In this course, we offer opportunities to engage more deeply with the MSC material via multiple modes of expression. While we primarily engage group discussion and some presentations, we also move beyond the verbal, analytic, linear ways of understanding of MSC concepts. We do this through providing optional opportunities for creative expression via journaling, art, photography, music, movement, and poetry. We share and witness these experiences with one other as a way to rest in the comfort of common humanity with our fellow coursemates.
There is absolutely no experience required to participate in these optional Creative Invitations, as our focus is on what emerges during the making, not the physical outcome of the making. If you arrive here feeling intimidated by the blank page or with a discomfort of creative expression, we acknowledge that that is true for many. We offer the salve of kindness and understanding to any self-critical voices as they emerge, remembering that self-compassion is the quality we wish to cultivate during this course.
Questions we can ask as we do our Creative Invitations:
- What is happening in my body right now?
- If my inner critic has emerged, how am I relating with it?
- What internal resource have I called upon if faced with my inner critic?
- Is there a difference between how I felt at the beginning of the Invitation and the end?
- At what point is there resonance during the experience? Dissonance?
- What did this experience have to say to me?
- Did this art form evoke a different inner experience than another art form I’ve tried?
- Was there a time during which I found flow? Or, did I reach the limits of my tolerance?
Note that “creativity” in this collection of resources generally means exploring new and unexpected ways to engage with self-compassion in your life. These are not official course readings, but they have informed and inspired the creation of the CIs that we offer in the course.
- What we Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of your Soul by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
- Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
- The Artist’s Rule, Paintner (based on Christian mythology and perspectives and applicable to the human experience in general)
- Mindfulness and the Art of Drawing, by Wendy Ann Greenhalgh
- Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction, Paintner (interfaith perspective)
- The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing, Rogers
- Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way
- The Creativity Cure by Carrie and Alton Barron
- Drawing as a Sacred Activity by Heather Williams
- Painting Your Way out of a Corner: The Art of Getting Unstuck