Rebirth as a catalyst for change and growing wiser

Recently after undergoing more changes in the chaos of life I have been pondering on how whatever happens to us is how we deal with it, how we handle something that happens…We cannot control everything yet we are free to take action, decide and tackle things the way we want. I can’t help to think about the phoenix or phenix (Greek: φοῖνιξ phoinix; Latin: phoenix, phœnix, fenix) the special bird that undergoes constant cycles of rebirths arising from the ashes of the previous elements and connecting to the sun. There are so many fascinating stories in mythology and of course Harry Potter:)

The phoenix just like other philosophies and elements of wisdom give a powerful image to how sometimes a cycle has to come to an end and we need to let go complitely in order to rise again and this time it will be inevitable that we would acquire stenght and wisdom in teh process…

So to all of you out there undergoing this process, following teh patterns of change with natural elements, with personal and professional life…I just want to tell you taht you are not alone and the process is so worth it that the new you will surprise you even more!!!

Celebrating all the phoenixes out there I share this great image from Spirit Science

Light and Love

Lizzie x

 

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The power of emotions: feeling grateful

Lately life has been very hectic and so much is happening this side of the world…

I adventured into the art therapy studies last fall and it has been an incredible journey…After using creative expression, nature and alternative healing for such a long time it is inspiring to study academically, learn different perspectives and in the field work the theory meets the practice.

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I try to be mindful daily and focus on the power of positive psychology. Lately I found myself facing many challenges and it has been hard at times, I acknowledge bad experiences and trauma. However,I try to accept these parts, events and feelings as part of the life journey and learn from it. For me  the turning point is living by the heart, keeping positive and focusing on the right now and work through the moment: appreciate life even more. I think we are humans and we can’t help but feel and experience the world. Among the many difficulties and struggle lately I found it very difficult to allow myself to be and feel everything I need to…

couerpetit prince

I feel grateful for many things as when I take a moment and look around I feel the connection and power of positive emotions. I have met incredible and inspiring people, new special friends who touched my heart, THANK YOU you know who you are:)

Furthermore, there are many ideas and projects (the artist and art therapist within can’t help it) involving communities and different places …so I got to learn more about, people places and tune into nature…And the journey continues:)

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My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365

Amazing Illumination project…a super positive inspiration by Gretchen Miller

creativity in motion

It is now month four of my 2016 project: Illuminate 365.  Uploading all the photos and captures I’ve taken everyday over this first quarter was a wonderful (yet, a little overwhelming!) opportunity to reflect on the images, concepts, and messages they each convey.  This creative adventure has become a daily treasure hunt for illumination- revealed through rays of light, shadows of darkness, nature’s beauty, the morning sun, ordinary objects, warm candlelight, and many, many different places both outdoors and inside throughout this year’s winter season and now the fickle springtime that is upon us….

Many days honor inspiration such as, but not limited to: hope, grace, passion, courage, and creation…. other days provide a reminder or awakening of guidance, validation, and encouragement…. or a time embrace slowing down… while other days help me recognize that you cannot appreciate the light without the presence of darkness… each of the images…

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Joining the Chalk Art wave for Brussels and Humanity

It feels the world is going a little darker with the recent news of Brussels and the trauma and strong emotions that first touched Turkey and now back in Europe in Brussels. Maybe because Europe has been my “home” for such a long time, or maybe because in the continent there is a strong sense of democracy, freedom and coexistence of diversity..Maybe it is because acceptance and existentialism have deep roots..I don’t know I just feel that there is something strong turning the world as we know it upside down…It goes beyond the terrible events happening in Brussels, Paris and France and Turkey..It is something that questions humanity…Art comes to the rescue and while I have been using for myself and in art therapy settings in response to reactions and feelings in light of this event…It has been interesting and uplifting to see how people gathered in Brussels and express through art essential ideas and keep positive in spite of everything.

