I am a potter called to spiritual care. A simple statement that has been 30 years in the making! My family had a tire business and I grew up in the local Lutheran parish. This shaped my love of physical work and an inherent spiritual aptitude. But my life experience has been like a seed which lies under a sidewalk, and grows and grows! Room needed to be created, at great cost, until the tree fully emerged. That "tree" was creative expression which others and myself have used for spiritual growth and perspective.
While in Seminary, Dr. Bream, required a final project as part of a Prophet's class which a person could use in a future ministry. I choose to take a potter's wheel to various groups and, as a way of illustrating the references to pottery, created a piece of pottery, then allowing it to collapse. Something very different emerged, a common experience was created in which a group became emotionally invested. While each was emotionally invested, what the experience evoked with each person varied, even within common themes such as "loss." So, on large sheets of newsprint, I listed and listened to responses and questions. It is a practice which I continue today because it is how learning continues to emerge from the experience for each of us. This basic model, creating an experience out of which emerges questions and perspectives continued, hundreds if not thousands of times, in a variety of community, clinical and academic settings, now over 30 years.
Yet it remains a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is that our vocational worlds are "outcome focused." We want what we think we, or others, need. The creative process is a wholist approach to being, of which the outcome is just one part. Outcomes are motivational and informative but beyond that, other dynamics become integrated. If one does not work within the limitations of the material, or through fear or anxiety avoids loss for example, then the "outcome" lacks integrity. Yet is the perfect opportunity because it is person-centered, there is an emotional investment which is key for learning and there is an outcome which is generally a surprise, carries memories and is renewing!
Contact me and let me share how others have used the experience, process and created art in situations such as yours.