Exploring the spectrum of self is a powerful reflection process that I have designed as a transformative art practice. Offering several options and entry points to expressing and reflecting all parts of self.
The spectrum of self, is the full (rainbow) reflection of the many aspects of feeling, expression, mood, ” the good, the bad and the ugly” that I experience internally and externally as a human. The miraculous, the mischievous, the funky, the amazing, the funny, the painful, playful and edgy parts of ME are able to be discovered, allowed and expressed in art process. I have found amazing insight and wisdom in exploring the shadows, my disowned and ignored parts of self.
I am intrigued with parts work, having been exposed over the years through gestalt, voice dialogue, and psychosynthisis. When I was training with my mentor Debbie Ford, parts work become second nature and dovetailed beautifully with transformative/process art, SoulCollage, journeywork and my developing Mythos Journey and JourneyCircles™.
The development of Spectrum of Self and Spectrum of Experience allowed me to engage more lightly, and ironically, more deeply with my own shadow. I was seeking a more gentle entering place for the complexity of connecting, linking personal myth, lived stories and perspectives in more complex ways and multi-directional. When I needed to go into to the depths of my psyche and explore multiple story threads, I designed a system of recognizing the primary threads and parts.
This safe and reflective process inspires curiosity and willingness. It takes courage to explore in this way. I have embraced the arts as a method of exploring my original voice and true self, in each age, stage, perception, reflection, moment and nuance of life.
As Kay Redfield Jameson states,
“Our greatest joys and sorrows ripen on the same vine”
Art is the most delightful, and powerful, way to access the deep self – traveling within, from the deep roots, to the gnarled wood branches, to the opening bud and glimpsing the finest tip of new growth…
The Spectrum reminds me to always start where I am. Remembering that what I feel and experience is all that is EVER required for me to engage my questions and see how creativity guides me. For more about Spectrum of Self process, you can read more in my book Gathering Wholeness: The Art of Identifying and Exploring Parts of Self.