Illustrating the soul process: artwork by S

 

Art assignment:

Visually compare and contrast your heart from the time we began this work, until now. Creating your interpretation of a timeline, include at least 3-4 images of your heart over time. Below you will find some of the language you shared with me in our time together (this is by no means the entirety of your experienceplease just consider this inspiration).

 “My heart is closed; it is a wrinkled, little prune of a heart.” (Affirmation: I am ready for my heart to open.)

One of the first dreams that you shared with me was of yourself taking a serrated knife to the skin above your left breast and slicing it open, down to the heart. One interesting part of the dream is your ambivalence to the injury- the thought that you could tend to the situation later. Upon reflection, you wrote in your journal: “This certainly feels like a metaphor for how I have dealt with my wounds in the past. I can’t just hide pain or deny that it is there if I ever want to heal or help others to heal.”

Also from your journal during this period: “I woke up last night with an intense feeling in my chest. It was a kind of burning—not in a bad way. It kind of made me feel alive. So strange to be woken up by it, but wonderful!”

You also wrote: “I woke up last night with a strong sensation in my chest. I want to say an ache but that implies that it hurt or that I was sad. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling- like light, like energy. Interestingly, something has shifted with my husband. We just seem more attuned to one another.”

In this session you shared that you recently expressed deep heart-centered sorrow to your husband about your father’s heart condition. While you felt vulnerable saying, “I am hurting,” you did not shut down, but instead shared authentically and was heartened when your husband expressed his love and support for you, as well as his gratitude for sharing. 

S wrote captions to accompany the paintings completed for the assignment described above (the order of these descriptions reflects the “timeline” aspect of the assignment):

"Self Portrait with Heart Tattoo”

In this piece I was focusing on how disconnected I have felt from my heart. As I contemplated this idea it occurred to me that I have an empty heart tattooed right on my arm. The feeling behind this was how one-dimensionally I have treated my heart and how this has led to a disconnection to or lack of integration of this part of my body. This image represents the beginning part of our work together where I was coming into recognition about the disconnection I felt from my heart and its purpose.

 

"Two selves"

This piece is based on a dream I had about cutting my own breast open right over my heart. This was a dream I had during the process of taking the flower essences. Even though this was a disturbing dream it did feel like an openinga recognitionof my heart needing attention and integration. This dream occurred during a pivotal opening period around March/April where my creativity began to flow back into my life.

 

"Floating Heart"

In this drawing I was not able to entirely connect to heart. I was exploring a kind of dreamland or fantasy life. My heart floats in a blue sky over my chest. During this time I was experiencing a lot of opening and beginning to ask myself questions beyond what I had needed to consider to "just get by." I felt a focus shifting to "how can I thrive?" This question is integrally connected to my relationship with my heart and the act of feeding my heart's desire.

 

“Behind Bars”

This piece focuses on themes of isolation and rejection. I began by laying pieces of tape across the paper and then painted over it to create a bar-like effect. The bars actually end up being invisible or illusory, which to me spoke to how we can create imaginary prisons or barriers that do not physically exist. The subject is pregnant, and her stance suggests that she is ready to burst forth. In regards to the theme of isolationI feel it is necessary to be alone in order to really listen to ones self and only then will the individual have something to offer.

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