Poem of the Week

Posted November 29, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

To encourage, enliven, and inspire 
your journey as seeker, 
I am now offering  
a "Poem of the Week", 
sharing one of my own poems.
Here is the first offering.

Prayer for Choosing to Soften
 
At best, we will need therapy 
and meditation practice
for the rest of our lives,
and some of us will soften 
and begin to heal,
and some of us will keep resisting,
afraid to be other than
alone behind walls.
 
And the world goes on
as it always has 
and always will,
warring more
wherever we resist,
and warring less
wherever we soften.
 
Sometimes we feel like fools.
We could be getting drunk
and screwing around
in opulent, burning fortresses,
instead of humbly sitting here,
becoming naked.
 
But the love we seek
needs us to live in the wound
like maggots cleansing 
an open sore of infection,
like bees finding pollen 
to make honey,
like mystics waking in the heart 
of the cosmic rose,
realizing what we called self
was a simple portal,
a crudely carpentered door,
we are quietly passing through,
beyond which
compassion is
forever opening.
 
 
 
 


Autumn Eco-Spirituality and Art Mid-Day Retreat

Posted September 7, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: art therapy, eco-spirituality

Living Your Questions through Art, Writing, and Bulb Planting Meditations

September 26, 2020

1pm -4pm (eastern time) via Zoom

hosted by Liza Hyatt, art therapist, poet, and spiritual director

RSVP: lizahyatt@gmail.com

free, no cost to attend

supplies needed: black paper, gel pens, your favorite art materials, journal, 6-12 bulbs, gardening tools

 

As part of a virtual community, we will honor the natural wisdom of autumn, with its invitation to let go and entrust our longing to incubating dark. We will engage in expressive arts and nature meditations, expressing our hopes and fears during this time of complex personal, cultural, and environmental change and transition.  We will write and make art to express the questions we cannot answer and must grow into. We will plant spring blooming bulbs along with these questions in fertile dark earth and celebrate the blessings of deeply living the questions we carry in our hearts and souls.

Autumn Eco-Spiritual Retreat- flyer2

 

On torn paper, I write the questions I must live.

Wrap them around daffodil, tulip, crocus bulbs.

Plant them in the dark….

Each year’s questions, rewordings of one question,

perennial, persistent, mistaken as failure…

That question buried deep in each life…

And growth – the only answer.

(from “Planting Bulbs:  A Ritual” in Under My Skin, Liza Hyatt, Wordtech Editions, 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liminal Dancer

Posted July 11, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: embodied spirituality, liminal space, social change

Tags: , ,

Liminal Dancer

The dis-ease and trauma within which we live is planet-wide. Changes must take root and flower in every system, institution, home and individual. In such a world, how do use my gifts as spiritual guide to support social change???? If I answer this question with my mind, I fabricate heroic plans, despite having learned that heroism is inauthentic. Heroism insists on ego-driven improvements to what it sees as an inadequate and unacceptable world and self.  This compulsive pretense goes to the heart of the dis-ease we face. Instead, relating with compassion amidst ordinary life is where relational healing occurs.

Since my mind gets stuck in old ego patterns, I turn to my body’s discernment. Inspired by My Grandmother’s Handsby Resmaa Menakem, and its reminders of body-settling practices, one morning while commuting to work (for an 11-hour day among very unsettled bodies), I began humming. Without conscious choice, I found myself humming the melody of Amazing Grace.  I began to sing. Out came spontaneous new words, starting with the question, “What can I do in times like these?” and verses emerged – “we feel it in our bodies, the suffering – it starts in our bodies, the healing” …. I pulled out my phone and recorded this song. After recording, I kept singing – repeating verses, watching them evolve into a final verse (not recorded):

It starts in the body

becoming safe,

it starts in the body

healing,

it starts in the body

finding peace

in the midst of our suffering.

     I entered the eating disorder treatment clinic where I have worked as art therapist for 13 years singing these words. This is Spirit’s answer for me – I have gifts to help bodies find safety and calm. Whatever work I continue or add to my life, this settling of suffering bodies (mine included) is the moment to moment practice.

At work, bigger than normal changes had begun months before the virus. The pandemic has unraveled everything further. Every week has been a practice of surrender, of doing what is needed imperfectly, of losing my bearings and only temporarily finding them. We are all in the same state, life’s normal flux thrust into disequilibrium and chaos.  One of my biggest stresses has been the eating disorder clinic piloting a teen PHP during this pandemic, while we’ve also learned to provide telehealth to all our adult patients. Every week has involved major shifts in practice, letting go of what I did well, while struggling with new situations.  (Thich Naht Hanh’s mindfulness teachings have been so helpful during this time!!!)

