By Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
In his article called “A Vision for the World,” Brother David Stiendl-Rast speaks about gratitude.
September is a time of great abundance in nature. Trees are full, offering shade in all shades of green turning into glorious colors of orange, yellow and red. In this expressive art project, we will use the symbol of a swirly tree full of leaves to express gratitude even in moments of great challenge and stress.
Gratitude is a word that gets tossed here and there. Brother Steindl-Rast explains that while we cannot have gratitude for everything, we can be grateful in every moment. I call these moments “Gratitude In” moments.
In this arts project we will create a tree on an old bulletin board and record our “gratitude in” moments on the leaves of the tree. Leaves on a tree absorb carbon dioxide from the exhalations of animals and humans. In this project, we will write out our gratitude moments, worries or prayers on leaves as a metaphor to be “absorbed” by the swirly tree.
Creating a focal point for expressing and noticing gratitude has the power to change your mindset to one of growth and understanding. We are often striving and centered on our own worlds without noticing the vastness of nature and the soothing power it offers. Writing aspects or ideas has the power to help us see new perspectives. Using the metaphor of trees and leaves creates a reminder and sets an important intention to look up and notice.
*Special thanks to the art of Beka Owens whose love of color and swirl inspired this project.
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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