Jessica-Duffin.jpg

Hi! I'm Jessica

I'm a writer, podcaster and mentor empowering others to live and thrive with endometriosis.

Creative Healing Through Soul Art

Creative Healing Through Soul Art

 Image by Lila Valentina

Image by Lila Valentina

Managing Anxiety with Creative Healing

Last week I had a pretty tough day at work. As y'all know, I live daily with anxiety and depression. Though I've gotten a much better handle on the black dog, anxiety is still with me most of my waking day (and hell, in basically all of my dreams). Though the symptoms are manageable 80% of the time, only last weekend my friend and I were discussing how severely our hormones impact our mental health, in particular, our anxiety. Tuesday, was a perfect example of this taking place. Only days away from my period, I fell into such a hole due to a project I was anxious about, that I was creating stories about my continuous daily struggle with trying to be normal and wondering how I was ever going to make it through. Needless to say, I spent a lot of the day with my head ducked behind my computer wiping away tears. (Update: Ironically, the anxiety was needless - the project turned out to be one of the best pieces of work I've done so far in this job.)

When 6pm hit, my body swept me off to She's Lost Control as fast as it could carry me (I have short legs, so it wasn't that fast). I was attending the lovely Lila Valentina's first workshop at SLC; Soul Art and couldn't wait to get creative around women who I really resonated with.

The workshop was nothing short of divine creative feminine play and it was EXACTLY what I needed. I am completely in love with attending SLC's meditation workshops, they take me to a place of deep calm and unconditional love, but after the day I had, the feeling of fun and femininity was the perfect contrast to the heaviness I had experienced so far.

 Image by Lila Valentina

Image by Lila Valentina

Soul Art with Lila Valentina

The workshop began with giggles - the essence of the evening was clearly in the air, we were all excited to experience what Lila had in store for us and feeling that sense of young 'girlish' behaviour felt nourishing. We began with opening our hearts through a simple but effective meditation, and spent some time sharing how our hearts were feeling in that moment. The lovely Lila handed out some gorgeous chocolate by Raw Halo, which meant so much to me as she had deliberately got in touch to find out what chocolate would suit the endometriosis diet so I would be able to join in (can't lie, I cried a bit when she asked).

We set intentions for the workshop and I chose to experience unconditional fulfillment without boundaries in all areas of my life. I chose this because I feel that my journey so far has been full of conditions - essentially, I'll enjoy life when I'm at a certain level of success/health/happiness, etc. Although it's wonderful to aim for expansion and development, it shouldn't mean that I cannot enjoy the now. And so I asked my heart chakra to heal the wounds I have around these beliefs and transform them to support me in my journey to feeling content and fulfilled.

It'll be more beautiful if you experience it for yourself at the next one, rather than giving away all the details, but we proceeded to express our heart chakra through drawing, writing and tearing the pages of magazines, creating beautiful collages that represented our who we are and our journey. The experience of sitting crossed legged and casual, crawling across the floor to reach for new magazines, pages sprawled out in front of us, chocolate by our sides and the occasional excited chatter, was such a relief from the seriousness that can sometimes fill our lives.

At the end of the session, we asked ourselves what was our art communicating to us and I was given very clear answers. For months now I have been trying to listen to my intuition/higher self, whilst following The Jess Lively Flow with Intention course, which is, among other things, all about listening to your intuition and following inner guidance. I have been struggling to find that voice within, but in this session, it came forth so clearly. I was reminded to remember that who I am striving to be is who I already am, to witness the beauty all around me and experience the many forms of love flowing in my direction.

When it comes to living with endometriosis, I spend a lot of time looking for ways to relax myself, heal myself and nourish myself - but not always ways to have fun. I forget that creativity and enjoyment are sometimes just as healing as healing itself - it doesn't have to be just all about acupuncture, diet and meditation. Joy is a wonderful way to find the lightness and relief that is so often needed to take away the weight of chronic illness.

During the session, we were asked to write a few sentences based around the images we had collated. I'll leave you with these words that came to me instantly when I settled into this activity, I have my own interpretation of what they mean to me, but perhaps they'll have a message in there for you as well. <3

Her spirit embodied her femininity. She journeyed through life experiencing contentment in every moment - she knew this was ultimate peace.
 Image by Lila Valentina

Image by Lila Valentina

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