October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month...
As a survivor of intimate partner abuse, I have done a lot to rid myself of the demons, distress, and depression that domestic violence leaves you with -- even after you have removed yourself from the situation. Intentional Creativity(R) has been a key tool in my medicine basket to help me process and heal from the scars of intimate partner abuse.
In 2013, I became a Certified Intentional Creativity Teacher and Coach. I walked the path of certification because I knew what Intentional Creativity was doing in my life to help me recover from domestic abuse. This was also the year that I found myself in another abusive relationship, this one emotionally abusive rather than physically abusive. However, abuse is abuse. So I pulled out my intentionally creative tools and sharpened them, readying to go within and heal the new wounds along with the old ones.
That was also the year that I realized the path that I was Divinely assigned to: the path of The Helper. More specifically, I have been tasked with helping women to heal from the scars of intimate partner abuse. I knew 8 years ago that my calling was to help survivors and for the last 8 years I have been trying to figure out how. I have given workshops and classes in Intentional Creativity throughout this 8 year time span, but have not been fully "engaged" in the work that lies before me. This year, I am auditing Shiloh Sophia's Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training course as a "refresher" and to garner any new information being offered since my certification in 2013. But more than anything, I am "re-taking" the Color of Woman course to give my Self dedicated time to fully develop what my Divine Calling is:
D.O.T.S. of Dopeness...(TM) : Domestic violence Outreach for Transformation and Support.
As of now, I have a general overview of what D.O.T.S. of Dopeness will offer. What I'm working on is what the container will look like. I am not a person that can meditate all "zen-style." Sitting in the lotus position in silence only provides an open playground in my mind for the demons to run freely. My mind doesn't quiet itself in doing so; rather, it becomes fertile ground for all of the Negative Ninnies to have a field day. In order to quiet my mind and get still so I can meditate, I've learned that I need an active form of meditation. Active meditation is simply doing an activity, usually repetitive motions such as pruning the garden, cutting up potatoes for potato salad, or drawing Zentangles -- to get into a meditative state. So DOTS offers active meditation as a principle in the process.
Through my Intentional Creativity training, I have learned that I have always been creating with intention. That is what Intentional Creativity is simply put: creating with clear intention. What I did not know prior to training, was that everything I created was created with intention. I had been using creativity to keep myself busy and to keep my mind off of what was going on in my life. So, of course I am incorporating the principles and practices of Intentional Creativity.
Those 2 things combined -- active meditation and Intentional Creativity -- have been combined into a sacred self-care practice that I call D.O.T.S. of Dopeness. Through DOTS, deep excavation of your soul stirrings that will effect profound healing can be had. But you have to show up and do the work. You can't just show up...
I am challenging myself this month to create a DOTS project daily, modeled after the infamous 29 Faces bi-annual challenge. This year's challenge will be to do one Survivors Square each day of the month (31 total squares). They will be created on acrylic or wood panels, engraved with an affirmation or poem I have written on the back. At the end of the month, I will donate the 31 pieces of art to a domestic violence shelter to distribute freely to the women they serve as a "pick-me-up" -- an affirmation that they are worthy, needed, enough...
If you are a survivor of domestic violence, I invite you to join me in my private community for survivors. Please note that I am not a medical professional and therefore I do not give medical advice. I am not now, nor will I ever, suggest that you stop seeking the services of licensed medical professionals that can help you through the pain of intimate partner abuse. I am a helper of women and a survivor who shares some of the tools that I have used to help me heal my wounds: active meditation, Intentional Creativity, and a great support system to include any therapy offered by licensed therapists that I may need.
Here is the beginnings of Day 1: