Thursday, April 25, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Wise Word Collage

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.

Those of us who have been through any kind of pain in life, be it a romance ending, a death in the family, a loss of any kind, or even just the habit of internalizing our thoughts and feelings, know that writing out our feelings is often a useful way to release the inner angst and work through complex emotions.
Creative people have been doing it for centuries. Poets and great writers have used their own internal struggles to inspire some of the most powerful and timeless written words that still move and resonate within humanity today. A quick Google search under "famous quotes: heartbreak/ loss/love/ friendship or any other word that fits your own struggle or issues will turn up prose from names like Shakespeare, Poe, Whitman, Twain and others.

This collage process asks the artist to use found and printed quotes from the computer or book sources, or their own written words from journals or letters, along with abstract painting, to illustrate a feeling or emotion that they may struggle with or be working through.

You'll need:  11x17" watercolor paper on canvas or pre-stretched canvas, paints, Modge Podge decoupage medium, paint brushes, scissors, printed quotes of choice or copies letters, journal pages or written words to reflect your feelings or emotions

  • Gather together all your written word material
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  • Using paints and canvas, think about the emotion or issue you have been working on in your journal or internally, and using colors and form, express it on the paper.  Fill the whole of the paper with color and shape to give the viewer a sense of the emotion and feeling behind the issue for you.
  •  
  • Once done, allow to dry. While drying, look through your written word papers.  Tear the sheets of written words into irregular shapes to apply over your abstract painting in a collage manner.  You may use as many or as few as you think you'd like to, covering as much of your painting as you like.

  • Using the Modge Podge, apply the torn word pieces to the canvas and apply a coat of Modge Podge over the papers to seal to the canvas.  Once you are done apply the papers, apply a coat of Modge Podge to the entire surface to give it a consistent surface appearance.  Allow to dry before display.

Process Notes:  The purpose of this process is to express the issue the artist is thinking about in two ways, both through color and form and in word.  Through the process of making the art, the artist again releases some of the angst and power of the emotions associated with the original issue and puts that energy into the artwork itself.  While reading through the quotes and thoughts of others about similar circumstances or emotions, the artist sees that the feelings are not unique and that others have felt those same emotions and have expressed them... and moved on.  This takes some of the power and energy away from the original issue as well, making it just part of life, and not something life should revolve around.

Image:
Noncommercial Some rights reserved by {beautiful} Lemons Photography


Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Friday, April 19, 2013

God Speaks: Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Kidnapped and Freed by God's Hand

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.


The following story is from : http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Hope_Encouragement/a-e/BykerKathi.htm


KIDNAPPED AT KNIFEPOINT YET MIRACULOUSLY FREED


Over the years, I've really struggled a lot with fear.  I'm a sensitive person and things in the past have just hit me really hard.  Eighteen years ago I had breast cancer and that was hard.  Another time, we were in a near plane crash. Another time, our little granddaughter was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma when she was three years old. As of 2012 she's l0 years old and doing very well, but it was very hard to see her lose her hair and go through so much trauma.  Fear is a tool of the enemy, and the devil really does use it to try to tie us up and render us ineffective and distract us from what God's calling us to do.  That's why I'm completely trusting God to help me to overcome this fear (Which He is doing, thank you Lord!).  I cannot do this by myself; it is something that God has to help me with.  
Sometimes to come against fears, to get victory over it, we have to confront them and that can be really scary; especially when they are brought to your doorstep like it was mine. About four months ago (as of early 2012) I really had to confront this fear.  A fearful situation came into our lives that was totally unexpected.
We woke up at 4:00 in the morning to people yelling in our bedroom.   I opened my eyes and someone was standing over me, on my side of the bed; a man totally dressed in black, except you could see his eyes, and he had a knife in his hand.  I just couldn’t believe it.  I closed my eyes and I thought I was having a nightmare, and I opened them again and he was still there, and I was utterly terrified.   He pulled out some duct tape and he was working with it while holding the knife.  He was trying to tie my ankles up and my wrists, and it was dawning on me that he was going to take me away. 

The thought of having to leave my husband was terrifying and putting duct tape around my ankles  and getting me ready to go out of the house was tortuous.  I started kicking the man and my husband said, “Stop, Honey; he’s got a knife to your neck”!   I didn’t even realize it, so I calmed down.  There was another man dressed the same way with a knife over my husband.  My husband had a very peaceful demeanor through this, and I’m so thankful that he didn’t blow up or get angry and set them off any more.  They were constantly yelling and swearing at us through this whole ordeal.  I found myself getting pulled and yanked out of our house into my own vehicle. He started putting duct tape over my eyes and my mouth, wrists and ankles and commanding me to lay down on the back seat.  To feel so vulnerable and helpless and to be under someone’s control like that was just … HELL.  

