Monday, September 12, 2011

Reflections on Santa Fe

“The power of reflection naturally emerges when we are willing to have a courageous conversation with ourselves.” Bernie Saunders
Aluminum owl from canyon road.
 If you look closely you can see the photographer (me)

The 2011 Creativity and Madness conference delivered on its promise to renew, recharge, and refresh my commitment to the hard work of therapy.  One important theme this year was the power of reflection.  Taking time to simply “being,” as opposed to restless “doing.”  With my cell phone tucked in my purse and five free days to soak information and inspiration like a sponge, I reflected a great deal.

Some of the personal stories resonated for me personally and professionally.  There was the poignant journey of Dr. Kenneth Jackson who traveled across Arizona on horseback to achieve the distance and perspective he needed to make an important life change.  He felt healed through the physical challenge of nature, and the quiet that invited him to reflect on his life without daily clutter and responsibilities.

Bernie Saunders invited us all to meditate on beautiful photographs while Tami Briggs accompanied the images with music.  Tami is a therapeutic harpist who is frequently asked to perform in the rooms of dying patients.  The blessing and peacefulness of her gift to patients and their families emotionally impacted me on a deep spiritual level. 

Dr. Arthur Schlosser (aka Dean Dobbins) expressed the duality of his passions in medicine and music. He shared memories of mentors who gave him the directive to choose between his talents.  It was only when Arthur took time to listen to his own intuitions that he recognized his need to have both.  At this point in his life he feels balanced and receives great satisfaction through the integration of his talents.

 By midweek the message for me to spend some alone time to reflect was clear.  Then I was indirectly encouraged by Dr. Jeremy Spiegel to take a tour of Canyon Road.  His presentation highlighted a technique he has developed called “art healing.”  It involves interacting and reflecting on existing art.  By seeking out art that we are drawn to, as well as repulsed by, we have an opportunity to identify, address, express, and ultimately heal emotional hurts. Energized by his talk I hopped a shuttle and walked from gallery to gallery in search of healing.

I bought art.  I wanted to buy more.  I don’t think I was supposed to combine art healing with retail therapy but . . .

The piece is glass on copper by Houston Llew.  It is entitled “melody,” he describes his work as spirit tiles.  The inscription on the side reads “Happiness is a thing to be practiced.  Like the violin.”  It drew me into the gallery like a magnet. 
It makes me smile.
And reflect.

 It 's simple message expresses creativity, optimism,and intention.  “Melody” reflects parts of me to myself.

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