By Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
Expressive Arts activities this year will be connected to an article – “Articles to Art.”
An Avatar is “an iconic representation or ideal embodiment of a person or idea.” In this expressive arts activity, you are encouraged to pick a symbol (I chose a butterfly) and collage, draw, doodle or paint it onto paper, poster board or cardboard.
You can visit www.chopra.com to see the article “Design your Ideal Self Avatar” by Tris Thorp.
Paint, markers, old magazines, interesting papers, stamps, glue and paper or poster board. Use your imagination and use your favorite art medium – you could paint a watercolor symbol or use acrylic paint – use what you have and enjoy!
See picture examples.
In creating an Avatar you are shifting the idea of a New Year’s resolution. Instead of focusing on what you want to change, you are creating goals to encourage a focus on the best version of yourself. In thinking of this ideal self, start to think of people, book characters, essentially any one you admire and respect. On the back of your creation write out the answers to these thoughtful questions:
As your ideal self:
After you finish answering the questions go back to the front of your collage and add any doodle or embellishments along with key words to remind you of your Avatar.
Thinking about new perspectives and then using expressive arts helps to bring these new concepts out of our minds (just thoughts and ideas) and down into our physical space (hands and action). Now having thought through and created a symbol for your ideal self, you can use this visual activity as a reminder to respond to challenge, issue or illness using your best qualities and values.
“We are all drawn to what we need to learn, which if engaged with honestly reveals insight common to us all.” Mark Nepo
Extra Resources: Rachel Druckenmiller writes about her special meaning for butterflies in her blog Rachel's Nourishing Kitchen and Mark Nepo has a great new book of poetry: The Way Under the Way.
About the Artist: Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm is a Mind/Body Specialist for the Inpatient Integrative Medicine team. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and/or with special ways you are using this activity and how it has influenced your days. She'd also like to hear your ideas and how healing arts have helped you!
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