FOSTERING WHOLENESS OF SPIRIT & SOUL
Through Contemplative & Creative Arts
"Everything is moving toward its place of wholeness. Befriending life requires that we listen for that potential which is trying to actualize itself over time. It will be there whether we are listening to a tree, a person, an organization, or a society. It is always struggling against the odds. Everything has a deep dream of itself and its fulfillment."
Rachel Naomi Remen
My Grandfather’s Blessings
What do we mean by spirit and soul? In Soulcraft, Bill Plotkin states, "soul embraces and calls us toward what is most unique in us. Spirit encompasses and draws us toward what is most universal and shared." He also makes a distinction between two realms of spirituality: one that turns upward toward the light and helps us transcend ego and another that turns "downward to the dark center of our individual selves and into the fruitful mysteries of nature."
At Whole Life Expression, we have personally worked on these two realms of spirituality for over thirty years and have found the benefits of growing the developmental lines of both spirit and soul. We seek to foster wholeness within ourselves and others by helping them on their spiritual journey as they explore and develop both the upward turn to the light of spirit and the downward descent to the nature of soul. We facilitate this process through the use of contemplative and creative arts.
SPIRIT & SOUL
When we speak of contemplative arts, we are including a variety of contemplative practices designed to connect a person to something larger than themselves whether that be ascent to the light or descent to the dark mysteries of the soul. The Tree of Contemplative Practices offers a visual representation of the various ways people may engage in contemplative practices.
At Whole Life Expression, we incorporate a number of these contemplative practices as a way of helping people connect to a sense of wholeness in their spirit and soul, but the centerpiece of our contemplative practices that we offer is the creative arts. hat do we mean by spirit and soul?
When we speak of the creative arts, we are including all the ways in which people may express themselves creatively including but not limited to visual arts, poetry, music, drama, storytelling and dance. We believe that the creative arts enable a person to turn inward toward self-discovery and self-expression. Creative arts assist a person to tap into aspects of the conscious and unconscious and dive below the thinking brain to create a flow state and generate a relaxation response. Though it requires no previous creative arts training, it does require an openness to learn and a willingness to take risks.
At Whole Life Expression, we engage in expressive arts practice, an intermodal creative process where we start with one form of creative arts, then add additional creative arts expression to deepen the process. Whether a person seeks to engage in the process to ascend to the light or descend to the dark, the overall experience is one of transformation.
Stay tuned for Book Title, a companion guide outlining specific steps to develop your own mandorlas, mandalas and visual journals.