Yesterday afternoon, I took 7 anxious teens outside for a mindful walk, a welcome break in PHP’s day-long therapy. We trekked around a nearby pond and watched a pair of blue herons among lotus flowers growing from pond-mud. I returned, settled in my body, to attend a Zoom staff meeting. There I found out that we will be switching to an entirely new schedule for the PHP. My future responsibilities are unclear and to be determined. Instead of solidifying ground, this fall will bring more disruption. More feelings of loss and uncertainty. More confused bearings and having to adjust.

The peace of breathing with lotus and herons evaporated. My body flew into panic, thinking, “I’ll just quit and focus entirely on private practice!” Grand schemes spun from mind – heroism, grasping at control and the illusion that safety is found in independence. Luckily, I observed my state. I returned to body settling and mindfulness and loving kindness.

I put the finishing touches on an art piece I have been collaging, titled: The Truth Is the Ground Has Always Been Shaky, Forever (from Pema Chodron).  In it, a woman is dancing on fragmented, quaking, and constantly shifting ground.  A series of shock waves is occurring. One of the dancer’s feet stands on a Covid virus. Ripples of melting glaciers, disappearing rainforests, and other terrain quake under her other foot. Her body is covered with words from Alice Walker, Thich Naht Hanh, and Felicia Murrell about hard times and furious dancing, about two arrows hitting the same place, about racism and liminal space. I painted the dancer as a dark-skinned woman, reminding me that, globally, people of color have the most difficulties to navigate, as we live our lives fighting to dismantle unjust structures and experimentally create a more compassionate society. The dancer is me and every woman. She is Mother of All affirming that we can do this dance. We can soul-journey through the turbulence that is being quickened.

Covid-19 and Dreams

Posted July 11, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

Kneeling

Here’s a link to a blogpost I contributed to the Natural Dreamwork blog. You can learn about Natural Dreamwork and access other posts from the team of Natural Dreamwork practitioners at http://www.thenaturaldream.com.

Natural Dreamwork During COVID-19 and Global Liminality

In My Contemplative Artist’s Toolbox

Posted January 11, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: art therapy, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

deer dream

Deer dream

As a contemplative artist, my tools include metaphor, creativity, imagination, and symbolism. But what exactly are these tools? Here is how I understand these essential human capacities:

 

Metaphor

 

Metaphor is a poetic linking of two unlike things to reveal a deep inner connection between the two. Metaphors are not just a literary device. All creative processes engage in metaphoric connecting. Spiritual experience can only be expressed through metaphor, a dance, an image, an AUM of breath and heart vibration, carrying some essence of the ineffable within them. Metaphors are packed with emotion and sensory, felt experience, which, when taken in consciously, wake those feelings inside our bodies in ways that make us more deeply alive. The roots of the word are from meta(over, across) and pherein (to carry, to bear, including to bear children as in give birth), so in the most ancient, embodied sense of the word, metaphor means to bear across. Engaging in metaphor pushes us beyond the threshold of what we used to know. Metaphors birth new life.

 

Imagination

 

Imagination is the making of images within the dreaming mind. This imagining is active in us at all times. During sleep, the imagination breaks free from the control of the ego and we wander in realms not possible in waking life. But while awake, we also imagine. We imagine as we remember, as we share stories, as we tell our histories, as we plan events, as we create and anticipate the future.  There is a primary imagination, as in our dreams, that comes without our conscious effort, and a secondary imagination, as in our art-making and other creative activities, in which human creativity extends primary imagination into manifest form. The material that primary imagination gives us is made of image and raw emotion within the living body. Because we are disconnected from emotion and the body, we dismiss this primary imaginal material as bizarre and meaningless. But when we learn to feel into it, we discover that every offering from the primary imagination is innately healing, somehow born from the wholeness we have been separated from. Those who engage in a regular practice of dreamwork experience the healing depth of primary imagination.

Imagination is often lumped synonymously with fantasy. This is a superficial misperception.  Fantasy is the ego’s conjuring. Imagination comes from soul.  When I picture my dream house, my ego is fantasizing something it may strive for.  When I am afraid and picture threatening scenarios unfolding, my ego is fantasizing, offering fight-flight stories, which is ego’s speciality. Self-aggrandizing and self-protection, the functions of ego, are the purpose of fantasy. To meet the healing bear in a dream, to write a soulfully true poem, and to paint from deep within, we must learn to clear the ego, and all its defensive fantasy, out of the way, and to humbly meet the frighteningly transformative soul material imagination gives us.

