Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

Feel The Beat

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

Last night on NBC’s “The Voice” one of the contestants sang “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine.  The performance was riveting.  The vocals were terrific, the contestant utilized the stage, and she participated in the drumming with a group of drummers who were backing her up.  There was something quite primitive, not only about the use of the drum, but the particular beat in the song.  It had an almost hypnotic quality capturing my attention through the performance.

The drum beat has been incorporated in rituals probably since the beginning of time.  Shamans have used the drum during soul retrieval.  Native American ceremonies have used the drum for dance and marking important aspects of ceremonies.  If you look back throughout history you’ll see that the drum has been much more significant than merely the cool aspect of a rock band.

The beat of the drum mimics the heart beat.  It’s as if your heart is beating outside your body.  In rituals in can bring the group together in synchronistic breathing.  It becomes a thread that weaves between all involved in a ceremony.  It’s kinesthetic creating a body, mind, and spirit experience.  It can tell a story.  If you were to engage in drumming you would feel the beat course through your veins.  It would draw you in with its magical sound and gravity of its presence.

When you engage in an activity like drumming you personify the life force.  Having the ability to beat louder and harder creating a tension with sound allow for the release of that tension.  It’s reminiscent of holding on to negative energy in the body and allowing it to vibrate out of your body with the beat.  It’s a crescendo that can have long-lasting health benefits.  It’s emotive and expressive and on your journey to wellness that’s important.  Ultimate self-expression is one of the things that can certainly be a catalyst for health and healing.  Having the capacity and the willingness to engage the strength of the beat brings forth an energy that serves a catalyst for healing.

What happens when you hear a drum beat?  How might you use the beat of the drum in your own healing rituals.  Let’s share our drumming experiences and help promote health and healing!

Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

The Power of “The Voice”

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

So you may be thinking that I’m going to talk about the NBC show “The Voice”, now wouldn’t that have been convenient.  Although I do enjoy the show, there’s another angle of our voices that’s even more impressive and scores big with me.  I like to sing and these days the only time I usually sing is in the shower or the car (sometimes I don’t end the call in my car and the person I was talking to gets a rendition of something I’ve been listening too…lucky for them, huh?)  I’ve always loved to sing.  I sang in choirs through high school and college and a community choir upon graduating from college.  I never wanted to be a singer, but I love the joy of singing something from the soul.

Eric Whitacre must feel the same way because he took the choir experience to new heights.  Although wanting to be a “pop” star, he became an American composer.  In his travels in the music world he put together a virtual choir of 2,052 voices.  It’s hard enough to get 40 or 50 people to sing together, on key, following a conductor, so doing it virtually is an amazing accomplishment.  It comes with the advances in technology and a great editor.

What Whitacre accomplishes is not only beautiful but inspiring.  What’s even more encouraging are the 2000+ singers who joined in the project.  Being a part of something so big from the comfort of your own home is amazing.  The final cut of the piece is moving and jaw dropping.  It takes creativity and perseverance to not only create such a work but to be able to share it with the world ignites a spark of possibility.

They say that there is strength in numbers.  Being a part of something bigger than yourself reduces isolation, something that many who face a chronic or life-threatening illness face following their diagnosis.  This is one of the reasons that support groups are so helpful; they bring voices and stories together that inspire the journey to health and healing.  You may not be a singing virtuoso, but your voice has power.  Your voice has the power to express yourself fully, powerfully, and convey a message to your body, mind, and spirit that you’re committed to getting better or well.

Please watch the link and experience the magic that Eric Whitacre has to offer then think about how you can use your voice for health and healing.  Who knows where our voices will meet!

Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

Accessing New Creativity For Telling Your Story

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

It’s that time of year when some of my old favorite and new favorite reality shows are on television.  My old standby is “So You Think You Can Dance”.  I think those young dancers are amazing, have enormous talent, and speak volumes with their bodies.  My new favorite is “The Voice”, because the show is geared to talented people regardless of age, and the selection is based on their voice, not a stereotype of what a successful singer should look like.  The key in both of these shows is that the contestants are true to their craft.  They tell a story, express themselves, and are following their passion…it’s their oxygen.

I understand that with all my heart.  As a textile artist I work hard at telling my story through my art.  I know that I’m not a painter, sculptor, or performing artist.  It’s not about a comfort zone, but an acknowledgment of my gifts and talents.  So why am I thinking about doing something different?  I’m not looking to shift the focus of art, but add to my repertoire.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to expand my story telling options.  Aside from my textile art I try to write on this blog Monday thru Friday.  This writing is a practice for me because it allows me to share my thoughts, create an exchange of ideas, and provide resources that may be helpful on your journey to health and healing.  So what’s the problem?  No problem.  I know that I’m a very verbal person.  I like to tell stories and doing it verbally is easy whether it’s to one person or 500 people.  I’ve been looking for other methods of accessing hidden secrets in my soul.

When I was in my dissertation class, one of my classmates is doing a Doctor of Ministry and her dissertation is about the collages she’s created and how they impact her life and her spiritual journey.  I’ve started toying with the idea of creating collages.  It’s an artistic voice, isn’t about artistic talent, and gets me out of my head because it’s nonverbal.  The more we can uncover what lies deeper in our minds and our hearts the greater pool of internal resources we have for health and healing.  It’s not about substituting but adding to my arsenal of self-expression.

How will you access deeper aspects of yourself?  What might emerge when you open yourself up to the possibility of greater self-expression?  How do you utilize this outward expression of your soul on your journey to wellness?  I’d love to know what creative endeavors may capture your intrigue and aid you on your path to getting better or well.  Share your story below or send me an email at