All My Relations – Art Therapy.

I was able to create some pieces that popped out of the vibrant displays of color that I washed across the pages in desperation last night to kickstart a fire. I have a festival to prepare for this Winter, and time is ticking. I haven’t used this form of Art Therapy in a solid month, due to terrible medicaction withdrawal and blind emotional upheavel, and it feels good to be back at it.

I tend to gravitate toward Native American Symbolism in my pieces these days, bringing family ties to the surface from their Native Lands and also conjuring ancestral ties or spiritual guides to the light of day and welcoming them back into my life. Definitely went through a whole host of emotions creating these, from exhilaration to grief.

Therapy in most any form springs forth emotions in a safe place where we are able to sit with each one, choosing to let it slip through our consciousness or choosing to dissect each. I say sit, because I feel that it’s necessary to acknowledge emotional states vs stuffing them, ignoring them or learning to disassociate with each, regardless of our awareness.

I chose to acknowledge the lot of them from beginning to end, but I also chose to let them sift through my mind like clouds, vs attaching to them and dissecting them. One that caught me off guard, however, was this sense of deep grief, akin to being in Native Lands in Wisconsin on a manic journey. A wave of deep sorrow overtook me and I bawled my eyes out as I drove, sober. Crying has never come easy for me, especially sober. But at that time, I was about 2 years from a breakthrough and my intuition sensed this deeply. So, I suppose I kinda got to practicing!

For weeks on end lately, I have felt this grief resurface time and time again, always on the brink of a sweet release but never quite making it over the edge. I was close today, and I’m sure as I dive deeper into symbolism and meaningful artwork, that this will come up again. I do hope it does, as I may take a break from the work and dissect the source of this sadness and bring this up with my therapist next week.

Until then …

The following is a favorite poem of mine, from the Lakota Sioux Nation, A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin – All My Relations. I feel this beautiful tribute to life fits well with each piece.

“Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer…

To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.”

Be Blessed 💛,  Elizabeth

Spirit | Watercolor & Pen | 11•17

Can you spot the Native American, Bear, Wolf and Eagle?

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Blitz | Watercolor & Pen | 11•17

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Mitakuye Oyasin | Watercolor & Pen | 11•17

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