 

 

Creativity

 

Creativity is our way of solving problems while playing.

All humans are creative. We have survived for millennia because we are creative. Many animals are creative too. (To see animal creativity in action, look for the Youtube video of a creative raven using a metal lid to slide down a snowy roof.)  Whether we are figuring out how to sled, fly to the moon, paint luminous flesh-tones, or express emotion in violin patterns, we are engaging with challenging questions, encountering unknowns and seeming impossibilities, and experimenting in ways that increase connection to the materials being used, expand our learning, and awake a desire to keep going, building up on what has come before. Some creative processes feel scary and painful, fraught with many obstacles, seeming failures, and states of feeling blocked or thwarted. Some creative processes feel lyrical and vibrant, richly alive, blessed with states of flow.  Everyone engaged in creativity will feel both these states, and everything in between. To get to moments of flow, many long treks full of unsure stumbling and unsuccessful first drafts will first be logged.

In art therapy, we utilize a framework called the Expressive Therapies Continuum, or the ETC, developed by art therapy pioneers Lusebrink and Kagin.  In this framework, creativity is at the top of the continuum, and involves the engagement of all the other layers of human expression, which are our kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, affective, cognitive, and symbolic ways of experience and engaging. When we are creative, we engage all these functions.

 

Symbolism

 

Symbols are object or images that substitute for something that is not itself present.  We create symbols to stand for things and codify collective meaning. Sometimes the symbol substitutes for another physical object. For instance, before my daughter left home for college, I bought us both silver rings on a Mother’s Day art fair outing. Five years later, I still wear my ring every day to feel connected for her. The symbolic ring substitutes for her. Sometimes symbols substitute for an abstract thing. For instance, a nation’s flag symbolizes patriotism, love of country. We have cultural symbols, behavioral symbols, religious symbols, personal symbols, mathematical symbols, language symbols. A stop sign is a symbol standing in for the behavior to stop. The number 2 is a symbol standing in for any group of two things. A drawing of two parallel lines with a bumpy oval shape on top is, in pictographic language, a symbol of a tree. Because we are able to think symbolically, we have created language, writing, and other vast systems of meaning.  When a symbol really means something to us, we connect to it with both heart and mind, like the ring I wear, or specific religious symbols for specific people. Meaning is always connected to symbols. We read symbols, interpret them. There is always a cognitive element to symbols, an encoding of meaning.  Symbols can forge rich personal and cultural belonging. They are essential in how we pass on cultural wisdom. But we may know what a cultural symbol means without experiencing an emotional response. Often, we defend ourselves from feeling by staying in symbolic interpretation and its structures of intellectual scaffolding. For instance, when asked to draw a tree, a person might quickly make the typical stick figure tree they learned as a child, a symbol of a tree, instead of drawing a tree with bare branches and hollow trunk that would potently express their feelings of grief. Our we might interpret elements of a dream symbolically, looking things up in dream dictionaries and compiling vast cultural data on what a bear, or chalice, or hollow tree has meant to people in other times and places, but never experience the anger of our specificdream bear, the thirst stirred by ourdream chalice, or the emptiness inside our hollow tree.

 

 

This Poet’s Most Cherished Words

Posted May 7, 2019 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

sacred words

From time to time I’ve contemplated what words are most essential to me. My list has grown slowly over time, through lived experience. The first word to become sacred to me was the word “we.” Culturally, we livin in a me-against-you time, and so the healing essence of the word we is even more needed. This year, the word “vessel” became part of my list, as the best word for the deep inner space where soul-life cooks. Here is a list of some of the words that capture the heart of living, forming connection, entering relationship with each other:

we

us

home

empathy

belonging

earth (earth)

poem

tree

roots

breath

ground

weaving

dancing

singing

attached

open

now

cosmos

peace

dream

wonder

wander

feel

vessel

yes

Yoga, Expressive Art Therapy, and Dreams

Posted March 9, 2019 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

 

It’s been a wonderful year long journey!  I went to Costa Rica in March 2018 and completed training as a Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher.  In September, 2018 I began a 200 hour yoga teacher training program at my local yoga studio, Flourish Yoga + Wellbeing, in Fishers, Indiana.  On March 3, I graduated!!!!

