Finding the Centre: From Spaces to Self
In understanding our environments and our bodies as intertwined landscapes, we unearth the profound depth of the centre.
The Intertwined Landscapes
In every space, whether tangible or metaphorical, there lies a heart, a focal point from which energies emanate and towards which they gravitate. In the realm of Expressive Arts Therapy, this heart is often referred to as "The Centre.” However, when we envision our bodies as living landscapes, this core idea further unfurls into the art of centering oneself - an essential practice for grounding, mindfulness, and deep self-awareness.
Today, let’s delve deep into the intertwined journey of understanding 'The Centre' in therapeutic spaces, the art of personal centering, and cultivating mindfulness.
Historical Echoes and Cultural Ties to 'The Centre'
Time and again, across histories and cultures, the significance of a central point emerges profoundly. This concept of centrality, often depicted as a circle, resonates across global traditions. When we reflect on the age-old Indian courtyards, communal spaces for interaction, anchored by the sacred Tulsi plant symbolizing both health and divinity. Or consider the bindi, representing the powerful third eye, linked to the pineal gland and resonating with the sixth chakra's might. Or when we dive further into the intricate world of Islamic geometric patterns, which in their complexity and balance, echo the principles of mandalas, a concept that Carl Jung viewed as representations of the self's wholeness. Let’s not forget the mystical Sufi whirls, an ancient dance for chakra balance and a quest for one's core. Such practices, scattered across diverse cultures, underline our intrinsic tendency to perceive both our surroundings and ourselves as dynamic landscapes.
Expressive Arts Therapy and the Centre
Within therapeutic practices, particularly in Expressive Arts Therapy, the creation of 'The Centre' is more than just a symbolic gesture. It is an intentional act, a commitment to cultivating a harmonized space that invites participants to be present, vulnerable, and authentic. This center isn't just a visual focal point; it's a beacon, channeling and balancing the collective energies of every individual in the group.
For many who partake in these sessions, 'The Centre' becomes a refuge—a hallowed ground that lends a sense of safety and uniqueness to their therapeutic journey. But what truly accentuates its potency is the multi-sensory ambiance enveloping it. The vibrant visuals, soothing scents wafting from incense diffusers, and the tangible textures, all converge to craft an immersive experience. In doing so, they deepen the connection, grounding participants in the here and now, allowing them to engage wholly with both the process and themselves.
Personal Centering: A Journey Inwards with Expressive Arts
As we explore the profound depths of 'The Centre' in shared spaces, it's vital to remember that the same principles of grounding and mindfulness can be applied on an intimate, individual scale. In Expressive Arts Therapy, this art of personal centering is nothing short of a transformative journey.
Imagine enveloping yourself in a cocoon of ambient sounds that echo nature's rhythm, the whispering winds, or the gentle hum of urban life. Visualize running your fingers across different textures in your room – the smoothness of polished wood, the grainy feel of a woven rug, or the softness of your favorite cushion. Now, think about the spaces you often
occupy. How often do we pause to truly observe the details, the shadows cast by the evening sun, or the patterns that dance on our walls?
Further, bring this exploration to the very canvas of your being—your skin. Revel in its topography, trace its lines, feel the comforting beat of your heart beneath, reminding you of the life you carry within.
As we near the end of our exploration in this post, I invite you to delve even deeper. I'd love to share more centering practices from Expressive Arts Therapy and other nurturing activities. Should you feel drawn to this introspective journey, consider booking a private online session with me, where we can further chart this path together.
Written by Charvi Budhdeo