I would like to introduce you to Rahima Warren. I love how synchronicity plays into everything. Rahima, went through the Person Centered Expressive Therapy program, training with my late friend and studio partner, Patricia Waters. Out of the blue I receive an invite to share her new book here. Take the time to read about the personal creative journey that led to her writing this book. If you want a chance to win her ebook, leave a comment here, and also let me know how you feel about my sharing this. Ciao. Caterina
Guest Post by Rahima Warren on Expressive Arts
An Expressive Arts Novel, or
How Expressive Arts Therapy Opened the Floodgates
How Expressive Arts Therapy Opened the Floodgates
By Rahima Warren
“If you write to impress it will always be bad, but if you write to express it will be good.”
For many years, I admired the writers of fantasy and science fiction for the way they created whole new worlds, and amazing new creatures, while writing fascinating stories. I loved reading their stories, and still do. I never imagined being that creative myself. Expressive arts therapy changed all that, transforming me into an expressive arts painter and novelist.
In 1995, I was seeking a new direction for my psychotherapy career. I had found that verbal therapy has its limitations. Since it uses words, we can stay stuck in what we know in our verbal/logical mind. Having specialized in dreamwork, Jungian psychology and sandplay therapy, I knew that the dreaming mind has its own language of image, symbol, nuance and color which are better expressed through art. So I attended the Person-Centered Expressive Therapy Institute’s 400-hour training in Expressive Arts Therapy, developed by Natalie Rogers. What a fabulous time we had, 20 or 30 women, studying and experiencing expressive arts! We learned to ignore the inner critic or judge, and any “art rules” we might have learned. Instead, we explored using all the art forms – movement, writing, art, music, clay-work, collage – only for self-expression, with no concern for technique or end-product.
To my happy surprise, I found that with no formal training, I could paint, sculpt clay, write, make music, and dance. This experience helped me to own my true grace, strength, and wisdom as a woman. And it helped me to trust and open up to the creative flow. So when a dark fantasy story started to pour forth, I didn’t question it and went with the flow. For three years, I just wrote and wrote, letting the story go where it wanted, with no plan or outline. It’s the most passionately creative fun I’ve ever had! This is how I ended up writing what I call an expressive arts novel.
What I had written turned out to be the first draft of my fantasy trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy. Perhaps you have heard the truism, “Write what you know.” From my own healing journey and my work as a psychotherapist, what I know is the difficult inner journey to wholeness. And that is what my story is about: the healing journey of the hero, Kyr. (More about how my hero turned me into a writer here.)
The hero of this story was lurking in my dreaming mind (the unconscious) for years. I had many dreams and daydreams about characters like Kyr. I believe he represents an archetype, which I call the Wounded Masculine or the Suffering Hero. Early on, when I was less conscious, I kept falling for men who embodied the Wounded Masculine/Suffering Hero. (I doubt that I am the only woman who has fallen under the spell of this archetype!) Later, I did inner work with this archetypal character, hoping he would stop haunting me. But he always resurfaced in my dreams, even when I stopped falling for men like him in my outer life.
There is a positive aspect to this archetypal haunting, though. In some sense, Kyr was always nudging me to develop the courage and skills for exploring the inner realms of psyche, soul and spirit, so that I could eventually write his story. But where he came from. or why he haunts me, or why he picked me to write his story is still a mystery to me. Perhaps he is my inner muse or daemon. According to an astrological reading of my natal chart, I am “a profoundly creative being whose desire it is to channel darkness through creativity, and dedicate that to the world…to articulate the truth and use words to take people on journeys…to use creativity as a tool of healing.” Perhaps that explains why I wrote this dark, intense but ultimately uplifting and healing story.
With the inspiration, freedom and trust I gained from my training and experience with Person-Centered Expressive Arts, I was able to trust the creative process enough to allow Kyr’s story to come through me, without hindrance by the moralistic censor or inner critic. His story starts out with the darkest of human experiences, but the main thread is his journey of recovery, healing, forgiveness, redemption and love.
Even now, Kyr is haunting me, nudging me to be brave enough to get his story published, so that it can help others on their healing journeys. (One reader shares how reading Book One helped her here.) In 2011, Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy was published by Rose Press. Now I am celebrating its e-book publication, with my blog tour and giveaways! I still have Books Two and Three to edit and publish. It’s been quite a journey, and my adventures with Kyr continue!
Expressive Arts Resources
- Be sure to see Catarina’s many wonderful offerings of classes, groups and workshops right here on her blog!
- Visit my expressive arts website: www.soulplay.com for an exploration of inner mysteries through expressive art, writing and dreamwork.
“This art show is your deep inner journey in art, writing and spiritual work. AMAZING!” Natalie Rogers
“Great website. It's such a good example of how expressive arts can be a vehicle for Soul to heal and guide us.” Shellee Davis
- A Two Year Training at Sofia University in “Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change: A Person-Centered Approach” led by Natalie Rogers and others: www.nrogers.com
- Painting from the Wild Heart classes workshops and retreats with Chris Zydel: http://creativejuicesarts.com/
ABOUT Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy by Rahima Warren
The “twin-souled dark innocent,” Kyr, is a youth born and raised to blindly carry out the Soul-Drinker’s brutal commands. At first, Kyr’s one desire is death, the only escape from the Soul-Drinker’s hellish rule. Just when he is about to get his wish, the secret Circle rescues him. Now he has to choose between the familiar easy path of despair and death, or the hard path of healing, living, and a greater destiny, about which he knows nothing. How can a slave who has known only evil, pain and obedience choose to become a man of courage and compassion, and fulfill the Star Seer's Prophecy?
Rahima is giving away prizes, including an e-copy of her book at each blog stop on her tour AND a Grand Prize Giveaway of a Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with your choice of fan art, chosen from here: http://www.starseersprophecy.com/fan-art/, plus other goodies, including a signed copy of Dark Innocence for one lucky winner, shipped to anywhere in the world!
- To win a book: Leave a comment on this blog post about your muse(s) and what sparks your creativity to be entered to win a book. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.
- To win the Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with Rahima’s fan art of your choice, or a signed copy of Dark Innocence, or other goodies, click the link to go to Rahima’s website here: http://www.starseersprophecy.com/blog-tour/ and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on June 21st.
Rahima Warren’s Bio:
Rahima Warren is the author of Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy, a deep, rich novel of the healing journey. With Master's degrees in Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology, she was in private practice as a licensed psychotherapist for over 20 years. In 2006, Rahima retired to focus on her expressive painting, creative writing, and spiritual studies.
In her work with clients recovering from abuse, she was awed by the human capacity to heal, and to reach new levels of forgiveness, wholeness and happiness. She also learned to trust the psyche's own process. This enabled her to allow a dark and mysterious story to flood forth unhindered: Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy.
Rahima is a third-generation native of California and resides with her husband in Northern California, where she periodically chases squirrels off the wild bird feeders, and deer away from her roses. Her life-long love of fantasy is her parents' fault: they left sci-fi & fantasy magazines with fascinating cover art lying around the house.
Rahima Warren’s website- http://bit.ly/YDWLdo
Read an excerpt of Dark innocence: http://bit.ly/11AqQ0o
Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/11eiksn
Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy on Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/WTiwvA