I am already including yoga in my body movement group for eating disorder patients at Charis Center for Eating disorders.  And I am looking forward to starting to teach Let Your Yoga Dance at Flourish and to helping with their yoga nidra offerings.  My long term goals are to incorporate yoga and expressive art therapy into workshops and retreats.

While doing this yoga training, I have also been working with my dreams, with the help of a Natural Dreamwork practitioner. (www.thenaturaldream.com) The combo of dreamwork and yoga is incredibly healing and transformative for me. As yoga helps me unravel and release old conditioned reactivity and blockage within my body, the dreams are helping me untangle the emotional and spiritual wounds within my soul.  I am now a practitioner in training in the Natural Dreamwork tradition. And so, though I graduated from the yoga teacher training, my spiritual learning journey is far from ending.

Before teaching my first yoga class, I dreamed that a group of humpback whales were arriving at the yoga studio and would fill the whole space.  At first I reacted – there will be no space for me!  Where will I teach yoga?!  Then I realized the whales are arriving for my yoga class!  So much living, ancient embodied energy, showing up in to be with me, to celebrate this journey and the new growth and vitality it is bringing me.

I look forward to many more postings here about my new yoga and dreamwork path and how they deepen and expand upon creative healing work with others.

 

Coming Home to Belonging: My Pilgrimage with Soul

Posted January 26, 2019 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

godvesl3

I belong myself to that which I love. (Toko-Pa Turner)

In the past few years, my capacity to belong to self and World has been healing in ever-widening and deepening ways. I have been discovering how to “belong myself to life” as author Toko-Pa Turner writes. But more is happening than my own practicing of belonging. As I belong myself to life, world and Self are also belonging me to them.

The imagination that lives in the body and expresses itself through dreams and art-making is at the heart of this belonging, and is absolutely essential to soul-life. Much happened in my life to sever my connection from soul.  For most of us, the severing begins by just being born in this age of empty materialism and environmental destruction.  We are all wounded by this soul-deadening, imagination-impaired age.

I have been lucky and blessed to have found my vocation as art therapist at the beginning of my adult life and to have followed it for 30 years, through early novitiate stages, through challenging times of doubt, exhaustion, and disillusionment, and into years of deepened learning, increased mastery, and improved self-care. I have been rediscovering belonging every step of the way of those 30 years. And now, as I stand on the foundation of the mastery that I have painstakingly established, I am finding my capacity to belong is ripening, as is my courage to welcome and accept soul’s invitations for ever-evolving belong that arrive in dreams, sacred encounters, wild moments.

The threads of belonging radiate out from within the electric warmth of the body. The threads of belonging radiate out from the heart, from the flesh. They radiate out from every living presence in the natural world, the dream world, the universe.  I have lived too often feeling I am alone, all my threads of connectivity tamped down by hurt, pulled in by fear of further hurt.  In the past couple years, through an intensified engagement in art-based self-reflection and contemplation, I have seen the extreme severing of my connective threads. I have begun to unfurl them again.I have found the eternal vitality in these soul fibers. I have felt myself re-attaching to life, and life re-attaching with loving welcome to me.

The photo above is an overhead view of Vitality Vessel, a 24-inch tall vessel I created using torn, painted paper and torn strips of my unpublished memoir. The entire outside and inside of the vessel is lined with these strips. This vessel is the culminating art piece made during an 18-month period of self-reflection and inquiry into the roots and growth within personal compassion fatigue experiences. During this expressive artist pilgrimage, I wrote both a memoir and a weekly image journal, in which I logged reflections on my own art processes (visual art, poetry, dance, music) and also reflected on how I had been impacted by the week’s complex therapeutic interactions in the expressive art therapy groups/sessions I led. (I took a break from this blog during this time of contemplation, feeling that my pilgrimage needed to be personal and private in order to deeply ripen before I began sharing publicly about what it taught me.)

During this pilgrimage,  I also took retreats to natural settings, where I made art and hiked in the mountains of Massachusetts, New Mexico and Washington and danced and did yoga in Costa Rica. I also interviewed other art therapists about their experiences of compassion, fatigue and vitality. Many of those I interviewed were fellow faculty at St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana.  We created art about our compassion fatigue/vitality experiences and displayed these works in the first faculty show of the Woods’ Art Therapy MA program.  Vitality Vessel is one of the pieces I contributed to this show.

