I invited my two colleagues in the Art in Healing Program from Health South Rehabilitation Hospital to my home for a mini-retreat. We settled into my artspace and I led them through a Red Thread Ceremony of connection where we listened to Shiloh’s Poem, Medicine Woman, from “Tea with the Midnight Muse,” and each shared one of our gifts.
We talked about the Medicine Woman tradition among Native Americans and its connection to the healing work we do together. I invited them to explore their gifts by engaging a guided meditation where they would discover their medicine basket and its contents. After the meditation, I asked them to list and write something about the gift or symbol they received. We shared our gifts with one another.
Then I demonstrated and invited them to paint their baskets on watercolor paper. We turned our gifts into affirmation statements and decoupaged them to the basket. We followed this by adding an overarching affirmation of all our gifts as active in our lives. We talked about how difficult it sometimes is to remember our giftedness. We agreed the painting helps to see and remember.
Finally we painted a symbol of our giftedness on the painting and added embellishment and glitter. We broke for lunch and conversation. Finally, we closed our time together by sitting with our paintings and reading our gifts around the circle and affirmed that all the gifts are ours to use at all times.
We agreed that this was a wonderful, affirming day! Later one colleague said of her experience, ” I enjoyed this class immensely. Donna guided us in a process to explore our own unique Medicine Basket by identifying and honoring our special gifts. By engaging my creativity through painting and writing I was able to bring my gifts to life, even some I didn’t realize I had, then affirm and own them in a way that truly enlightened me. I am thankful for this as it enables me to share them with others.”