He pulled out of the driveway in the dark, away from my husband, our home, my safety place.  I mean, it was awful.   I didn’t have a clue where we were going, what he was going to do to me, or how long this would last.   He was driving with his left hand and had his right hand over the back of his seat with the knife in his hand, and he kept demanding that I lay down in the back seat, and if I sat up he’d kill me, and I believed that he would.  He had the knife right to my neck.
At that point, I remembered God.  I did.  I remembered to call out to God. I remembered He was there.  I prayed in the Spirit.  I remembered that praying in tongues will bring me to a place where my spirit is talking to God’s Spirit without my mind getting involved, and I just called on God.  The next thing I remember after I prayed, I remembered to plead the blood of Jesus over my body.  In the Bible it talks about the blood over the doorposts being protection, and I realized I needed God’s protection.  And as I brought God into the picture, the next thing I remember is that Proverbs 3:5 and 6 came to my mind.  Then some other verses came to mind reminding me that God is my refuge.  I surrendered totally to God and His Word as the Holy Spirit brought key scriptures to my mind.  The supernatural peace of God came into me. The situation hadn’t changed, but I remembered God.  The fear factor was lessening as the God factor was going up; and the realization that God was greater than this fear.   And if He can help me through that, He can help anyone through anything. 
It wasn’t too long after that, and he stopped and pulled me out and pulled me into what I thought was a forest. And I remember thinking: 'I am NOT going to be one of those people who are never heard from again, In Jesus’ Name'!  
DUCT TAPED TO A POLE
There was a pole, and he started to use the duct tape on my knees, and he was tying me to this pole. He said, “There’s somebody behind you and if you try to escape, he’ll kill you”.  I did not believe there was anyone behind me. I just did not sense it. 
I could hear him leaving, and I just waited a little while, not very long - like maybe 15 seconds.  Then I wiggled out of the duct tape on my wrists and pulled it off of my eyes and mouth, and I realized I was in a cornfield, and the corn was like 8’ tall, and I looked around and there was nobody behind me,   It was still dark, and there was nobody around.  I looked down and the tape was around my knees, and I pushed it apart and honestly, it was a miracle. The duct tape that was holding me to the pole ripped as I just put a slight pressure on it! 
I broke away from there, and ran to the road.  I thought in my heart:  It’s important which way I go – straight, left, or right.   I paused and felt God leading me to go straight.  Little did I know that the man had run out of duct tape, and he had run down the road to my vehicle to get more, and he was coming back and if I had turned left, I would have run right into him!  
No one prepares themselves for this kind of situation, and I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know whether to keep running or find a place, like I ended up doing, to hide.  I just didn’t know what to do.  But the thing that I remember is that I never felt so alone in my life.  I have never had a time in my life where nobody knew where I was.  It was like … nobody. 
It was dark - I was in my pajamas - I was barefooted ... duct tape hanging all over me.  I just started running.  Through the fields and hiding for awhile and praying -- then I would run some more.  
At one point, when I stopped and wondered what to do, I noticed a line of trucks by this trucking business. There were all these white cabs lined up, except there was only one red one.  The parking lights were on and the motor was running and I knew somebody was in there and I ran.  I was so relieved to see that the gate that should have maybe been locked, to hold those trucks in there, was open. And I ran in there and ran to the truck and pounded on the door and no answer.  But then pretty soon I opened the door on the driver’s side and called in there, and a man was in there and he had been sleeping, and he helped me. 
In Proverbs 3:6 where it says that: If we acknowledge Him in all our ways He will direct our path. HE DID!  He directed me to go straight.  If I would have gone left, I do not know what would have happened.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Making a Difference: Yes You Can: New Ways You Can Do It

Treasuring Grace Ministries tries to make a difference in people's lives through spreading the word about the truth of life, and supporting those who need help. Everyone can do something to make the world a little bit better, and we want to help you find a way to make a difference too.

Time Magazine featured an article listing many ways busy people can take a few moments out of their day, group together with friends, or focus in on the needs of thier own community, to make a difference in the world.  We'd like to share their ideas with you here.

New Ways to Make a Difference

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Nature Mandala

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 




We have talked about Mandala's here before, and as an art therapy device, the Mandala is a versatile tool.  Carl Jung was obsessed with them and said, "I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate."

Especially significant as a tool for healing for women, the circle symbol, often associated with the womb, or Mother, can help artists work through issues and develop a sense of wholeness and integrity. 



Start this process with an 11x17 piece of watercolor paper and your favorite medium, water color paints, markers, drawing pencils, collage materials, ... whatever. 

Draw a large circle, a mandala on the paper to take up the majority of the page. 

Now, close your eyes.  Imagine a lush forest in springtime. Everything is mossy, wet, bursting forth with life. New growth. The sun filters through a canopy of bright green leaves, you hear water dropping onto the soft earth below your feet. Blooms on tiny plants begin to unfold around you. Vines begin to climb up the tree trunks, ferns shoot up and unroll into lacy feathers. Breathe it all in.

