Lexington Medical Center to explore the idea of art making as a form of healing. A few were outside of cancer treatment for many years but still possessed a nagging fear of a recurrence. Others had just finished treatment. Another was heading to Duke on Friday for exploratory surgery as her counts were up but the location of her cancer mastitis unknown. One had fought with cancer 5 times and spoke of not being a survivor but a cancer conqueror! Awe inspiring, courageously resilient – every single one of them!
One of the most difficult “issues” that goes hand in hand with a cancer diagnosis is the loss of control. Suddenly without warning life dramatically changes and with that comes mounting fears and deep anxiety.
Having no idea what our creations are going to look like is a lesson in trusting the process, seeing where the art-making leads us.
This summer we are exploring the art of the mandala – creating within a circle. Our first workshop addressed how to let go of our anxieties through the process of “intuitive” mandala drawing and how to create an intentional mandala for Centering Strength.
Using a black piece of paper which represents the void, the mystery, the unknown, we began by using a white pencil, a light wand shedding illumination into our drawings. Symbolically we planted a seed in the center of the circle drawn on the black paper.
Quietly, tentatively the process unfolded as we began to trust our hands as we moved our pencils up and down, sideways and upside down…. almost like doodling. Paying attention to the shapes created by the pencil and the back shapes in-between, slowly symbols and feelings began to surface. These associations were written down and linked together with other nouns, adjectives, verbs to form a “story”, a message from the mandala.
At the end of the day, everyone left with a lighter heart, a set of skills to practice until our next gathering and a new appreciation of the emotional and spiritual release the arts have to offer us!
Thank you to Lexington Medical Foundation for sponsoring these series of classes.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream, and it will create a new
channel. Resist and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in -
the wild with the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the door of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
In our next class,