Thank you for visiting. Here you will find posts based on my book The Power of Your Other Hand: Unlocking creativity and inner wisdom through the right side of your brain (new edition, 2019 Conari Press), featuring excerpts from the book, success stories from readers and students, my own experiences, and drawing and writing prompts using this technique. Enjoy!
~Lucia Capacchione, Phd, ATR

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Creative Journal and Nature: Co-Create a Spiritual Experience by Liberating the Inner Child

Our guest blogger this week is Charlotte Yonge from England. Charlotte is a Certified Creative Journal Expressive Arts facilitator and Visioning® Coach who works with individuals and groups of all ages. She has done a great deal of work in nature, as reflected in this post.

Using the Non-Dominant Hand to Hold the Imaginative "Stretch" of Visioning®, Accessing Deep Levels of Grief with Nature as my Inner Teacher

Left and right hands play together in Creative Journal: "Life must be lived as play." ~Plato

These Creative Journal activities are part of my journey to recover my Inner Child and restore some effective Inner Parents. They are all created from experience, rooted in dreams and memories and, like stories, take on their own life as anecdotes in conversation becoming shared understanding of common human issues.

Early in my CJEA training I depicted my Inner Critic and told it to go using my non-dominant hand. All around the picture are the words I remembered from childhood that made me feel shame and guilt. I realized that they came from adults and my parents and I contemplated their own dilemmas of bringing me up in an alien continent: Africa.

My mother's sharp tongue was crafted from the deep vulnerability she felt with two toddlers alone in a house while my father was on the road. At our first house I was 2-3 years old, and she reflected on the garden she created which became an oasis for birds in that very dry landscape.

My mother died in 2017, and a month or two before that I had shown her the Wilderness Mother collage card, although by then she was not responding well and I did not know what her reaction was. Her last words to me were to tell me she loved me.

My grief processing with the non-dominant hand brought to memory her love of dance and Nature. I found I could reflect on the gifts she gave me of her love of gardening, wild nature and of woodland. I tapped into my own Inner Artist, so long rejected, and began creating many cards, one of which was called Wilderness Mother.

So I tapped into the wild in England, and brought all my early experiences to bear upon my sense of loss for it to become a part of my new Inner Artist persona. A big stretch of self-affirmation was fueled by grief and gratitude together, and a whole pack of 67 cards.

As I dialogued with Nature, and the memories of wild gardens in my African childhood, all sorts of metaphors arrived in my intuition about the direct experience of Nature and its challenges. The difficult emotions were represented in the landscape for me, and so I became more familiar with my own gut responses as creative allies.

For me the vision of my artistic self became real after dedicating my dialogue with Nature to my mother’s fiercely held dream of life cracks you open, and her positive response by growing new life. Through my non-dominant hand I drew a witch face for my Inner Critic, and this helped me explore how my difficult relationship with my mother’s fierce interactions with me as an adult were necessary survival behaviors that had kept me safe in very disruptive times of living in two continents.

I was brought up in Africa as a semi immigrant, loosely connected to a home country (UK), but deeply bonded to the African wilderness. Over time my mother created gardens in semi desert areas; her courage made her a fierce life affirming person with early experiences of dance and movement before the war threw her into facing the worst of challenges in a hostile, primitive environment.

Charlotte Yonge



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