...we are ALL creative beings.
...every person’s truth is unique and valid.
...we are all hungry for a deeper connection.
...the answers we seek are within each of us.
...creativity is a tool for self-discovery and personal transformation.
...there’s an ever-growing group of people on this planet who are ready to dig deeper and find their way home to themselves.
…no one needs to feel alone in the process of awakening to their truth.
Creative Nectar Studio: A safe haven for creative self-discovery
Welcome home. Creative Nectar Studio is a place where you can take off your mask and be exactly who you are. It's a place where color nourishes and community thrives. Is there something stirring in you that is wanting expression? Listen to it. Get curious. We're here to support you on your journey within using painting and other process arts. So get cozy and have a look around. Stay as long as you'd like. Be inspired. Live juicy!
Please welcome Michelle Bunch, a process art maker from our Friday morning HeART Journaling Class . Michelle will be writing for us each month, sharing a bit of her own experience of how process art works in her, both inside and outside of the studio.
Balance as a dance. Both. Expansion and contraction. Space for all the parts. Non-linear. Courage. Inner heart knowing. Vulnerability. Softness. Resilience. Boldness. Play.
These are some of the words and themes that surface as I reflect on my one year anniversary of process painting and art making in the studio. For me, reflection is powerful and like digestion in many ways. It requires a pause and some time, some gurgling and sometimes discomfort and is necessary for truly absorbing nutrients and releasing what is not serving in order to restore and grow.
This process has helped me gain more clarity around what I have experienced and want to carry with me from this year and also brought me a lot of hope. Moments, emotions and thoughts can be so convincing like waves that swallow me so I forget the larger ocean they belong to. There have been many moments and days in the studio and in my daily life that I’m sure I will never move outside a wave of confusion or anxiety. And yet there’s growth happening, mysterious, non-linear, sometimes invisible growth. Showing up and participating from my heart in this practice, with this community has made a difference in my life.
Stephanie often asks, is there anything you are saying no to, and if so, is there a way to include or honor this in your art? This question is a tool that orients me toward a path of love and authenticity. It helps me build the skill of discerning between what is conditioned or based in fear and what is true for me and aligned with my soul. I don’t always know or feel clear about this, but I keep listening to the sensations in my body and the energy in my heart. Over time, in the sacred space of the home studio, I’ve been able to experiment with saying yes in more honest and bold ways to my shadow side as well as to my loving, life affirming nature. Playing with expression of these parts of me and of the world can feel freeing and risky, both at the same time.
There was a lot of fatigue, heaviness in my chest, dark colors and monsters in my first HeART journal entry of the new year. Through the creative process, with support from Stephanie and the group, and in allowing myself to feel these darker feelings, movement occurred. Soft pink owls arrived with sensations of greater space and lightness in my body and I included them in my painting. They don’t cover up or make the monsters go away, but exist alongside them. Movement doesn’t always happen that quickly but there was a wave I was able to surrender to in this particular period that felt really healing to me. I love creating process art because it doesn’t have to make sense or be explained, follow rules, be perfect or pretty. It is never too late to begin, no limited chances or wrong moves. It is a path and practice of listening to and trusting my felt sense and intuition, living with more wholeness and flexibility and participating in this dance of life.
Michelle Bunch is celebrating one year of process art making and self-discovery with the Creative Nectar community! Michelle earned her master’s degree from Kansas State University in Marriage and Family Therapy and has worked with a wide range of ages from children to aging adults. She has been trained as a play therapist, completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program and the Beginning Level of Somatic Experiencing, a body-based approach to healing trauma and restoring regulation and flow. Mindfulness is an important part of her life and she is a member of Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness and leads a community class once a month integrating movement and mindfulness. Michelle is joyfully awaiting her first child in spring 2018 and has chosen to pause her clinical work and use this time to listen and tend to this growing life and to her own soul.
This Spring I decided to take a Summer sabbatical from – writing, over-efforting, convincing, pushing – doing anything that zapped the precious bits of energy I had remaining in my body.
My intuition to shut down a lot of things not working for me and focus on self care was spot on. Just a few weeks later I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
For those of you who don’t know or maybe have been misinformed, Fibromyalgia is a complex central nervous system disorder, causing chronic pain and fatigue (among many other things) that affects an estimated 5 million Americans. While it occurs most often in women, it strikes men and children, and all ethnic backgrounds.
It has been a relief to FINALLY know what is going on with my body as I have been struggling with pain and massive fatigue for over 6 years now.
For many of those years, I pushed myself to make things happen. I facilitated workshops, traveled and did what felt like pushing a massive boulder up a hill, trying to maintain my “normal” life as much as possible. Now that I know what’s going on, I see how the pushing – so intricately ingrained in our culture – only made things worse.
I am not writing this for sympathy or attention, only to raise awareness and to share how I am choosing to work with this in the studio and in the unfolding of my own creative self-discovery.
I hope by sharing, others will do the same and by doing so, some of the shame we’ve cultivated as a society, around this and other invisible diseases, will begin to lessen.
My life has changed dramatically… but it doesn’t have to end. I am working on living much differently now, and that includes how I will be facilitating.
I will be letting go of process painting classes indefinitely. However, that doesn’t mean I have stopped creating or facilitating – things are just shifting.
I will be offering HeART Journaling from my home studio on Friday mornings with an option to join online.
I will continue to be part of The Walkabout and Rise and Shine ( online options) as these things are HELPING me to stay grounded and connected to my center as well as giving me a sense of community, even when I can’t leave the house.
I probably won’t be writing as much because it definitely takes its toll on my body, so I may be sharing more images and less words.
I will be cultivating more stillness in my life and look forward to seeing where it takes me. And I welcome the chance to work with others wanting to creatively connect to their own stillness.
Sending Much Love and Endless Gratitude,