How the course works...
You are invited to spend 10 days creatively exploring your body's experience of grief. You may want to explore with the body as physical manifestation of various aspects OR you may want to use the body as metaphor. The creative prompts offered in this session are open for you to interpret and use as you feel fits best for your experience. Please note: This is not an art making techniques course. It is a creative grief education course that offers you a variety of creative approaches to your grief experiences, including encouragement to explore via whatever art mediums you like.
In the prompts, you'll be offered 1) creative space to explore various parts or areas of the body, 2) given heARTistic examples of how you might explore, and 3) MP3 audio invitations to allow your own body to express your experiences. You are welcome to respond in whatever medium you might like. And as an example of how this works:
- The prompt might be something simple like: "Pain in the neck" where you are encouraged consider how your neck has responded to grief experiences.
- You can respond in a journaling type, free-writing type of way, where you maybe want to explore how people's insistence that you "get better" has been a pain in the neck.
- Or you could take a photo of your neck and explore double exposure or doing photo transfer or collage with the neck image to convey your experience.
- Or you can use it as the title of a poem and write haiku about what the neck has been holding.
- Or you could do a drawing or painting of this body part and add color, texture, shape to convey your experience.
- Or you could even do a movement type response (you are responsible for assessing and for any risk in your health for doing movement) where you get up and stand shock still and then slowly explore the "pain in the neck" thru small, slow moves.
- You can take the response in any creative direction you like.
- You then have private, comment section space at the bottom of each day's prompt page where you are free to share as much or as little as you like about how you did this investigation or exploration of your bodily relationship to/with grief or recognition of grief; what you discovered; what was surprising; or whatever you wish to share about your creative experiments exploring creativity and resiliency in the face of grief.
Example: how a response might look
"Pain in the neck. Cliche, but there was big truth to parts of my grief experience being a pain in the neck. Grief itself, not so much. Grief, like a character in a play, would turn up on stage when I was battling "wanted" vs. *IS*. That space where next steps meant what I wanted before loss was gone. Embracing next steps meant facing what IS now. Grief would show up and stand by me no matter if I sobbed, screamed, skated, or put on music to try and dance my way to what IS had brought. But the people and situations in my life that insisted I "get over IT" and find "closure" in order to "be better" -- those were most definitely a pain in the neck.
"Felt like purple-black inky pins going thru my spine and neck, making me flush red in face and chest. These people and situations had no idea that grief and life layer. No idea that loss and movement hand off the baton to one another. No idea that love meant both enduring the current heart-break(ing open) AND seeking for what was next in the new IS-space. Rather, these were people and situations that believed you had to compartmentalize (come apart with mental lies) to find closure, meaning an ending, done, never mentioned again, over, get better now, be finished with "that" or "it." And they had no idea how much pain that caused in the neck when they tried to shove it down people's throats.
"So this piece, this double exposure selfie, is exploring all of that. The first image is me looking off to the left, exposing neck and chest. The second image is the inky purple-black lines that infuse with the bright red of a poppy flower. This is the way I chose to answer the prompt "Pain in the neck."
"And these are the kinds of things, this getting in touch with what my body was telling me, that helped me find a way -- find many ways -- during my grief experiences. When I felt the pins, when I felt the chest flush, I began to read those as signals. My very body saying, "Hey Kara, whatever need this person or situation used to meet, they can't do that any longer. Now they are just a pain in the neck in terms of that need. Back away. Identify that unmet need. Give yourself time and space to figure an alternative way to have that need met!"
"It proved very helpful."
Now that is just one example. You are welcome to explore in whatever creative way moves you. Play with photography. Or journal a response. Or use the prompt as your meditation object for the day and see what surfaces.
And you are welcome to share your creativity with no other write up. Or you could additionally type something up in the comments along with your heARTwork to tell us a bit more about what you've discovered. You are also welcome to specifically say with your posts, things like:
- "I'm sharing just to be witnessed. No feedback, please."
- Or, "I'd love to hear from others what they think about xyz..."
- Or, "I'm open to more creative coaching ideas around this from the facilitator..."
So you can feel safe in how you share and what responses you'd like to see.
You are free to explore creatively in whatever medium and depth you wish!
Features of this course include:
- The same day that you register for this course, you'll get the welcome + logistics information immediately.
- Then in 24 hour increments after you've register, you'll get a new prompt each day for 10 days. So if you've registered for the course at 8pm one day, then the next day at 8pm, you'll get the first prompt and same for each of the days after up to the 10 days.
- This course offers participants comment space at the bottom of each prompt Lesson page.
- This online, private space is open only to participants and is available 24/7, so you can read prompts and post replies any time of day or night, including weekends, at your own pace and on your own schedule.
- Please note this is an on-demand, self-directed course, meaning there is no formal facilitation for the session, and this is definitely NOT crisis support.
- That said, as facilitator I (Kara) will get notifications of your shares, questions, reflections. If your posts ask questions or specifically for feedback, I will do my best to check in within 48-72 hours of notifications where replies are needed. [Note: There are several times a year where I am away for a few weeks at a time. So if there is a delay in reply, please know your posts are not being ignored, and I will reply when I am back.]
Enrollment is open on an on-going basis.
Please see the FAQ below for more details to questions others have asked.
Creator heARTist of this session is moi, Kara Jones of GriefAndCreativity.com, and I look forward to sharing these creative prompts with each of you!
Table of Contents
Frequently Asked Questions
I want to join, but life is busy. Will this course involve a great deal of time and effort?
As with any online offering, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. That said, no, this is not an intensive course necessarily. This is a multi-day course, AND if you can't be here in this classroom on those exact days, that's okay. You'll still get the full content of the course. The comment sections do not close, so you can respond even after the session is "finished," and I will still get notifications of your posts and do my best to answer. You are welcome to share as much or as little in this private space as you like. Unlike in-person workshops, you get private classroom space that is open 24/7, so you get creative prompts plus room to share your experiences at any time along the way.
If I decide I will be short on time during the 10 days, can I get a refund on my registration fee?
No, I'm sorry, we are not offering refunds. This session drip feeds content for the prompts, but you can access it at any time, in your own pace, for as long as you like. The session space is not going anywhere even after the end of the two weeks. So once you register, you actually get the entire course, even if your schedule ends up conflicted with the days of the initial content feed. The facilitator (Kara - moi) will get notices of new posts and will reply, as time is available, generally responding within 48-72 hours. Let me know if you have questions around this before you register! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is this a therapy group?
No. This is a self-directed session for exploring creative approaches to grief and life experiences; for exploring how you yourself make meaning and expression with whatever is happening for you. While there is a facilitator in our online classroom (moi), I am just one person. I am not available as crisis intervention, and this is not meant to be private session coaching for each and every person. That said, this type of session is a good companion to whatever therapy you are doing already to support yourself. Please practice responsibility (ability to respond) for whatever needs you have medically, mentally, physically.
I still have a question, how can I contact you?
I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at email@example.com.
My grief is non-death related. Can I still join this course?
Yes. All are welcome, whatever your grief experience circumstances are! Often death related experiences (death of child, spouse, other loved one, pet) are acknowledged as grief in our culture, whereas non-death related experiences (divorce, loss of job, chronic illness, major change like immigration) are not. In this course, we are aiming to offer creative grief space to anyone, whatever your circumstances might be. We will not be playing "grief olympics" nor placing experiences on a "hierarchy of grief." Whatever grief experience you bring to the table, is your grief experience. And we will aim to help you find creative approaches to whatever your experiences are.