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  • Have you experienced a physical or emotional change that seemed to come in a flash? Has listening to your body brought you insights or visions that have had a life-altering effect?
    Or has your transformation been a more gradual process? Does intuition play a part?
    #transformation #flashofinsight #newvision #process

    Gail Moser

    In reply to: Resilience

    In 2014 I had to make a big decision. I had planned to retire in several years at the social security retirement age of 66+. But I began struggling with constant fatigue and an intermittent acute lower abdominal pain with an undetermined cause.
    I learned that I could use my bank of sick leave to take a partial medical leave from work. I thought that by working fewer hours I would be more rested and revived. When that proved not to be true, I knew I needed a chunk of time without working to try to find the cause of the randomly recurring sharp pain and regain my energy. I came to the conclusion that I would be better off retiring earlier than later.
    At the end of six months of part-time medical leave I retired from my employer and moved to another city with a lower cost of living. I figured I would take a month to set up my new household and recover from the stress of the transition, and take another month of rest to fully recuperate and figure out how to earn a living. It sounded like a plan.
    I did not recuperate in two months. I stayed close to home, spending most days in the bed or on the bed. Another month went by. And another. After five months I was still struggling to get out of bed each day and the pain had become more frequent. I could see that taking a job to bring in needed income would not be an option.
    One day I happened upon the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s website and found that they had an artist’s open studio. I knew that art was a way for me to express myself and tune into both my emotional and physical intuition, and I had dreamed of finding a space where I could create large, messy work. I got myself together and went to see if this place could work for me. While I was there I was asked to submit a proposal for a course on expressive and intuitive art for the fall semester. I submitted the course proposal and it was accepted. I helped the students express themselves through art, and as the weeks went by I could see the impact that having a safe space to make this kind of art was having on them.
    But the person who benefited most was me! It gave me “a new lease on life”. I understand now that this is my purpose, this is why I am here. I call myself the “Art Doula”, and I create expressive art experiences for freeing the artist within. I assist people in the gestation and birthing of their artist selves, and in bringing their creative genius into the world.
    The expressive artmaking experiences I create just seem like something fun to do; but done over time and on a regular basis, they have helped some of my students in their healing process. Something is happening on a deeper level. Making art gives voice to ideas and emotions that we would otherwise not be able to articulate.
    Best of all, when I am sharing the experience of art I am quickened with a spirit that feels like a fire that starts in me and envelops the room. Spontaneously, I dance and sing (and so do the students). At those moments I do not feel the fatigue or the pain. It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. This is something I can do for the rest of my life! And I love it. :-)
    #resilience #stillstanding #freeingtheartistwithin

    Gail Moser

    Hello Everyone,
    The final week of the Body Listening Project is all about how this can be a springboard for personal growth. We will explore various components:

    • Monday: Perspective – Can you see your growth when you look back over your journey?
    • Tuesday: Re-framing – Are you seeing your body’s experiences in another light?
    • Wednesday: Resilience – Are you recovering and thriving after physical, mental, emotional, and/or social disruption?
    • Thursday: Transformation – Have you experienced physical and/or emotional change through flashes of intuition, insight, or vision?
    • Friday: Acceptance – What does acceptance mean to you, and how has it affected your health and life?
    • Saturday: Gratitude – How has being thankful improved your sense of well-being?

    If listening to your body has fueled your quest for personal growth, or if your self-development efforts have had an impact on your ability to listen to your body, come and join in the discussion this week. We are looking forward to sharing this part of our body listening journey!

    Gail Moser

    We are going to go back to kindergarten today. Do you remember the freedom you felt when finger painting as a child? If you didn’t get a chance to go to kindergarten, or if you never did this kind of art, this activity is for you!
    Art in kindergarten is not about making masterpieces, it is just about making art. This whole week of guided art exploration is about the process. There are some guidelines, but very few rules – it is about using art as a vehicle for self-expression and letting it vocalize, symbolically on your behalf, what you might not be able to communicate or articulate in words.
    Let’s get back to the time when you didn’t think about whether you were good at making art, you just did it. If we put four- and five-year-olds in a room with crayons and paper, they will just start drawing. They won’t ask what they should draw or how to do it. They won’t be worried about what the other kids are making or whether their drawings will be as good. And soon they will just be in the moment, playing with color, and line, and shape. The kindergartner’s mind is where we need to start, for today’s activity and every time we make intuitive art: we are just playing with color, line, and shape.
    Our only goal today is to make expressive art by tapping into our intuition. There are no mistakes. We are using inexpensive materials and working without unrealistic expectations.
    But finger painting isn’t just for kids. Did you know that there are some professionals who create work with oil paints, using their fingers? Artist Iris Scott is one of them. For grown-up inspiration, watch this 2-minute video showing her process:

    Gotta love the dog! Here are some examples of finger painting from students in my Kindergarten for Grownups workshops. They were painted either with both hands, or with the non-dominant hand:
    finger painting - mary

    Kindergarten for Grownups 4

    Kindergarten for Grownups 2

    Kindergarten for Grownups 1
    Music for today’s art activity is a compilation of tracks from various animated films.