During my expressive arts pilgrimage, I also looked for and found mentors and guides who could help me deepen into and find the soul-gifts within the journey. Most helpful to me were: depth psychologist Francis Weller, with whom I had monthly mentoring Skype session; art therapist wise elder Maxine Junge, with whom I also had monthly Skype mentoring sessions and who I visited at her home on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound; and Mary Jo Heyen, Natural Dreamwork practitioner with whom I consulted bi-weekly to tend dreams that came (and still come) nightly in abundance, offering healing encounters over and over again.

In the above image of the vessel, you are given a glimpse of the depths within which I searched as I wrote, painted, scribbled, danced, dreamed and journeyed through the profound soul-work passage that this expressive arts pilgrimage became for me.

I was gifted with generous funding for this pilgrimage by applying for and receiving the Creative Renewal Fellowship given to me and 29 other artists and art administrators in Central Indiana. I was the first art therapist to receive this fellowship, which was first offered in 1999. I was a fellow during the program’s 10th round from July 2017 – December 2018.  It took me many years, and many failed applications, to finally receive this generous award. Each application involved learning to validate myself as art therapist and artist, and though each failed application was incredibly painful, the learning and struggle involved to finally receive and embark on the fellowship was essential. I can now say I received the fellowship at just the right period of my life and that all the other attempts were part of what made me so ready, so prepared, to engage fully in the fellowship pilgrimage. In fact, I could say that the pilgrimage included all the years of those initial attempts.

What I experienced and all that unfolded during the fellowship is too complex to describe with any clarity in one blog post.  More posts will follow throughout the coming year going into each of the richly rewarding components of my journey.  Here I want to share that the essential healing theme woven through all aspects of my pilgrimage, which was that of returning home, of re-belonging to self and world. This belonging is experienced as threads of living energy, waking, unfurling, rejoining the vibrant web of life.  Vitality Vessel depicts those out-reaching, in-reaching pulsing fibers of connection. It is a self-portrait of my own healing. It is a portrait of what I call “godding” – another verb that speaks of belonging, as divine energy expressed in living, flowing, all-embracing longing, the soul’s eternal homing.

(Opening quote from: Toko-Pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home,  Her Own Room Press: Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, 2017)

Healing Archetype Monotype

Posted April 30, 2016 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: art therapy

griefangel

Prompt: While listening to music that evokes humanity’s shared experience of suffering, create a small pencil drawing of a figure symbolic of spiritual healing. Place this drawing under a Gelli Plate, and using printmaking inks create a monotype and ghost print. When dry, add paint, drawing, embellishments.

Clinical Experience: Psychological trauma experienced in childhood leaves spiritual wounds of shame, as if one were abandoned not only by human caregivers but also by God. My clients often feel nowhere is safe. Their imagination is especially feared, because it brings nightmares, and haunting images related to their abuse. Recently I worked with a client who said all she could see when starting to draw was an image of her heart infested with maggots. We listen to Goreki’s Third Symphony, and I led her through guided imagery in which the maggots became eaters of infection, cleaning her heart’s wounds. She then wanted to draw an image she called “a tree of life” with her heart at its center. She painted onto a Gelli plate colors radiating out from this tree-heart and described pressing the paper into the paint as “massaging her heart”. Lifting the print off the plate was like “peeling off old skin” and seeing “new life” beneath it.

Personal Experience: I often feel afraid and alone carrying the stories of personal and cultural trauma my clients share with me. I drew this figure while listening to Kronos Quartet’s Night Prayers. I then used a three-color reduction technique, printing layers of yellow, red, and blue process inks to build up the image. The unpredictable process of printing layers of color and watching the image emerge felt as if the image was dreaming itself into being from the collective unconscious. The darkness surrounding this angel is rich with grief. The glowing spiral in her core evokes both existential chaos and the creation of the universe. She is weeping, singing, praying for us all, shielding us with her wings. I feel she has been standing guard since the dawn of human life. Creating her helped me remember that, while trauma is always in our world, compassion is also present in equal abundance.

Mini Red Books – An Amazing Dream-Tending Art Process

Posted March 13, 2016 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: art therapy, dreams, red book

Three Mini Red Books

Three Mini Red Books by Liza

I dream of two Irish passports that are filled with poems, drawings, photos, inspiring quotes, maps, and myths. And so in my art therapy studio, I collage together little passports. My journey through old magazines, recycled paper, and tattered maps leads to one synchronistic discovery after another: standing stones, ancient burial mounds, maps for places I was lost and found my way in, poems for places that loved me, messages for where I am going. I am surprised by how creatively renewed I feel and decide to make passports exploring other dreams.