I feel that even from far away I want to join that chalk art wave and contribute to that loud voice that speaks a deep truth. I started with the dark but then colors emerged and life has shades and humanity has hope.

brusselslizzie

 

#Brussels #bruxelles #belgium #jesuisbrussels #chocolate #beer #love#humanity #bourse #hope #redballoon@welovebrussels

Working the pre-artwork on the mural: on the road to resilence

onthepath mural project

Wow times flies…we have started the spring semester…While I am waiting for all art supplies to arrive and figure out the logistics of the mural project I am collecting information from International Students…So this is a shout out to the international crowd: I am after volunteers in the social community of international students at the University of Haifa. I would like to collect stories to inspire the mural project and for whoever is up to there is the chance to contribute hands on…Art heals and empowers and everyone is creative so I really welcome anyone from any background to get involved:)

Anyone wants to sit down for a juice, tea or coffee and chat about their experience of dealing with trauma and how they overcame it? It is just an informal chat in which I would like to explore creative ways to handle trauma and how resilience helps to move forward and foster well-being. You care share whatever you like with me, it will be informal and all information will not be disclosed.

So who is in??? Do you want to contribute to the multicultural art project??? There are many ways in which you can be part of the collective puzzle focusing on emotions, feelings and interactions celebrating resilience through different dialogues among creative contribution. Let’s work together!!!

Please get in touch with the Expressive Arts Therapies Department at the University of Haifa or contact me directly.

 

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For more information about the master’s program in Art Therapy, check out the International School website or feel free to email us at infograd@univ.haifa.ac.il.

Looking at my Self Portrait: 生き甲斐 (Ikigai)

Recently I have been working on a personal art project for one of my classes for the MA in Expressive Arts Therapies with Art Therapy as specialization. The experiential course in Materials and Creative Processes class with super inspiring lecturer, artist and art therapist Dr. Tsaphie Zohar, Ph.D.

Throughout the course we got to explore hands on and understand the therapeutic utility and psychological influence of art processes, and the therapeutic qualities of art materials.  The course really enabled the experiential encounter with the art therapy world, and allowed me to delve deeper into the use of different art materials in relations to therapeutic intervention. In class we got to experience different media and look at processes and products considering the mental states, different populations and patients’ needs.

Looking at my Self Portrait: 生き甲斐 (Ikigai),

This project started with exploring different materials and settings. The more I was working with materials the more I digged into an very personal journey about myself and what matters to me. So the project took shape while I was working both out in nature and with art materials in different settings. It looks into a core idea that is part of my philosophy : the Japanese concept of 生き甲斐 (Ikigai),“the Japanese equivalent of the French, raison d’être. In English, these translate respectively as ‘something one lives for’ and ‘a reason for being” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai) . I think the concept is better grasped by the nuance: “what gets me up in the morning” as Janet McLeod, Art Therapist/Artist/Photographer/Puppet Maker and friend describes .

While delving into art material letting the process guide me I suddenly realized that the inner child, the artist was now under the scrutiny of the art therapist in training. All emotions and feeling that emerge in the process and in the art piece are nonetheless something very deep about my inner world and interaction with my surroundings. So the message becomes clear: All I have been doing is sharing my world and what I am about. I truly believe that art and creative expression speak louder than words and give infinite nuances. So bringing mindfulness to the product I can see and feel it is my own personal response…The message is simple: I ask to pause and breathe, try to tune into a moment and be, then look at my artwork and connect to it…Somehow it will speak to you and will give you a window into my world and yet you as audience will go through your own unique experience. You will get to know me from the inner self speaking, through the layers and emotions. It is a special connection enabled by the artistic dialogue…

You get to “feel” what I am extravagant and passionate about and hopefully see my deep connection to nature and artistic creative expression as a way of life. Connecting to nature and finding balance is the core of my exploration…..

While putting together this installation with mixed media I got to appreciate how the creative process revealed my story… Through the use of materials I connect with the inner child, the inner artist. I used nature as my constant, my safe place where the power and energy of the elements remind me of the essence of being, practicing mindfulness and finding balance. Connecting to the the water, the earth, wind specifically here as I am adventuring to them: the art sign that states presence and the ephemeral moment. The sensory experience is amplified and held by nature that allows presence. The sea and its flow meets with the sound of the wind and the music of Ludovico Einaudi Una Mattina. The constant change and movement in the sea, the swell,the stormy weather…Everything contribute to a cycle of energy and emotions that reconnect to a personal journey and have a cathartic effect: whatever brought uneasy feelings now is washed away and taken back to the sea and more space is left to focus on the good.

