Some exercizes from Healing Crises


Toning is sounding notes with your voice – allowing the sound to emerge from ”something :” it may be a pain, a body-part: you tune into the pain/body-part, and allow a sound  to come out of your mouth. This tone is a vocal expression of what is going on in the painful part. You pay attention to it while you are toning, letting it change if it wants to: follow your impulse. This mode of expression by-passes the intellect and control, and allows the pain an expression that is direct, not filtered through your rationality and defenses. The result is often an energetic or emotional release. You may also feel nothing which is OK, and does not mean that you have done it ”wrong” – just give your instrument some time to warm up. Sooner or later, you will feel releases in one way or another.



You will need a camera for this one.

Go outside, and bring the camera with you. Look for images /motives which speak TO you or FOR you – images ,details or nature-symbols which may be metaphors for how you are feeling right now, for what your life looks like at this time, for what is going on in you. Nature is abundant with these metaphors: a stump of a tree, hit by lightning – footprints in the mud, disappearing – the little fragile bud on an early spring-twig – the one green leaf on a ”dead” branch – the garbage in the gutter –the dandelion breaking through the asphalt, in danger of being crushed by cars –

Walk with the intent of noticing what Nature offers you as metaphors. You might not immediately understand why you are moved by some special detail – but if it touches your heart, OR repels you, take a photo, and trust that the meaning will find its way to you when you are ready.

You might find metaphors in your own back yard, garden, in the wood, in the fields, or in the city. The clue is always to look for details that catches your eyes AFTER you have asked your Source: ”Please show me symbols from Nature which best mirrors me right now.” Remember that you do not have to analyze, evaluate or judge what you see – just pick what moves you positively or negatively.

When the photos are developed, paste them into your journal, or perhaps in a special book just for these images. Now look for feelings, essence, themes, and qualities in them: fear, loneliness, ruin, overwhelm, chaos, peace, serenity, fragmentation, strength – is there a common motive? Are your images full of trees or stones? Any persistent colors? Enrich the images with some words: maybe a poem, a quote – maybe the images can be woven into a story…

I have witnessed remarkable healing in patients when deep tragedies have been transformed through a process like this. Images attend to deep pain in a way that rational words cannot. The book may become a treasure for you, and allows you to see yourself in connection to Nature, which in itself is deeply healing.

[1] Source for this exercise: Jan Phillips: God  Is At Eye-level



Make a drawing/painting of the crisis. Abstract or concrete. Make it in a small square frame: ca 2,8 -3 inches per side

In the first square you paint it as ugly and detailed as you want – for example, a bunch of spikes going through a heart or person. In the second frame, you pose the question to your inner healer (yes, you DO have one. We all do. It’s called Truth)”Where does this image want to go to be healed?” which means “what needs to happen for this first image to change into a healing image?”

In the next frame, start to paint/draw the transformation you would love to see – or the inner images you may be shown: maybe a bright sun appears. Maybe some of the spikes melt, or lose the sharpness -or grass grows up around them…next frame, maybe the spikes start to sprout leaves – next frame: maybe the spikes have turned into blossoming boughs, weaved together as little summer house.

See, in 3-4 frames you just allow a visual transformation to happen. This is not naïve make-believe, my friend: you are just allowing your brain to make its own healing images. Maybe it starts to remember that the crisis is not All there is.

If you feel like it, please make a little story about the transformation.


So now, why don’t you find something within that you would like to heal – maybe a painful spot or a feeling – and start toning it. Listen to what it wants – listen to the tones, help them go where they want to; allow them to BE as they are. You are not getting grades for singing nicely. Listen to it as you would listen to someone dear to you telling about their misery in a foreign language. Pay homage to that someone. This is your power song – one of many.


About leelah saachi

Supervisor Expressive Arts Therapy/Artist/painter/dancer/writer/poet/ teacher and student of A Course in Miracles
This entry was posted in Books, Healing Crisis: 108 ways to turn crises into possibilities. Bookmark the permalink.

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