Expressive Arts & Creativity For Emotional Flow
When it came to emotional flow, I used to be incredibly lost. I felt disconnected from my body and overwhelmed by my emotions. Emotional displays felt inappropriate and unnecessary and frivolous.
Eventually I came to realize that it was because of this emotional stagnancy and bypassing that I was plagued by many of the challenges I faced – disordered and emotional eating, binge drinking, smoking, hormonal and digestives troubles, body pain, and more.
As a sensitive being, emotional intelligence is non-negotiable. Without healthy emotional flow, nothing else will be whole.
There are many tools and resources I have come to love for myself and that I offer to my sensitive clients. One of my favorites involves creating art.
What is Expressive Arts?
Expressive Arts involves intuitively and impulsively creating pieces of art out of your preferred medium in an effort to give an outlet to an experience, an emotion, a sensation. Through this modality we’re able to process, digest, and come to an embodied cognizance.
From this more integrated state, there’s clarity and direction. Bringing the imaginal and formless into something tangible symbolizes the gestation and birthing process of the wisdom, ideas, and inspiration inherent in all emotions – if we simply took the time to be with them.
Why Create Art?
Highly sensitive people, and most people in general, tend to be incredibly mental body at the expense of their physical and emotional bodies.
The process of creating expressive art, that is bringing the imaginal and formless into the tangible, involves all levels of our being working together simultaneously. Through this focused process we’re allowing inspiration, tuning into physical sensation, creating space for emotions, and channeling that energy into something we can perceive through the senses.
Often times emotions and their energetic and physiological frequency create this expansive, nebulous, overwhelming state that drives many of us to do all we can to bypass them. Through channeling this all into the creative process and getting all levels of our being on board, we’re becoming masters of our own subtle energies, building self-trust, and remembering how to surf the waves of our inner spiral (or feminine) energy.
What if I’m Not An Artist?
I remember when I first began my own Expressive Arts journey. My inner critic loved reminding me that I wasn’t an artist. Looking back, I affectionately giggle at this sentiment. What does this even mean? What is it to be an artist? I believe it’s one who creates art. What’s art? It’s whatever you want it to be, really. Life is art. The point is, if you create, you are an artist, a creator.
The entire experience of creating is the point, rather than the end product itself. The most wonderful part? The end product will never be what you thought it would be and it will always surprise you, move you, and change you – if you let it.
What Can Expressive Arts Help Me With?
A better question would be where can Expressive Arts NOT help me! No matter where you are along your journey of knowing yourself and coming into right relationship with your sensitive nature, Expressive Arts and the creative process act as the greatest teacher and mirror.
This process helps you to work with your emotions and know yourself more deeply. It helps you clarify your purpose and next steps. It supports you in strengthening your intuition. It helps to bring more harmony and unity among your four levels. It helps you to answer those tough questions and ease any sticky spots within. It helps to build your self-trust, confidence, and resiliency. It helps you to solidify and awaken your purpose. It helps you to come home to you, especially when combined with embodiment practices.
Movement allows us to become fully embodied, noticing your sensorial experience, noticing your bodily needs, feeling your body from the inside out and outside in, observing the subtle interplay between your environment, your thoughts, your emotions, and your physical body.
A Simple Practice
There are so many ways to work with Expressive Arts! To get started, simply select some basic art supplies of your choice. I love working with colored pencils and/or oil pastels, personally. However, you can choose to work with collage, markers, crayons, watercolors, clay, anything!
Get grounded and check in with yourself, paying particular attention to what’s showing up for you emotionally. (For more on emotions and working with their energies, I invite you to purchase the replay of my Thrive class).
Pay attention to sensations and the interplay between emotional and physical bodies, as well as how those mental body patterns and stories contribute to and influence the state of them. Then take the emotion into an image. Using your medium of choice, allow the energy and experience of this current emotional state come into tangible form. Spend quality time with this process. Breathe deeply into the experience and continue noticing what arises and moves and shifts.
When you feel complete, give your creation a title and allow it to speak to you and share wisdom with you from it’s perspective. Ask it what it needs, what the next best step is, etc.
The creative process is truly remarkable.
As highly sensitive beings, we require this outlet. We require this practice to help us to process and digest all we receive and work with on a daily basis.
Remember, you are your own best healer and you are the creator of your own experience. To truly remember this and embody this, you must create the space to create and get to know the subtle energies within that are creating your gross, tangible experience.
Other invaluable resources in the sensitive’s toolkit:
Core Wound Alchemy
Connection to Nature
Nature is not this separate entity that exists outside. You are Nature. Nature is you. There is no distinction.
At its core, Shadow Work is a process of integrating parts of ourselves we’ve disowned, shunned, or bypassed with the purpose of reclaiming and empowering ourselves through our trials and traumas.
We can’t truly change the tangible, gross manifestations of our lives without tending to the subtle building blocks that make up those very manifestations, and understanding the power of these subtle and unseen energies is vital to the success of any holistic practice.
Living Seasonally helps us to plug back into the natural way of living; a way of living that our bodies and cellular intelligence understand. By having the external mirror of the flowing of the seasons as our guide, we remember what we’ve known all along.
The first thing people tend to assume when they hear me bring up Flower Essences is that they are essential oils. The second most common thing I hear is that they are made of actual plant materials. Both assumptions are false. I wanted to lay out the main three forms of plant medicines, their differences, and their uses in this very basic outline.
I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am Holistic Life Coach + Catalyst + Intuitive + Writer on a mission to identify and transmute the roots of the shame story that’s running your life so you can live your fullest, most authentic incarnation in accordance with your soul’s sacred purpose. If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Core Wound Alchemy Session.