of expressive art. 

Now I have another new passion.  I love to make soap!  It is a complete distraction.  I literally forget my problems.

Surrounding ourselves with art that pleases our senses is like layering our immune system with hundreds of millions of new T cells.  If you have lots of medical equipment, supplies and brochures in your home environment, try to organize these items so that they are only visible when used.  It will help your mood.  

Spend some time escaping via You Tube watching art videos.  Coloring books seem to be the rage now for adults, go ahead and get one.  Get your hands in it and place the color on the paper.  Allow your hands to follow your heart.  

For those who want to see academic results on how art therapy helps people with cancer, see this link on a study completed by:

Barnes, Diana C., "How Women Use Art and Art erapy to Cope With Breast Cancer: A Systematic Exploration of Published Literature" (2015). LMU/LLS eses and Dissertations. Paper 148.

I also want to plug our local creative outlet for cancer patients,  Cancer Lifeline offers free art classes to all people with cancer, as well as other valuable support groups and resources for people in the Seattle area.  Thank you Cancer Lifeline for your generous contribution to the Seattle community.

November is the month of remembrance.  I pay my respects to all the souls who have departed us for the heavens.  I miss you mom. 

God Bless you all.


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