The second lesson in Life Book 2013 is a bonus lesson with Monica Zuniga. Her inspiration to us is to make a paper doll out of (rubber) stamps. She says "Find a figure that represents yourself and then those words that represent what you will be working on throughout the year."
For this page I wanted to express my training and journey as a counsellor. The core principles of person centred counselling are empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, and these are the words I have chosen to use in my piece.
I chose a digital stamp by A Day For Daisies called Birds Nest, picking up on imagery of birds as both messengers and a symbol of freedom. As a counsellor I will be in a position to listen to the deepest, most painful, most shameful secrets that burden a soul, and through empathy and unconditional positive regard (non judgment) I can help that soul to find peace and freedom from their pain.
The inner area is done with a rubber stamp by Kaisercraft, from the 13th Hour collection, branches with ravens. Ravens are a sign of alertness and watchfulness, and Dr. Carl Jung deemed raven symbolism to represent the shadow self, or the dark side of the psyche. The raven is a messenger too, so it symbolises keeping and communicating deep mysteries.
The raven is representing my own inner struggle. One of the core beliefs of counselling is that we cannot take a client to places we have not been. In other words, if I don't explore myself, challenge my own flawed thinking and beliefs (I'm ugly, I'm useless, I'm worthless etc)... If I can't turn the spotlight inward on myself, how can I help others to do the same?
An interesting note that I realized after doing this, is that I have on my back a rather large tattoo that incorporates several ravens. I had the tattoo done years ago so I often forget it's there!
The background is done with Neocolour II watercolour crayons, washed and then spritzed with a water spray and enhanced with Distress Inks. I started in the centre quite light and deepened the colour towards the edges so that I could see that there, in all that inner turmoil, radiates a light, my light.
When I first watched this lesson I was a bit 'meh' about the project, but somewhere along the way it became an incredibly deep and personal expression. Thank you Monica :o)