We are social creatures and to fully know our humanness, we need relationship. We are the mirror for each other, reflecting back who we are. In this intimate exchange, we find our way home into ourselves, into Belonging. To belong is to find the home within and to find our home amongst others. We are not alone in the world, but part of the Whole.
The value of a conscious group work process is that it is a living laboratory where we are committed to seeing and being seen. In witnessing our impact on each other, we have the opportunity to heal old wounding and reclaim parts of ourselves that have been yearning to come out of hiding. We offer each other authentic relationship, and are changed because of it.
Group work is a beautiful developmental process. Who we are and who we become evolves over our time together. Forever changing, we truly can never completely know self, other and the world. We open to the mystery of our Becoming, intimately experiencing human relationship, again and again. As Gabriel Garcia Marquez says, “I know my wife so well I don’t have a clue who she is”.
The group work process grounds itself in a very simple, yet sublime contract: to hold onto oneself fully while fully holding onto the group. Our history may have taught us that we need to choose: loyalty to the individual or loyalty to the group (ie..family). In group work we commit to both. Our intention is to work with all that arises, a full spectrum of human relationship and experience, from the easeful, heartfelt connections to the egoic conflicts that competition, power, and wounding elicit.
In our process together, we participate in the practice of engaged inquiry. Through conscious conversation, creative process, embodied movement, intuitive questioning, mythology and active imagination, intimacy with nature and wild places, and most importantly, embodied presence with Self and Other, we dive into what it is to be human, here on this Earth, and in relationship to it All.
“Love moves without an agenda. It just moves because that is its nature—to move.”
Creativity and the Healing of Our Grieving Hearts
A 12 week group exploring the “life theme” of grief and loss through art, creative process, and intentional community.
“Some say the burden is empty, but that don’t mean its light.”
Throughout time, art and the creative process have powerfully impacted and shaped our world. It has been a mirror for who we are, where we’ve been, and what we may become.
As a path to consciousness, both in a personal sense as well as collectively, the creative process guides us into the unexplored territory of the unconscious. It evokes our imagination, stirs up the waters of the shadowland, opens us to the mystery of the non-rational, taps directly into the vast energy of our life force, and restores access to the inner landscape of the intuitive self.
This intimate conversation is an initiation into a deepening journey that ultimately changes us. Regardless of our creative access, an intentional creative process opens a conduit for healing, intimacy, embodied knowing, and a life lived in the vast spaciousness of the tender heart.
In our work together, we will engage in a three-fold process.
Working with the theme of grief and loss: This may be the loss of someone through death; a loss of a part of our selves; the loss that arises through life transitions; a loss of a partner, a marriage; or the loss of a dream, a hope, a direction in life.
“Working with art and the creative process as a paradigm for addressing our suffering”: Utilizing the expressive and experiential venues of storytelling, movement and embodiment, writing and painting, we will “evoke the metaphoric connection between physical experience, emotion, imagination” and our theme of grief and loss.
Opening and softening into our hearts through community: As loss can impact our capacity to live in an embodied heart space—one of being open, feeling, and sensate experiencing within relationship to self and others—our community will be a path and a container for the process of healing our grieving hearts.
“The healthiest form of projection is art”
Quoted material above, Daria Halprin, “The Expressive Body in Life, Art, and Therapy”
Our women’s group is into its 13th year together. We meet 9 months of the year on Wednesday evenings, with a local retreat in the fall, and a spring retreat in the Southern Utah Desert.
As with all the embodied work groups, we participate in the practice of engaged inquiry. A special focus of this small group process, evolving from the Jungian Social Group Work model, is the invitation for each woman to explore the transference she holds in a group facilitation role. As we all facilitate in some way out in the world–in our work, families and social communities—becoming aware of ourselves, our impact, and what it evokes in others deeply supports a healthy and vital social community. Through her facilitation, each woman comes into a greater awareness of how she is seen in both the group and the world, allowing for a felt sense of the experiences that come her way.
Members of the group become aware of their own transference onto a particular facilitator and work with what that evokes in them, often some recapitulation of their primary relationships.
Additionally, we begin to uncover what is unspoken, what is unknown, the Mystery of the Unconscious. Each facilitator will impact the group through her unconscious process, and together we open ourselves to this exploration, allowing for the possibility of embodying a fuller spectrum of who we are.
Together, in conscious community, we push into our edges, open to our vulnerability, delight in the joy and freedom in our authenticity, and come home, individually and together, to our intimate Belonging.
“You see things, and you say why? But I dream things that never were, and I say, Why not”?
—George Bernard Shaw—Back to Methuselah