“What happens when people open their hearts?”

“They get better.”

—Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
Spruce Grouse (or Fools Hen)

The Spruce Grouse is a silly bird. Unlike other birds that fly away in caution, this bird will pretend not to be seen. While hiking in the Maine woods this past summer, I came upon this beautiful creature. He didn’t scurry off until I was within 3 feet. And even then was rather nonchalant about departing. Taking a few steps further into the woods, he stopped and hung out awhile longer. Luckily I was not a predator.

Unlike the Spruce Grouse, when we meet strangers, we often are in an anxious state. There is no known security in a foreign land. So in fear, we run and hide. But what if we stayed and conversed? More often than not, we will be met with compassion. Besides, the only way we can begin to heal, is to be vulnerable. But certainly cautious too.

In expressive arts, we like to say “trust the process”. Our unconsciousness is a vulnerable avenue to explore. From the first blank page, we feel apprehension. But with time, we feel rather amazed and in awe of what has been long buried. Our spirit can be freed through deep digging and letting go of long-held beliefs that no longer ring true. Likewise, truths we abandoned, may flourish and grow.

To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all seeing, within you.
-Theophan the Recluse 1815-1894
Your work is to discover your world (and self) and then with all your heart give (into) to it.

If you are curious how expressive arts can help you process internal thoughts, I am happy to come along side you. The first step is often the most difficult. Jeanne

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