A therapeutic expression integrated with EFT
Carolina Maggio explains below the power of art in healing and her experience of integrating her Integrative Art approach with EFT.
The Art of Breathing
Art and the meditative state are deeply connected.
In both these practises we have the chance to observe our breath, quieten the noise of our thoughts and have the chance to connect to the core of our existence.
Is breathing an art?
In my opinion, everything done with conscious love towards ourselves is an art indeed but when I discovered I could combine the use of colours with conscious breathing exercises, and in this sense truly "paint with my breath" I felt that I had found something precious in terms of creative therapy.
The use of paint in art therapy is known as being related to self-expression and emotional release. However, I believe that what we sometimes conveniently call emotions, are more often than not our thoughts, something deriving from our mind, not our hearts.
The moment we allow the mind to have control on our painting hand, our self- expression will be but a new self- indulgence of the ego - dying to be seen, heard and mainly, believed to be real.
Painting with our Breath
Following a series of mindful breathing exercises that reveal and stimulate the restrictive breathing patterns directly connected to our emotions, we begin by pouring the paint on a piece of paper and then blowing on the colour, moving it with our breath; creating stains and patterns.
When we breathe and blow on the paint we create abstract shapes that have nothing of the rational or even un-rational, but rather phenomenological: our subjective experience is all that matters here in order to observe and understand ourselves.
As our breathing patterns transform, so do the shapes on the paper, allowing us to go deeper into a meditative state where we find a moment of silence.
From that silence, that un-judgemental, raw and open state of being, we begin to look at what our breath has created.
In that moment, try to catch your mind, and carefully observe how it will pounce, like a fierce predator, on the reality you have just created.
Interpretation, corrections, judgment, and control... You now have the chance to witness how these elements arise inside you.
Do not try to stop them. Do not repress them. Just observe, accept, and be grateful.
Art with EFT
There are many stories that live inside us, silently, creating a whole world of beliefs about who we are.
These stories - the resistance to change that prevent us from fulfilling our lives - disappear the moment you expose them for what they are - just stories. So why do they feel so real, so present? Why does the emotional and physical pain related to these stories feel too powerful to simply let go of?
The emotions we feel are real and it is within those emotions that our stories live. To let go of the stories we have to first liberate those emotions, see them for what they are, accept them and thus accept ourselves fully.
This is what the practice of EFT enables us to do - addressing the very core of the conditioning that generates our self-destructive attitudes - in such a gentle and direct way that opens places within ourselves that we were not even aware to have shut and repressed.
Through the use of EFT, tapping on the emotions that arise while observing the stains of colours we have created, we begin to go deeper by interpreting the images we see emerging. Our interpretation of such images becomes a vehicle to connect with those recondite parts of ourselves that hold the key to access our inner truth.
Drawing your Inner Truth
Using a pen we now underline the edge of the stains of colours. Drawing the images that we project on the stains of colours, we begin to see the representation of our thoughts and feelings, allowing them to come out of the forms we created. Just like a Rorschach ink blot test, these blots want to inform you of a subconscious reality that lives within you, in all those stories that you are now ready to let go of.
As you draw and define the outline of the images you see in the stains, you will see how often your mind will try to trick you and make you change them into something else, something prettier and perhaps easier to accept.
When you can observe and accept these debilitating and self-deceptive mechanisms of the mind you allow this experience to empower you. Let your ego surrender calmly and consciously release the attachment to your stories and the years of negative emotions they have generated.
Once you feel ready to stop drawing just allow yourself to do so, remembering your breath and observing its signs on this artwork you created. It is the representation of your inner self as it heals, painted by your breath, the most precious physical expression of your soul.