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How do we honor history and heritage in ways that help us powerfully integrate our past experiences with our present lives?

What helps us heal when we struggle with a sense of loss or grief?

How do we create our identity if we feel a sense of disconnection?

Tribute and ritual are common methods for finding peace within the turmoil.

Tribute is defined as an expression of gratitude and praise. It is meant to honor and acknowledge someone or something.

We can pay tribute to past experiences as a way of appreciating the opportunity for growth provided to us. We can express gratitude for the most challenging situations if we are able to see deeply into the tiny, yet profound gifts of wisdom buried beneath the muck.

Healing Through Art

What comes to mind when I say “Art Therapy?”

Traditionally, we have reserved this for those situations involving children who are not yet able to put language to their experience. Or, we may think of it as a medium for any individual who is unable to express verbally perhaps, as a result of disability or injury. Very often, we associate it with healing from trauma.

And this is all very true.

However, healing through Expressive Arts is a modality that can benefit anyone. Further, it does not necessarily need to be considered trauma in the most dramatic sense of the word. We can consider even the tiniest traumas that sometimes have a profound impact on our souls.

Expressive Healing Arts can include anything from painting and drawing to poetry and creative writing. You might be more inclined toward music or dance as an expression of your emotional state. Maybe your feelings speak through sculpture or jewelry design. And it doesn’t matter if you are not an expert artist. It’s all about giving voice to what you feel without the specific language.

Expressive Healing Arts with Mele Kramer

Expressive Healing Arts is the focus of this episode of Serving Consciously. I welcome my guest and an expert in this area, Mele Kramer.

Currently, Mele is pursuing her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology/Consulting Psychology. She completed her undergraduate studies at New York University where she studied Psychology, Education, and Art and Expressive Therapies. She has been an Executive Leader in Healthcare and Education for over 15 years working in public and private sectors including hospitals, institutions, and corporations as an Educator and Leader, Public Speaker, and Change Consultant.

Her recent work has been within the cardiovascular specialty area, focusing on Leadership Training and Development with Clinicians in Hospitals with an emphasis on Transition of Care to expand awareness, education, and connection within services including alternative options for preventative and post follow up care with the goal of optimizing costs to optimize healthcare services and wellness.

Mele’s current focus is on integrative healthcare with a spotlight on harmonizing traditional and alternative health care approaches through awareness and education.  She has been a guest speaker in hospitals, conferences and educational and healthcare institutions facilitating interactive creative expressive therapy and healing workshops.

In addition, Mele advocates for International Adoptees and organizations supporting the healing of children and adults of domestic violence and abuse.  Her workshops include 100,000 Kranes for my Mother (healing tribute for Korean Adoptees), Dol Jabbi, (A Rebirthday Process) and Journey to Joy, (Phoenix Process), and Reclaiming YOU (following abusive experiences).

Benefits of Expressive Healing Arts

There is a transformative energy to expressing ourselves through creative or artistic activities. Engaging in these alternative practices allows us to get out of our own way, so to speak.

You might notice when you try to process your emotions by talking about them it’s easy to get stuck in the thoughts surrounding the feelings. In this way, we get lost in the mental pursuit of trying to understand. Now, there are benefits to exploring our interpretations of the experiences we have; it’s part of integrating the meaning it holds for us. However, it is also true some of our experiences are never going to make sense to us no matter how long we think or talk about them.

When we express ourselves in other ways, we open the door to hearing and giving voice to what emerges from our Soul. We tap into this divine wisdom allowing us to heal and to emerge stronger as a result of the circumstance. It’s in this space that acceptance is possible. We don’t think our way into integration and transformation; we feel it.

Expressive Healing Arts taps into the other side of our brain where we can access creativity and intuition. We turn off the thoughts taking us away from the truth of our hearts. This enables us to be present and engaged with our own internal process and sometimes that is all it takes.

Paying attention to our emotional state acknowledges and honors our experience and provides the opportunity for us to learn whatever is available to us through it.

How have you used artistic practices to help you heal?

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Elizabeth Bishop is the creator of the Conscious Service Approach designed to support helping professionals to reconnect with and fulfill their desire to make a difference in the lives of those they support. Following the completion of a diploma in Developmental Services and a degree in Psychology and Religious Studies, she completed a Masters in Adult Education through St. Francis Xavier University, providing the opportunity to test and refine the elements of the Conscious Service Approach. Elizabeth is the host of Serving Consciously, a new show on Contact Talk Radio. Simply tune in to www.ctrnetwork.com and click Listen Live at 12pm PST every 2nd and 4th Friday.

          
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