Trauma and grief leave an indelible mark on our hearts and minds. The greater the trauma, the greater the impact on the neurological functions of the brain. Healing from trauma and loss happens when we reactivate the brain in a different way - art, creativity, self expression engage the brain in a very positive way.
Last night in Hood River, Oregon, I worked with a perinatal support group, created for parents who are grieving after a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or loss of an infant. We started with creative writing using the colors, swirls and patterns of Ebru or "cloud" art. The exercise involved picking a piece that sparked emotion, then staring at the piece while listening to music. Participants were urged to melt into the colors and the layers of the art, and take notice of everything they were seeing, feeling, experiencing. After 5 minutes, I removed the art and asked them to write from memory.
"I see colors and I think emotions. I see how they flow in my life. Red is love, yellow is joy, green is sadness and black is pain. The swirls and colors flow in a wave-like pattern - the motions of life. Sometimes the emotions can crash down like waves ... sometimes they can lift you up."
"I see an eagle, of liberty and freedom. I see a butterfly, of love, hope and healing. I see a peacock, of beauty and flirtation. And I see a seed of hope and a future."
The creative process always takes you on a journey, with the end result being wisdom and truth. The truth for these mothers and fathers is the bright colors of life almost always have a "little bit of the black" or pain present in the swirls. Knowing and expressing this profound insight in a creative way helps with the healing process.
Please know that Thursday, October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day ... for more information please see www.october15th.com.