The video then continues with the sequential display of my artwork created both during this course and also inspired by it. I am leading you into my own body tracing figure by connecting to it with a real jump in the air. I find it elevating, raising good positive energy and also that beautiful sensation of feeling and seeing freedom and connection to the world around you.

The body tracing of my figure was done with help of my friend, artist and fellow art therapist in training Megan Adair . 

After having my body outline I went on creating the content: funny I am my own container LOL:) In art therapy one of the therapist functions is to contain and here I am “containing” my world.  I felt drawn to use collage so I intuitively assembled pieces of paper : interesting parts reflecting sides of me and my being in the world, my influences, cultures and places I love and connect to…The images are torn and not cut so there is no clear defined line, but rather a more natural flow of paper engaging in different nuances with acrylics, guache and oil pastels to bring nuances and light. The figure was sewed to a large natural canvas that folded as a scroll but also open as an origami puzzle each time revealing different parts and more guache printed paper parts extends extremities, giving freedom, wings to fly.  Creative expression travels  within the canvas and outside of it: drawings also travels outside the canvas onto an olive tree and reach for the sky: different art creations enter the installation space and time. Charcoal and pastel drawings highlighting connections from the heart to the spiral, more watercolor detailed parts of emotional paint lead the way to paint capturing the waters and its reflections. Further there is a small artwork that is a an homage to a special mentor and celebrate the spiral of life the power of nature and the connection with the inner child. To close the circle the video shows how these parts folds and unfold and echo my essence, my presence in the surroundings. It is all part of the whole yet there is value in unique presence and relations.

The last sequence shows the pages of my personal story. I used the paper from previous class experiments with paint and water, torn into smaller pieces and I made a little booklet with natural sturdy thread…Inside and throughout words meet the magical flow of paint and you get to “feel” my story.

A special thank you for patience, hard work in all weather conditions and hours to fab videographer, artistic director and friend Hubert Wybransky.

I hope you enjoy the experience and until we meet next Namaste.

Lizzie

 

On the Art Therapy path

After many whereabouts, meeting and collaborating with inspiring people and amazing projects with different communities I am finally on the official track for art therapy education and qualifications:)

I feel that my interests, background and holistic approach will grow further.

So yep Lizzie is back in Grad school:) Back to learning not just theory, but also practicing and of course continuing making art as an artist, but also as an art therapist in training. It is in the field training that I love to experience how the pieces of the puzzle get together, how theory meets practice:)

AT wall semester 1

Creating a mural “on the road to resilience”

Graduate Life in Haifa

Written by Lizzie, Art Therapy master’s student

blog 1I have been pondering on how to tackle this interesting Art Therapy project involving social community of international students at the University of Haifa. Given the broad and challenging topic of trauma for this year I have been exploring which angle to take and what to focus on. What has been continuing to fascinate me is the power of resilience and how one reacts to trauma, a sort of rebirth of the Self with new inner strength, more awareness and empowerment. There is a transformation taking place: moving forward from trauma and going back to the world, the community and the social/private life. Cultivating resilience through creative practices of expressive arts therapy allows fostering strengths (Malchiodi, 2008: 2011). “Trauma-informed art therapy is based on the idea that art expression is helpful in reconnecting implicit (sensory) and explicit (declarative) memories of trauma and in…

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AWAKING AFTER A LONG BREAK….

Hello everyone….

It has been  long time indeed…

I have managed to hop few places around the world and collect great experiences and learning…Yet I have detached a little from cyber world and didn’t managed to keep up with social media and blog….

I decided to come back as I miss the great connections and fab people I met through the web and I feel it is also time to share my new experiences…I am also working on another website that will incorporate my work and projects so stay tuned:)

 

Meanwhile I would like to wish everyone Happy new year:)

 

nye wishlizie

 

 

Compassion Games 2014: Team 6Degrees of Creativity creative deeds go global

Inspired by beautiful creative vibes and energy of Gretchen Miller I joined her great initiative to take part in Compassion games 2014 with the Team 6 Degrees of Creativity:)

It has been an amazing 10 days adventure creating and connecting to others, oneself and the earth….It is simply beautiful how this global initiative generated awesome secrets agents of compassion to spread the message and make the world we live in  a little brighter with every contribution!!!

