Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Art and Life Coaching

Art Work by Sooz Weissberg

I like using art in my life coaching practice.  Using color, words, and images can help clients facilitate self-discovery and move forward in their goals.  I often hear “I’m not an artist”, “I can’t write”, “I’m not creative” and while I can acknowledge those inner thoughts I know that everyone is an artist, can write and is creative.  We all drew like crazy when we were younger….it’s when we older and learn about judgement that we forget what is deep inside of us.  Doing these art coaching activities is just for your exploration and there is no judgement!
We can communicate deeper with ourselves and others through images and color.  A picture really is worth a thousand words!  We live in color.  Marketing professionals understand the language of color and use it to sell you stuff.  If someone says “Jane is a little green around the ears” most of us understand that they are still growing or she is going to throw up.  Ha! 

Here is a very basic list of colors and what they mean.

BLACK  The absence of all color; represents sophistication, mourning, evil, anger, and strength.
BLUE  Represents calm, peace, quiet, truth, wisdom, loyalty, and the spirit.

RED  Represents physical energy, mischief, love, passion, valor, fire, and wrath.
GREEN  Represents healing, learning, growth, life, hope, and brilliance.

ORANGE  Represents energy, endurance, and physical strength.
PURPLE  Represents royalty the inner royalty of each of us and the outer royalty of the divine.

YELLOW  Represents the mind, joy, purity, clarity, and happiness.

I ask clients to keep a coaching journal as they go through the process of creating their plans.  But these coaching journals are not just written words.  To add deeper meaning and connection I ask them to add color and images.  For example, if your goal is to eat healthy foods then an image of fresh fruits, vegetables and the color green can help you connect to your goal.
Goal posters are also a powerful tool in connecting with your goal.  It is a simple project where the client selects images, words, and colors that connect them to their goal and then create a collage on a poster board.  This is a very powerful exercise because it helps the client envision what it is they want.

Another poster is the road block poster.  It’s important to create awareness of what is keeping your form obtaining your goals.  Common road blocks include TV, the internet, Facebook and other social networks, and playing internet games.  These activities are not “bad” but they can steal your time and sabotage your goals.

Another tool that I developed that create self-awareness is Kaleido Journaling.  This type of journal is very much like the coaching journal; however, it works with different issues outside of your coaching goals.  By the way, you can get you free Kaleido Journal by signing up for my mailing list.
Other art projects that I use in life coaching to help clients have insights include:  worry dolls, mask, altered books, dream boards, permission slips, ordinary day, self-portraits, gratitude spiral, mantra art, and the body compass. You can see examples of this work in the Creative Play Art Gallery.