The rich and complex metaphor of the garden provides a shared basis from which to develop presence: sensitivity, openness & creative responsiveness.
We begin by recalling gardens we have loved or imagined from childhood, art and stories. From there, we explore nature however we meet it in the Cortijo Romero gardens and in our own deep, creative being, finding connection through earthy, sensory, meditative, playful and poetic practices. Afterwards, we make mixed media, expressive art in response to our meditative walks in the grounds, paying attention to the bodily experiences, creativity and inner wisdom they evoke in us..
The interplay between these elements fosters a recognition and awareness of ourselves as part of nature. Feelings of becoming and belonging, gratitude and inspiration may spontaneously flow, supporting us to be attentive, compassionate and more responsive to our real needs and the gifts we have for the world, and more compassionate to others and life in general.
The experience becomes a co-creative adventure for the group, which can provide warm support for individuals' artistic-therapeutic journeys.
I am thrilled to lead another of these courses, to witness the wonderfully unique and surprising art that emerges and the transformations so many participants experience. Most of our sessions will take place outdoors in the late summer garden, as we engage in meditative, body and art-based practices to become more present in body-mind, more sensitively attuned to the ‘field’ of which we are part, losing and finding ourselves in a concept-loosening and inspiring process, not easily conveyed in words.
‘The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you’. ‘Lost’, David Wagoner
How the course is structured
We enter the ‘Garden of the Heart’ on many levels: Like a mythic poet, lover or pilgrim approaching our own inner sacred centre, we move at a gentle pace through exercises integrating art with meditative breathing, walking and other somatic and earth-based practices, to enhance our attentiveness and receptivity. We revisit some beloved gardens of memory and childhood. We may encounter personal ‘gate-keepers’ and labyrinths to practice grounded approaches to self-healing and safe outdoor therapy, liberating neglected aspects of our own power and creativity. We discover old and new sources of inspiration and identify energies and qualities we need to cultivate and embody in our everyday life.
The whole process is held within the secluded Cortijo gardens, the landscape and traditional arts of Andalucia and the archetypal imagery of the Sacred Garden, traditionally where human and 'divine' love and spiritual, creative forces meet.
The course offers you skilled, sensitive support and guidance -
- To deepen trust and confidence in your spontaneous creativity as a force of nature, and source of sustaining joy, self-healing and wisdom.
- To be both playful and meditative, learning simple artistic ways to relax dualistic thinking, discovering the lightness-of-being and effortless ‘calligraphy’ as breath & natural expressive gestures become visible in mark-making.
- To develop relaxed receptivity, responsiveness to and co-creativity with nature and to rest in this profound and intimate connection.
- To revitalise your art-making with found natural materials, awakening your senses and imagination to create new forms.
- To tend the ‘garden’ of your own body-mind and life. Along the way, during these gentle processes, you will be encouraged to allow so-called ‘problems’ or difficult symptoms to naturally unravel and transform, freeing new energy for living.
The course aims to balance simple appreciation and celebration of nature with explorations into our own nature and apparent obstacles to the free flow of our creative expression.
It is deeply nourishing, affirming, often humorous, playful and intimate as we witness the emergence of each person’s unique creations.
I welcome your willingness to take playful risks to relax into nature, express yourself with the materials and share precious moments of your journey with your companions.
‘It's all about love, you just teach love’
‘I looked forward to this for some time and came with very high expectations and hopes for both the course and for myself, and Beverley’s course far exceeded these’
‘My whole body and mind feels different, washed through, more alive’.
‘I was so inspired by this course ... when I got home we cleared out the shed and made me an art studio! So exciting, thank you’