We believe every wound has a gift.
Each of us is a living story. We have a beginning. We are in the middle. And we will have an end.
Micro stories live embedded with our ongoing story. You know…
The story of meeting your best friend in kindergarten.
The story of visiting your grandmother every summer in Florida.
The story of learning to make pancakes and cooking your first breakfast.
And then, there are the harder stories…
The story of when your parents divorced.
The story of conflict with a friend.
The story of when you got fired.
And then, there are the stories we wish were not our stories…
These stories live embedded in our ongoing story, but hide in the shadows, often forgotten, or unwanted. These are the stories we wish were NOT our stories.
The stories of childhood abuse.
The story of a mentally ill parent.
The story of a missing sibling.
Sometimes large swaths of childhood seem lost to memory. We don’t recall anything about second grade, or where we lived before we were ten, or what happened the day we were taken to the hospital.
“WHEN WE DENY THE STORY, IT DEFINES US. WHEN WE OWN THE STORY, WE CAN WRITE A BRAVE NEW ENDING.”
“OWNING OUR STORY & LOVING OURSELVES THROUGH THAT PROCESS IS THE BRAVEST THING THAT WE’LL EVER DO.”
The challenge with our shadowy stories is how they shape our life, even when we don’t remember them.
These stories make us feel nauseous when we smell a particular fragrance.
Startle, when we hear a certain sound.
Fill with rage, when someone talks to us in a certain tone.
Paralyze us with fear, or overtake us with a panic attack, sometime for reasons we don’t even know.
All of us live with shadowy stories. Part of our inner, healing, work involves excavating these stories from our unconscious awareness and integrating them into our ongoing story. How can we do that, though, if we can’t remember them?
We draw them out the way a patient teacher draws out a shy child, inviting them to tell us their story using the language of image and art. Music, clay, painting, collage, writing, all these creative arts give voice to our silent stories. Once they have a voice and we listen to them, they stop “acting out” in our lives and take their place in our ongoing storyline alongside the rest of our stories.
Because this integrative work is essential to our wholeness, Tikkun Farm offers healing arts experiences in a variety of ways. We often include art, collage, drumming and writing in our retreats and camps. We also offer Writing Circles, Soul Collage, Pottery, Watercolor, Drum Circles and more. To learn about our current offers, visit our Community Events Calendar.
Tikkun Farm’s alpacas provide a generous source of exquisite fiber. The Maker Space on our farm includes a carding machine, spinning wheels and other equipment to support a thriving Fiber Arts program. We currently need an artist facilitator, passionate about Fiber Arts, to take the lead in offering this experience to our community.
Before words, we speak in image. This is language of the unconscious, of dreams, visions, mystery, and prayer. Through Soul Collage, mask making, self-portrait, water color, and many other forms, our art experiences offer our stories a medium for expression.
When speaking of the power of story, research professor Brene Brown tells us, “We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes. We are the authors of our lives… we can write brave new endings.” Our Writing Circles engage a variety of writing practices to give voice to our stories living inside us. Once we know them, we then learn ways to write healing, empowering, and transforming endings to stories that used to own us.
A woman recovering from childhood sexual abuse once shared her small pottery collection with me. It was a series of spheres. The first one was smooth and unblemished. The next one had three dots, like an upside-down triangle. On the next one, the bottom dot seemed larger. As I gazed down the series, I noticed the bottom dot grew larger with each sphere, first a small hole, then a larger circle, and by the end the sphere almost disappeared, replaced by a gaping crater, more empty than round. Picking up the smooth, unblemished sphere, she shares, “This was my first one, before I started sharing my secret.” Picking up a sphere from the middle of the collection she tells me, “But as I shared my story, more and more, this bottom dot grew bigger. I realized it was my mouth, finally set free to speak my truth.”
Research shows a 10-week handwork class with adults diagnosed with depression, significantly improved their positive emotion, “transforming negative emotions (such as despair or despondency) into positive ones (like hope, surprise, satisfaction, and joy).” (Joshua K.M. Nan. 2017).
Tikkun Farm includes clay work in our retreats and looks forward to offering a variety of pottery classes, including this 10-week handwork series, once our pottery studio is ready.
When Drumming was included in a program working with adolescents involved with the Juvenile Court in central Ohio, improvement in Juvenile Treatment Court outcomes were noticed. Retention and successful completion rates increased. These trends translated to changes in juveniles’ behaviors. Youth that graduated from the program abstained from drug use, improved school and home behaviors, and satisfied court requirements. A study on the power of creative musical expression to improve the quality of life for inner-city youth produced good results, demonstrating improvements in school/work role performance, total depression, negative self-evaluation, and instrumental anger. And a study by the Royal College of Music in London found that a 10-week program of group drumming reduced depression by 38% and anxiety by 20%.
Because of this research, Tikkun Farm includes Drumming in much of its programs. This evidence-based, whole person practice fosters self-respect and respect for others. Drums are used as tools for communication and personal expression. Drumming has been shown to be an effective part of a trauma-informed program that helps bring the frontal-cortex of the brain back online so a person’s capacity to focus and learn is increased.
It is no wonder that Drumming has been used for thousands of years by indigenous cultures around the planet to treat a variety of conditions. Specific rhythms may be used to accelerate physical healing, stimulate the release of emotional trauma, and produce deeper self-awareness.
Tikkun Farm hosts drum circles at key points in the natural cycle of Creation: Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and Autumn Equinox. Indigenous cultures, deeply connected to the wisdom embedded in nature, understood that these four focal points of the year mirrored stages of our inner spiritual journey. These drum circles are the closing experience of each of Elements Retreat and are open to the public.
Thanks to a generous grant from Matinee Musicale, Tikkun Farm has enough drums to teach drumming classes and share with the public during our drum circles.