    So what are you waiting for? Grab your paper, your paints, fire up the playlist, and start painting. Use both hands, or your non-dominant hand. Use whatever colors appeal to you and paint whatever comes to you, whether a representation of a real object, or an abstraction of a metaphor in your mind. Or just have fun squishing the paint through your fingers and on the paper. There is no wrong way to finger paint. When you are finished, hang this artwork and spend some time with it to receive its message.
    Take photos of your artwork, then post here about your experience. What was it like to paint with your non-dominant hand, or both hands? How do you feel about the sensory experience?
    #fingerpainting #gobacktokindergarten #process #nondominanthand #usebothhands

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    Gail Moser

    Sadness, Fear, Love, Contentment
    Today we are going to explore our feelings using color and paintbrush strokes. You will need six pieces of paper, a paintbrush or other tool to get the paint onto the paper, and some colors of acrylic or tempera paint. If you have only the primary colors – red, yellow, and blue – you can use them to mix more colors, if you desire. See Monday’s instructional post on how to mix additional colors from the primary colors.
    Label or mark the six papers:
    1. Sadness
    2. Anger
    3. Fear
    4. Love
    5. Contentment
    6. Joy
    We are going to spend a little more time today with our feelings, and I have programmed music specifically for this purpose. When I use this playlist in the classroom, I stop some of the songs before they are finished so that the total amount of time spent on each emotion is about five minutes. Since I won’t be there with you to do this, you can either paint until the songs end, or you can monitor closely and limit each emotion to five minutes. Do whatever is easier for you.
    Exercise mindfulness – take yourself to the place inside you that feels your emotions – and let the music evoke in you whatever it will. Choose your colors based upon what you are feeling and thinking, and let your paintbrush move across the paper as it is guided by your intuition. When the music changes, you will bring up the next emotion, choose your colors, and start painting again. If you find you are really enjoying this process, feel free to spend as much time as feels natural to you on each painting.

    Sadness: Adagio for Strings
    Anger: I Put a Spell on You; Rehab
    Fear: Itaipu
    Love: All of Me
    Contentment: Beyond This Moment
    Joy: Echo
    When you are finished, hang your gallery of six paintings where you will see them. Taping them to a mirror and looking at them while also looking at yourself is an interesting way to evaluate them. What do they have to say about what is going on inside of you, physically and emotionally? If you live with others and you feel comfortable, use these paintings as a springboard for conversation. Make note of any insights or wisdom you gain from the experience. Post about what it was like to paint your feelings, and upload images of your artwork! I can’t wait to see them!
    #communicateemotions #paintyourfeelings #paintinginsights #paintingwisdom

    Gail Moser

    Art-making experiences like today’s Express Your Psyche activity are designed to help you to express what is happening inside your body, and your psyche. To get it out and into a format that you can see and touch and connect with. Trust that you will tap into your body and your intuition through the process of making expressive art. Know that it will bring you the results that you need – in its own way, and its own time. Understand that this is much more about the process than it is about the product; however, you may find that if you enjoy the process or benefit from it, you will like the finished product.
    After you complete your artwork, put it in a place where you can see it! Even if that means taping it to a wall in the garage, or to the mirror in the bathroom. You will view it by chance sometimes, and look at it on purpose at other times. Try standing several feet back to get some perspective. Then get very close to be sure you see every detail. Live with it in your space for a few days to find out what it has to say about what is going on inside of you.
    Insights into your health or life may come; you might get an impression of something you can’t quite put your finger on; a heretofore unknown medical word or phrase may pop into your head; or you may realize one day that you know something that you didn’t know before about what is happening in your body. Listen; take notes. Compare one piece of art to another. Take it all in. Ponder it actively or let your unconscious deal with it. Reflect at the end of a week, month, year. It all works, and it’s all good.

    #expressyourpsyche #paintblot #inkblot #intuitiveart #expressivearts #tuneinwithart
    Click on the attached images to magnify them.

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    Gail Moser

    Life brings me what I am ready for – and last week – I had my first Qigong class – my body asks for more of this. I have derived great benefit from Alexander Technique and also restorative forms of yoga as well as a class that mixed writing and movement. I also love Irene Dowd’s work, and also have gotten terrific benefit from Yamuna body rolling concepts. I would like to put some intention into collating the 5 years of movement research, developing a skill set to help creatives access their authentic voices, work with respect for the architecture of their own body, and flow with an awareness of the complexity of the human condition – the body having many layers: a soul, spirit, pain body, emotional body, intellect, physical, genetic memory, imagination, play, cultural…. and with this – movement exploration that is inherently restorative and healing. Intention, intention, intention, awareness, awareness, awareness, being the change. Fusing spirituality/creativity/curiosity/giving/receiving/balanced flow/growing/shedding/rest

    It has much to do with learning from water that is for certain!
    Also, the value of micro-movements, moving slower than slow.

    I continue to be a big proponent of questing with your curiosity, deep listening to your intuition and your heart, flowing with what one is drawn to and riding the tide of synchronistic blessings (e.g. – meeting a friend by chance, and her suggesting Qigong).



    In reply to: Daily feedback

    I think that triage nurses are sometimes trained to minimize or downplay issues. I’ve had this experience several times both myself, and in caring for my children. I had hyperemesis with my first pregnancy and lost a lot of weight, but the nurse had a measure — if I hadn’t lost X number of pounds, it wasn’t hyperemesis. The fact that I threw up EVERYTHING, including the much-recommended toast, crackers, and jello (consumed as instructed), and that I was dropping weight from my already small 115-pound frame, wasn’t relevant. In the end, my husband had to go to a book store (pre-internet!) and figure out what was happening and what to do. I’ve had my children’s symptoms dismissed, too (one ultimately turned out to have pneumonia and the other strep throat — different occasions). I know they have to follow certain rules, but I wish they would respect our intuition about bodies for which we are the experts. #intuition #medical-establishment #triage #rules

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