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“Art Work/Soul Work”

A Review of
Awakening the Creative Spirit:
Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction
(A Spiritual Directors International Book)

Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman

Reviewed by Margaret D. McGee.


Awakening the Creative Spirit:
Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction
(A Spiritual Directors International Book)
Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman.
Paperback: Morehouse Publishing, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

AWAKENING THE CREATIVE SPIRIT - Paintner / BeckmanWhen fear stops the tongue, or grief envelops the soul, or a period of transition makes the way ahead appear dark and confused, a healthy way to deal with chaotic emotions is to make them into art. By giving painful experiences and scary feelings external shape and form, making art also makes a safe place to integrate those experiences and feelings into the whole of life. Similarly, a time of joy or fulfillment can be embodied in a piece of art, making whole and real what might otherwise be just a fleeting moment, quickly lost.

Trouble is, many of us don’t see ourselves as artists, or as having more than one or two ways to express our creativity. In Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction, Christine Valters Painter and Betsey Beckman offer a variety inviting paths into creative expression as soul work. Ostensibly addressed to spiritual directors working with individuals and groups, Awakening the Creative Spirit will be useful to pastors, retreat leaders, therapists, educators, or anyone who offers spiritual care to others and wants to use expressive arts in their work.

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