How are you holding up? I think it is safe to say that none of us were certain of what to expect when beginning our quarantines. Even though we have made it this far, there is understandably a lot of fear in both adults as well as children. Talking to my friends, I have heard of children expressing fears through monsters and demonstrating shy behaviors where they need to remain close to a loved one.
Recently I was very fortunate to attend a virtual workshop hosted by Gary Ware and Heather Willems titled Playing with Fear: Turning Uncertainty into Possibilities. Through drawing and improving exercises I was able to identify my fear and find my way to an image of freedom. The irony is once I became clear of my fear my sense of freedom gained more strength. Inspired by this experience and seeing it as a valuable resource, I wanted to gain more clarity on the process. I spoke to friends with experience in similar techniques and also reached out to Heather who was generous in explaining the exercises I was engaged in.
Drawing is a meditative practice which allows the mind to relax through kinetic energy. With the focus taken away from your emotions, you are able to open up, become curious about the emotion, and start asking questions. Asking questions allows the source of the fear to be identified and leads your mind to a sense of freedom where positive action can be taken. This exercise is applicable for both adults and children.
If your child is experiencing a fear, here are some guided steps that can help you and your child reach a place of freedom.
- Start Drawing
- Drawing allows your child to make their fear tangible. Either you or your child can draw out the fear/ monster.
- Start asking questions.
- By asking questions you are taking a broad image and making it more specific.
- Where does the fear/ monster live? What does it look like? What does it like to eat? What is it doing?
- Guiding your child through questions you will be able to take the next step.
- Take action
- This step varies according to the needs of your child. By taking action you are allowing your child to transform their fear into a positive possibility.
- Options range from inviting the monster in for a favorite meal to asking the child if the monster is mistaken for a beloved character like Cookie Monster.
Being exposed to this knowledge, I felt the need to share it and hope you find it beneficial. I want to offer a special thanks to Heather Willems for helping me gain further knowledge of this process! For your reference, I have included the link to her book, Draw Your Big Idea, where she speaks more of the drawing process and the positive possibilities that can be achieved through it.
Draw Your Big Idea: The Ultimate Creativity Tool for Turning Thoughts Into Action and Dreams Into Reality
Although this time can be hard, I hope you are gaining extra quality time with your family and friends, finding opportunities to read the book that has been sitting on your shelf, or learning a skill that you never had time for before. There are a lot of blessings every day from generous donations of food and masks, healthcare workers and grocery employees working tirelessly, and the daily 7 PM cheers of thanks to all these heroes (my personal favorite). I pray that this blog finds everyone safe and knows that you are in my thoughts. Stay Healthy!
Kristina Lucia xoxo