I attended an expressive arts therapy conference over the weekend with hundreds of other creative people from all over the world. For three days, we gathered virtually around the clock to accommodate many different time zones. This meant 1am sound healing sessions with healers in Hong Kong, a 4pm play therapy workshop with a facilitator in Belgium, a lunchtime global art therapy presentation with members in India, and everything in between. Throughout the conference, the word that kept coming up for me was ease. I tend to be an over-thinker, an over-doer, a worrier, and someone who finds it hard to slow down. This way of going through life takes a toll on my body and mind and, when paired with the stress of the last two years, has started to feel completely unsustainable. During the conference, when asked to create art, engage in movement, or do some writing around something that was coming up for me, every time, I chose the theme of creating more ease. I long for more flow and peace in my life, yet I can't seem to find it--or, more accurately, I can't seem to allow it. I have a sneaking suspicion that fear is involved somehow (it usually is!) but I still need to process a bit more to understand how.
The final session of the weekend was at 11:30pm on Sunday night and led by my good friend in Oregon. I attended from my bed, exhausted from the weekend, but eager to get in one last workshop. As a final directive, we were asked to consider the question, "What am I becoming?" and to choose an inanimate object that reflects who that person is. At first, I was totally perplexed. Looking around my room desperately for an object, I found myself initially annoyed by the very question itself. But then, I heard the word "ease" come into my head yet again.... "I am becoming ease." I instantly knew what object I would be if I were ease and, as luck would have it, I had to look no further than my feet. I had been gifted with the softest, coziest slippers of my life for Christmas and slipped one off, holding it in my hand. "So you are the embodiment of ease, eh?" I couldn't help but laugh as I imagined other people becoming a beautiful painting, a shiny ring...a brand new car. My highest hope for myself? To become a slipper. We were then asked to write a response piece as if we were the object we were becoming. This is me, becoming a slipper...
I am warm and fuzzy,
Soft and comfortable
I am open and inviting….easy to slip on
Snug, with plenty of room to breathe
I am an old friend who greets you with a hug
I am flexible but firm
Supportive, with just enough give
Familiar and safe...scuffed from repeated wear
I am chilly nights gathered around a fire
And sleepy mornings cuddled up with tea and a good book
I am gently knit by strong hands and kind eyes
I am faded wool with a sturdy sole
When you are tired, I offer comfort
And when you are unsteady, I bring you ease….
What are you becoming?