So it all started with our daily assignments of creative deeds to make and share:)

The creative deed #1 “Show Us Your Heart!” was the perfect start to connect to the most amazing compassion vibes that connects globally with this initiative!! Gretchen had this fab powerful idea sending in photos of our cutting of a paper heart in team members’ hands. The strong message of utter empathy was right on the starting of the Compassion Games and on the Day of Remonstrance for September 11th…

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Next creative deed #2 : “Chalk It Up for Compassion!”… How great to create a piece of something outdoors with chalk so the world could stumble upon …so the message can really go a long way:)

CompassionGames2014creativedeed#2

Creative deed #3 “Compassion WordClouding” was real fun and an introduction into wordart design:)

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Creative Deed #4 was a fab “Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness” so operative got an opportunity to make some creative inspiring messages and spread them around….. so I though to share sockmonkey love and kindness with a take what you need flyer that could bright up the day of people encountering it…

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 Creative deed #5…It was about recognizing a Compassion All Star in our life & community with a creative twist!  So that day I nominated a truly special person as Compassion All Star: my mom:)  and my artsy awards for this special nomination for her:) This process was very emotional….Thank you Gretchen!!!

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Creative deed #6 “Creativity& Compassion Quote Hunt” … So by using free online programs one I created something using  a quote that deeply resonates withme…For me one can feel the endless ways of expressive arts getting to the soul!

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Creative deed #7 “Compassion Cards of Awesomeness” switched on that beautiful role of  being a Secret Agent of Compassion…Special Secret Agent mission to create anonymous Compassion Cards of Awesomeness to leave randomly  in places… The theme to celebrate in the cards was BEING AWESOME  :)

So while I was on the train I created some cards to distribute in a hospital…. I really loved to see the positive reactions of some people who discovered them…Of course as a secret agent I tried to keep distance LOL:)

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To learn more about the Compassion Game’s Secret Agents of Compassion, to get inspired check out this page: http://compassiongames.org/compassion-games/secret-agent/ or the International Kindness Team (IKT) blog where Secret Agent missions are posted daily throughout the games: http://secretagentofcompassion.org

 

Creative deed #8  “Secret Agent of Compassion- Nature Creative Deed”

Today’s Creative Deed  was again linked to Secret Agent of Compassion mission with the goal of showing compassion to nature & the earth…The intent was “to increase your understanding of the interrelatedness in nature” and for us in particular was to document this perspective with a photo. The SAoC mission posted earlier that week that became our mission for creative deed #8: http://secretagentofcompassion.org/2014/09/15/05-2014/

I was inspired with by grounding and earthing acts that really reconnect us to mature and the earth. In particular recalling a beautiful event back in India with a special friend when we planted spouted fruit seeds in the ground and let the eco magic happen:) So this time I sprouted bean seeds and I planted them honoring the earth:)
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Creative deed #9 “Compassion Mandala”
What a great mission to create a mandala with our fav material  expressing what compassion means to us… Well for me, given what I could find as was still travelling I managed to get some paints and lil creative bits together and improvized a painting on a wooden board….It kinds of builds up layers through material, in a way creating the fabric and nuances that are connected with compassion.
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Creative Deed # 10: “Compassion Stickie Note Art”
What a great mission to use Post-It/ Stickie Notes to spread around randomly creative messages about compassion!!! So much fun and good energy coming after a nice walk accomplishing this mission in the neighborhood:)
Compassion Stickie NoteArt
And to celebrate the last  of the Compassion Games: creative deed #11: “International Day of Peace Flag”!!!
We got to create a prayer flay celebrating this special day letting this reminder spreading its message through the wind…
I love making prayer flags as there is something special about the process and the message they carry. This time I have tried to make a paper one using few things from India and Tibet…Great to celebrate peace on the World Peace Day.
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Take a moment to check the awesome post :

Wrap Up: Creative Deeds in Action @ the 2014 Compassion Games over at 6 Degrees of Creativity about the all the fab creations and experiences of this adventure!!

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