In House: Heather Allen Hietala on Creativity – Part 2
Heather Allen Hietala has been creating, teaching, and playing for 25 years. This summer, she’ll join us at the Art of Living Retreat Center to host The Art of Letting Go: Awaken Your Creative Spirit, a workshop dedicated to reconnecting with and freeing your creativity. Read Part 1 here.
The Importance of Play
This course is about being present, and using our hands to be mindful. We are all multifaceted beings. We live busy and often fractured lives. Our creative inner worlds are vast and often ignored, or may seem inaccessible, even to ourselves. It can be a new experience to tap into our innate creative source. Exploring a new territory can be daunting. We are all born creative, but over time it can get buried. I create a nurturing space that supports each student as they play around and explore the clay, and through this playing, get in touch with their creativity. They clay allows for expressive freedom – there are no rules, just fun to be had as we play around with it.
Journaling as an Anchor
At the beginning of the course, we create a journal. This journal serves as a safe place to explore and record our experiences. I provide stimulating exercises to nurture and support our need for reasoning and logic. These activities provide an emotional anchor that allows my students to express themselves more fully in the clay and visual exercises.
Just as when we open any book, and it takes us right back to where we were in the story, my student’s journals serve as a personal reference and record of their own creative journey. Their journal allows them to take the experience of the week home with them, and continue to nurture and explore their creativity.
Join Heather at The Art of Letting Go: Awaken Your Creative Spirit from June 20 – June 25 at the Art of Living Retreat Center, or click here to learn more about our retreats.
Interested in learning more about the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!
In House: Heather Allen Hietala on Creativity – Part 1
The power of creative expression is part of what makes us human. Heather Allen Hietala, artist and teacher, has been helping her students explore the urge to create for over 25 years. This summer, she’ll bring her unique approach to the Art of Living Retreat Center. We asked Heather to share a little more about her upcoming workshop.
Awaken Your Creative Spirit
For many people, being creative seems foreign or unattainable. In my course, The Art of Letting Go: Awaken Your Creative Spirit, participants reconnect with the joy of making, of being in the moment of the creative process, and of playing. Using the immediate and tactile nature of clay, our creative spirit will be awakened and nurtured. I facilitate exercises allowing us to let go and be present in the moment.
Working with our hands gets us out of our heads and into our bodies, allowing us to be fully engaged in the here and now. We will witness the wisdom that is revealed through our hands as we explore the immediacy of a variety of mediums as a way to reconnect with our creative self. I’ve chosen materials that are accessible, and have the ability to unlock emotions and memories while providing insights and resolutions.
The Moment of Pure Experience
There will be wonderful “aha!” moments of clarity and surprise. As a class, we will all be together in the moment of pure experience, of being present in the now, by working with our hands. My teaching process encourages the usual expectations and judgments we have while creating to recede. This allows each student to be fully present in their creativity, and thus living healthier and happier lives.
We work primarily with the three senses of sight, smell, and touch. Touch is a very important sense, and a very integral part of the class. As the workshop facilitator, I create a nurturing space to allow each student to open to their natural creativity. As a class, we embrace and nurture the expression that flows forth from our hands.
The Art of Process
At the close of the workshop, my students are comfortable allowing themselves to focus on the process rather than the outcome. This allows them opens them up to their own creativity. Each participant’s imagination will be awakened and nurtured. They learn how to let go and be in the moment. They create a class journal, and use it for exercises that support their explorations and serve as a bridge to continue nurturing their creative spirit and well-being after they return home.
Join Heather at The Art of Letting Go: Awaken Your Creative Spirit from June 20 – June 25.
Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.