Last week I facilitated SCANxiety workshops, which were a blend of information, sharing and experiencing the healing power of art as therapy. Cancer disrupts the connection that you have with your instinct and inner healer, processing via art restores it, something we experienced live last week.
Part of the workshop experiential was guiding each participant to connect with an experience of feeling scanxiety and reflecting that experience onto paper. As we worked with the process together, I guided the room to respond to what they drew. For some, it was expressing of what they wanted to do to the SCANxiety monster. For others, it was expressing what support was wanted or needed.
What I observed in both scenarios was release and relief. It was an affirmation that what you need is not to escape your reality, what you need is a way to respond to your reality.
While escaping offers temporary relief, ultimately you land right back in the thick of what is. Finding ways to respond both satisfies your need for validation and reminds you that you’re still here and able to stare reality in the face. You may have limits to how much you can control life Realizing that you’ve got the capacity to respond to chaos creates an inner peace that helps you to move with the chaos rather than be dragged down by it.
When art becomes the mirror that validates your experience, you repair the disrupted connection with your instinct. It’s repaired because you draw upon your own unique wisdom to respond to what you have expressed on paper. Time and time again I witness the spontaneous healing that art brings, and I’m deeply honored and grateful for the chance to be present.
If you wanted to be a part of the workshop but didn’t have the chance, we’re in the process of rescheduling the virtual SCANxiety workshop. Click on this link, and I will reach out with you with the dates and times that we’re looking at.
-Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC, is an art therapist and breast cancer survivor, and a former oncology counselor at the Dempsey Center. She began Creative Transformations to help others who are healing emotionally from cancer. Through Creative Transformations, she works with people in person and online to offer the self assessment tool, cancer coaching, an Art as Therapy program,virtual workshops, and this weekly blog. Sign up today so you never miss a blog and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.