Next I have a dream in which I am standing at the intersection of two dirt roads. A man from Columbia, dressed in indigenous hat and tunic, is standing in this intersection, holding a 4-necked guitar. He says he is the guardian of the crossroads between life and death, to which I have been walking since my mother’s death, aching to know what has become of her, what will become of me. The crossroad guardian will not let me continue on. “You are not yet ready to visit the land of the dead,” he cautions.

I make a dream passport for the crossroad guardian, drawing him and his unreal guitar. I google “crossroad guardian myths” and find Hermes and his lyre, and Papa Legba from Haitian Vodou. I open a National Geographic by chance to an article about the Kogi people of Columbia who see themselves as the guardians of the Earth. There is a photo of a Kogi man dressed in the very garb my dream figure wore, and carrying around his neck a lyre-shaped medicine pouch. The audiobook I am listening to on my drive to the studio talks about St. Columba, 6th century Celtic missionary. I fill my dream passport with images of Celtic crosses, crossroad mandalas, lyres, myths, and a handwritten request for guidance through mid-life’s letting go, and for the muse’s gift of duendé for my art and poetry. I give the little book a red cover, and realize I have made a small version of Carl Jung’s Red Book, his magnum opus of active imagination and dream-tending.

 

God is in the Wound Book

Inside pages of “God is in the Wound” Book

Then I have an image-less dream offering only these words: The wound is already there before the injury. The healing is there before the wound. The healing creates the wound, which desires the injury, so that we can learn to participate with the healing. I wake up feeling C. G. Jung is speaking to me, joining the dream-book conversation. Googling “Jung wound quote” confirms this hunch by leading me to a simple statement from Jung: “God enters through the wound.” I make a little red book illustrating the dream message with oil pastel resist watercolor on black paper, each page a dark blooming.

Then I dream of a hermaphrodite who is doing yoga. My internet searches to learn about the hermaphrodite in myth, spirituality, Jungian psychology lead to Shakti and Shiva, Hermes and Aphrodite, the sacred marriage of the masculine and feminine in early Christianity, the Buddhist bodhisattva archetypal figures of compassion that are both male and female like Avalokitesvara with 1,000 arms. I fill my book with stories of this sacred marriage, images of lingam and yoni, phallus and vagina.

And now, after a dream in which a bear comes asking for therapy, I have spent the winter in creative hibernation making a bear dream passport, painting images of the Great Bear Mother, god-symbol since the age of Neanderthals, who has come to ask we give therapy to raped and pillaged wild Earth.

 

Inside pages of Great Mother Bear Book

Inside pages of Great Mother Bear book

The energy that comes as I make each “Red Book” Dream Passport is potent and enlivening. I feel connected to my personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious of humanity, nature, and world soul. I am in awe. Things I do not know are known by my dreams. The creative process leads me to this collective knowing with surprising grace, serendipity, and generosity. Images and stories come from the collage box and the Internet in response to each dream without me sweating, struggling, or feeling alone. It is as if everything is one organic mind and making these little books enters me into dialogue with Self. What began for me as a simple collage process has become a recurring confirmation that the territory of the soul is both infinite and somehow accessible, at every point, by imagination.

 

How to Make Your Own Dream Passport “Red” Book

 

  1. Pay attention to your dreams and practice remembering them. Keeping a notebook at your bedside and writing your dreams down each morning will help deepen your connection to them.
  1. Choose a dream that is vivid, mysterious, challenging, or inviting, perhaps one with an animal, a place that seems unfamiliar of symbolic, or a specific message. Write this dream into a creative narrative or poem, typed so that you can include it within your book.
  1. Use the Internet to explore the mythic, spiritual, and collective layers of the dream. For example, if you have a dream about a turtle, search “turtle mythology” to see the multicultural stories associated with this animal.
  1. Print text and images from Internet searches that reveal interesting details.
  1. Using these print-outs, and a variety of other collage and art materials, fill the pages of a blank book (pre-made, or hand-made if you prefer) with creative responses, text, and stories that help amplify the expanding territory into which your dream-tending takes you.
  1. Take your time. This journey with your dream may provide you weeks, or even months of exploration.
  1. If you find this process as awe invoking as I do, looking through Jung’s Red Book will also inspire you. Your public library and/or art therapists in your area will have a copy.