As a child imagination and creativity called me. I loved to draw, make things and imagine stories. Trauma intervened diminishing my ability to see beyond the limits of my need for approval and art faded away as I strove for academic excellence. I believed that achieving more than art would allow me to feel I belonged, so I achieved a doctorate in Dentistry and a Masters Degree to become a specialist.
At times over the years the muses of art and creativity would call to me and I would buy a sketch book in hopes of reconnecting with that early love. I have a stack of those nearly empty sketchbooks, each time believing work or approval was more important than hearing the call of my soul. Ending a painful marriage brought the realization of how I had shuttered all my feelings, my desire to create, and my connection to the muse.
I began my journey of healing.
I was always a dreamer and, as my journey deepened, I immersed myself in working with my dreams with the help of a Natural Dreamwork facilitator. Often in those early dreams art and paintings would appear, but none seemed compelling. One night in a dream I stood at dawn across the street from a combination art store and gallery. A teacher appeared and took me across the empty street into the art store. He invited me to take whatever art supplies I wanted. I wandered, overwhelmed by possibilities and afraid to take too much. Then he took me into the gallery filled with intense, vibrant paintings, each with beautiful music expressing the frequencies of the colors.
Working with my dream facilitator I began to understand the music and paintings were an expression of me. The intensity and gravity of feelings arising in me from this dream created an opening for me to become aware of a depth in me that I had never experienced while practicing dentistry. Subsequent dreams visited galleries, some with my paintings hanging. One night a dream teacher reached out to me, hands cradling tubes of vibrant paints. She said, “Here! You need these”. I began to paint.
The first painting combined dream images of a lion from childhood and dream shades of blues. I felt something coming alive in me. It felt like this lion was tapping on my heart from the inside out to connect with a buried part of me. An artist friend gave me watercolors and I rediscovered vibrancy, intensity, and subtleties of color; coming alive, connecting with feelings instead of thoughts, aware of body responses to strong feelings. Each time I expressed the power of an image or a feeling from a dream on paper I felt energy expanding within me. I was beginning to hear my muse, expression and impression of color awakening my sensuality.
Reaching through the power of dreams to express images and feelings has awakened my senses; new dimensions of touch, seeing shapes and colors, how edges of reality soften and deepen. I feel and see layers of client’s stories and my own expressed through these shapes, colors, images, and layers. Images, both in waking and dream consciousness, illustrate feelings.
One dream you will see expressed showed me how strangled my heart had been much of life; strangled and hidden, tightly closed down. What can be expressed through yours?
I find what I am painting matters far less that the awareness of exploring and expressing feelings and the energy that continues to awaken in me, connecting me to the seen and unseen in the world around me. I reach to express the beauty of that connection and it has become a prayer in waking life, my spiritual practice.
Other pieces you will see here are far more abstract, and again expressing experiences of re-experiencing the imagery and feelings of the dream. I invite you to find your own feelings and experiences in the images offered here.
Dreams have offered me that opening, a practice that has taken me deeper than any other I have experienced. Creativity is part of our being and dreams open us to that. In this exhibit you will see the unfurling of a fern that represents the unfurling of that creativity and growth within us, an expression of the power our dreams have to enrich our lives. It is also an expression that our lives are spirals upon spirals of unfurling as we grow.
Creativity and dreams move through the heart, opening to new experiences of compassion for self and others. In working through the images of dreams in Natural Dreamwork I have found the pain I have hidden and expressed through art. That expression has allowed me to move into the pain and find joy. Through this work I have felt, seen, experienced how important creativity is to each of us, however it is expressed. Most of us have a wound around creativity, especially around art, and yet we all have the need to create. What you will see in this body of work is my education in learning to express that need and I am grateful to share this journey with you.
Leigh Randolph, who is a Natural Dreamwork practitioner, has coauthored books on Holistic Healing and shares what she has learned offering classes including “Dreams as a Path to the Soul” and “Dreams, Art, and Gnosis”. Leigh is also a visual artist who facilitates expressive art for healing through dreams. She works with clients in person, through phone and Skype. For more information you can contact her at: JourneywithLeigh@aol.com Her website is http://dreamjourneywithleigh.com
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