Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trust and Abundance

Today we worked in the garden. We harvested a zillion tomatoes of several varieties (not an exaggeration), zucchini, yellow squash, red and gold beets, parsley, lettuce, and jalapenos. Next with our neighbors, we set to work canning salsa, spaghetti sauce, and roasting vegetables. I'm not much of a cook, but I found this process helped me to feel relaxed while also meeting my creative needs. Sharing the fruits of our labor -literally- with our neighbors was a great way to foster community. This was our first year for a garden - to those of you who have yet to try a home garden, I highly recommend it.

As I worked I thought about how much I love this time of year... harvest time. I also reflected on one of my earlier posts about "New Growth: A Right Brained Business Plan", where I had used art therapy as a form of self care and draft the direction I wanted to take my private practice. In that post I had drawn the analogy of starting something new (in this case a business) to scattering seeds.

Now with today's work in the garden I observed a parallel process to the harvest we were reaping with the many professional opportunities I was afforded this month. Admittedly this is an 11th hour blog post in my deadline to complete one blog entry a month. (The month end is in two days.) But that is because this month has been so busy (say B-I-ZZZZZ-I-EEE)!

Some of the highlights include: I was able to meet with a local psychotherapist practice group earlier this week as the guest speaker and presented on "Using Art in Therapy: Guidelines for Mental Health Clinicians". I felt really blessed to share knowledge of my field. Plus I met several compassionate and hardworking therapists, and I felt like my presentation was well received. If you would like to view the power point from my presentation please follow this link.

In addition I was able to attend a two day training on the Family Preservation Model, which is effective in supporting families with children who are at risk for out-of-home placement when concerns related to Dependency and Neglect are present. This is a family centered, strength based model, that allows the therapist to work with the family in their own home. Many other small blessings took place as well, I lost my wallet, only to miraculously find it a block from my home untouched, I had some real therapeutic breakthroughs with some of my clients, and was able to enjoy a visit from my family.

Canning and chopping in the kitchen today, I had several ideas. One is that "the earth is my canvas", and how much I enjoy gardening. For a while after finishing art school, I felt guilty if I was doing something creative but that didn't result in a tangible art product. Now as an art therapist I am able to appreciate the creative process itself, no matter through which medium (gardening, painting, helping others in an art therapy session) it is emerging.
Second I thought about "trust and abundance". How fortunate I am to share in this 'organic' healthy bounty that we grew ourselves! How beautiful and crazy it is that these things called plants and vegetables soak up sun and water and grow from a tiny seed into a huge squash!?! And then we pick it and eat it and are afforded all of the nutrients from the sun and the water too! That's connection.

Watching the garden grow from just tiny seeds and sprouts this summer helped me to trust. In our daily lives we are planting seeds all the time and trust that though we are uncertain as to the exact result, eventually with patience we will have something tangible - and hopefully yummy. On those rare occasions, when everything has come together that season, we are rewarded with abundance - mountains of harvest, so much we have nothing to do but share.


Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPC said...

Hi, Erin. Just stumbled across your lovely blog! So glad to add it to my feed and share it with clients.

Best wishes for you and your practice!

Tamara Suttle, M.Ed., LPC

Tamara Suttle said...

Hi, Erin! I can't remember whether we actually met at a CLPCA event several years ago or we were in contact when you moved to CO. In any case, I stumbled across your blog today and really enjoyed it.

Wishing you a prosperous winter!

Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed.,LPC