Ever feel stuck? It happens to the best of us. Life presents you with an unexpected hair ball and you are unable to process it. (Forgive my feline metaphor. I can’t help it. I love cats) You are left feeling spiritually, emotionally, and mentally clogged– your flow of energy, life and abundance, well, stifled. How do you get back in the flow? Try getting creative. Losing yourself to a creative process like painting is one of the best ways to relieve yourself of energies that are blocking your life’s flow. Creating art from within allows you to get in touch with your higher self to find answers within. Artist and art therapist Leah Guzman said it best: “It is a conversation with your higher self.” She should know.
With a Master’s degree in Art Therapy from Florida State University, she has been practicing art therapy for the last fourteen years, during which time she’s worked with students in the Miami Dade County Public Schools. Most recently, Guzman, a lifelong yogi, has been incorporating spirituality in her art therapy. She noticed people connected most with her chakra paintings. “People really resonated with them. They were really attracted to the chakra pieces, ” said Guzman. She decided to explore the connection further. Most recently, she has been conducting chakra workshops at her artist studio space in the Falls.
Her next workshop will focus on the Throat Chakra, communication and finding your voice, and it will take place August 27, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM.
What is a chakra? A chakra is an energy center in the body according to ancient Indian spiritual traditions. There are seven main chakras, each corresponding to a color and symbol, which makes them a perfect fit for visual art. Imbalances in the chakras are associated with certain dysfunctions. Here is a great resource on chakras if you want to learn more about them.
I got a chance to chat with Leah and asked her a few questions about her workshops.
MT: How did you come up with idea to incorporate chakras into art therapy?
LG: I have a clinical background in art therapy, as I practiced yoga and meditation the chakras naturally fit into my art therapy practice because they tap into the body, where we hold energy and emotions. I also started to see a connection between my client’s art and the colors that resonated with the chakras. I also noticed that when I practiced balancing my own chakras I was able to have increased energy, a natural flow in my life and creating on purpose.
MT: What is your intention behind the chakra workshops? How many have you done so far? What is one memorable experience that comes to mind?
LG: My intention behind the chakra workshops is for the participant to engage in intuitive art making to co-create with the universe and receive messages through their art. The art making is to balance and strengthen the chakras in order to have a flow of energy. IF we have emotional baggage it will block the chakra, and we will feel discomfort and have resistant that shows up in our lives. When we are in the “flow” of life, manifesting your desires becomes really easy. I call that chakra magic;)
I have been practicing with the chakras for several years. I recently started to do monthly group classes at Artist at the Falls the last Sunday of the month. We are focusing on the Throat Chakra this Sunday, August 27th from 2:00-4:30pm. The Throat Chakra is all about communication, listening and authentically speaking your truth.
One of my most memorable experience from the chakra classes is that I offered a 7 week Chakra course a few years ago. One day all the participants unexpectedly reunited for a class. It really made my heart happy.
MT: What is your favorite chakra, the one that resonates with you the most and why?
LG: I have been creating my own chakra sets for several years. At different times I need to focus my energy on one area of my life, relating to one chakra. Right now the Solar Plexus Chakra is really showing up for me. The Solar Plexus is all about personal power, setting boundaries, and will power. The element is fire and the planet Sun. I relate this to my work of offering chakra workshops and creating my own art with purpose.
MT: How can art be a vehicle for personal, spiritual growth?
LG: Art is a vehicle for personal, spiritual growth because it is a reflection of where you are in your life at the moment. It’s important to also have a guide to help you reflect on the message and lead you to the next step (that’s me). The process is healing, releasing any emotional baggage. The art process taps into the intuitive, higher self. When you learn how to use art as a way to co-create with the Universe it can be a really powerful tool in manifesting.
MT: What can participants expect at the workshop? What do you hope they gain from the experience?
LG: All materials are included in the workshop. We start with an explanation of the focused chakra, we do a meditation, set our intention and create a piece of art related to the intention. I show you step by step the painting process. We play with acrylics, spray paint, stencils and symbolism. We wrap up class with sharing our messages. All levels are welcome. You will gain new painting techniques, knowledge about the chakras and a unique masterpiece with a message from your soul.
The chakra workshops will take place at Artist at the Falls, 12974 SW 89th Ave, Miami, FL 33176
Check out a video testimonial from a workshop participant.
Aside from studio visits open daily, artist Leah Guzman is also displaying her work at the following locations:
Full Bloom: Gourmet Vegan Cuisine, Miami Beach
N’namdi Contemporary Gallery in Wynwood October
Superfine Art Fair Wynwood in December