Now fill your mandala with the life that you absorbed. 

Process notes:  

The very act of filling the symbolic mandala with imagery of new life is a healing act. Subconsciously the artist feels renewed, and refreshed by the guided imagery and by the act of creation. As the mandala is of the artists creation, she acknowledges her own ability to be life-giving, in some way, and celebrates that through use of color and line. At the end of the process the artist should be relaxed and satisfied. 

If the artist is working through a loss due to abortion, miscarriage or other grief, creating life images in a mandala helps to re-establish the artist as a life-giver, a creator.  It gives the artist time to work through feelings of guilt, regret and sadness with each brushstroke or line. 

If the artist is so overcome by feelings of remorse, sadness or guilt that she cannot draw anything in the mandala, the group facilitator would need to encourage her to take the smallest step in creating one thing, one image of life in the mandala.  A small step on the way to healing, is still a step and opens up the door for verbal communication.

 
 image by:
License
AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by Lyle58


Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Saturday, April 6, 2013

God Speaks: Real Stories of God Working Miracles in Real People's Lives: Miraculous Saving from Drowning


The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.


The Below video highlights a news story about an amazing and miraculous rescue that will have you saying only God could be the explanation.  Very inspirational... What do you think?
 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Make A Difference: Yes You Can and Here's 25 Ways to Do It!


We have talked about a lot of different charities and ways that one person can make a difference in this world, but it doesn't always mean joining an organization or spending a lot of time or energy. Even the busiest person with the fullest schedule can still make the world better for someone in some way.  Check out this list of 25 things you can do to help a fellow human being today (from Zen Habits.net.)

25 Things You Can Do To Help a Fellow Human Being Today...

"Take just a few minutes today, and do a kindness for another person. It can be something small, or the start of something big. Ask them to pay it forward. Put a smile on someone’s face.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s an extremely incomplete list, just to get you thinking — I’m sure you can come up with thousands more if you think about it.
  1. Smile and be friendly. Sometimes a simple little thing like this can put a smile and warm feeling in someone else’s heart, and make their day a little better. They might then do the same for others.
  2. Call a charity to volunteer. You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen today. Just look up the number, make the call, and make an appointment to volunteer sometime in the next month. It can be whatever charity you like. Volunteering is one of the most amazing things you can do.
  3. Donate something you don’t use. Or a whole box of somethings. Drop them off at a charity — others can put your clutter to good use.
  4. Make a donation. There are lots of ways to donate to charities online, or in your local community. Instead of buying yourself a new gadget or outfit, spend that money in a more positive way.
  5. Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday or Christmas gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a certain charity.
  6. Stop to help. The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or somehow in need of help, stop and ask how you can help. Sometimes all they need is a push, or the use of your cell phone.
  7. Teach. Take the time to teach someone a skill you know. This could be teaching your grandma to use email, teaching your child to ride a bike, teaching your co-worker a valuable computer skill, teaching your spouse how to clean the darn toilet. OK, that last one doesn’t count.
  8. Comfort someone in grief. Often a hug, a helpful hand, a kind word, a listening ear, will go a long way when someone has lost a loved one or suffered some similar loss or tragedy.
  9. Help them take action. If someone in grief seems to be lost and doesn’t know what to do, help them do something. It could be making funeral arrangements, it could be making a doctor’s appointment, it could be making phone calls. Don’t do it all yourself — let them take action too, because it helps in the healing process.
  10. Buy food for a homeless person. Cash is often a bad idea if it’s going to be used for drugs, but buying a sandwich and chips or something like that is a good gesture. Be respectful and friendly.
  11. Lend your ear. Often someone who is sad, depressed, angry, or frustrated just needs someone who will listen. Venting and talking through an issue is a huge help.
  12. Help someone on the edge. If someone is suicidal, urge them to get help. If they don’t, call a suicide hotline or doctor yourself to get advice.
  13. Help someone get active. A person in your life who wants to get healthy might need a helping hand — offer to go walking or running together, to join a gym together. Once they get started, it can have profound effects.
  14. Do a chore. Something small or big, like cleaning up or washing a car or doing the dishes or cutting a lawn.
  15. Give a massage. Only when appropriate of course. But a massage can go a long way to making someone feel better.
  16. Send a nice email. Just a quick note telling someone how much you appreciate them, or how proud you are of them, or just saying thank you for something they did.
  17. Show appreciation, publicly. Praising someone on a blog, in front of coworkers, in front of family, or in some other public way, is a great way to make them feel better about themselves.
Read more at  ( From http://zenhabits.net/25-ways-to-help-a-fellow-human-being-today/) 

image:  NoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by connerdowney

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