Art of Self-Care

en plein air…

I begin to unfurl.

art collage watercolour healing

Dendritia Saliosa 6
Sally Swain art

My duty-brain has been knotted with nervy caregiver logistics.

Sleep? Huh. A thing of the past.

Dementia tangles and plaques its way into my daily surrounds, both in my personal and professional life.

Are you a caregiver for an elderly relative? How does this sit in your soulscape?

‘Emotional labour’ is a term coined by Arlie Hochschild in her book ‘The Managed Heart’. I love those words. Emotional labour. Managed Heart. They speak to me.

Original definition:

Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors.

I feel my way into expanded meanings of emotional labour. Could it be all the invisible inner work of trying to make it OK for someone else?

There’s the smiling, soothing, smoothing over, placating, reassuring, drawing forth strength, glossing over, smiling, facilitating sticky interactions, anticipating, planning, being one step ahead at any moment, smiling, refining, suppressing your own natural needs, mopping up messes and much much more. And smiling. Do you relate to this at all?

I find respite in a sweet place by the sea.

I hear the sounds of two beaches.

Lap lap. Swoosh swoosh.

Sally Swain art

Dendritia Saliosa  beginnings
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

An outdoor studio amongst the trees.

Birdsong. Treats for the senses.

art heart flower Swain

Dendritia Saliosa 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

Will it be a flower?

Swain art watercolour flower

Dendritia Saliosa 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

With

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Flying by the Light of the Moon

Art Therapy and Attunement

The phrase ‘Fly by Night Work’ appeared to me in a dream.

It spoke of intuitive aspects of the art therapist’s journey with clients, in particular, clients living with deep dementia.

bird moon art Sally Swain

Night Flying Work
Sally Swain © original art
excerpt

The client might no longer be

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One breath, one brushstroke, one paper towel at a time

Awash Sally Swain © original art

Awash
Sally Swain © original art

Aged care. Hand-washing paraphernalia and paper towel dispensers are everywhere. 

Use the paper towel in art, I say.

I attend the inaugural Creative Ageing Conference. Afterwards, I am awash with ideas and tears.

There’s the macro:

Windows fling open to the wide open sky of amazing creative ageing projects around the globe.

And there’s

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