This post is long overdue!
Since childhood I have been drawing and painting images of the voices I hear and other sensory experiences. Over the years I have realised how useful this was for me and how it helped me through some difficult times.
Some of the ways in which it has been helpful creating images and external representations of my experiences are:
- drawing/painting gives me focus and calms me down
- creating an image of a voice allows me to spend time with the experience and giving it attention. Many of the voices I hear appreciate this and it calms them down.
- it helps clarify the identity of a voice and differentiate it from other voices. I get to know their individual energy. This is especially useful when several of them are making a raucous.
- it can create some distance between me and the voices internally so that I feel less crowded over
Earlier this year I facilitated my first workshop on “Engaging creatively with voices” in Perth, Australia. It was nerve wrecking and I did a lot more preparation than I normally do. Despite my nerves it went well and it is something I would like to pursue.
Encouraging people to express themselves creatively can be a balancing act. So many of us have grown up thinking that being creative is only for the “special ones” or the “talented ones”. We encounter so much judgement, we believe things has to “look right” or be beautiful and we internalise these judgements. Art becomes something for the selected few rather than something we can do just because we feel like it.