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What is "The Sacred Third Creative Well-being" anyway?

I love the name of my practice (in a totally dorky, fanzine kind of way). And I want you to love it, too. The Sacred Third Creative Well-being encapsulates so much of what my services are about and what I most value in life. I also realize it might be a bit mysterious if you haven’t had a chance to hear me wax philosophical about it. In short, the sacred third is a concept that honors the special nature of all things tertiary, liminal, alchemical, in-between and queer. And creative well-being speaks to the importance of creativity to our holistic experience as human beings. Put them together and you have a therapeutic arts practice that is imaginal, magical, transformational, and universal.

(Photo by ALICE POLLET on Unsplash )

For the sake of curiosity and maybe my own enthusiasm, let me go a little deeper. The sacred third, or the divine androgynous, is a spiritual idea that life outside the binary can be a wisdom path in its own right. Which I think is amazing. Traditionally, this relates to lived experiences and mythologies of queer sexuality and gender expansiveness. From my own experience, though, the concept of the sacred third goes beyond gender and sexuality. For me, the sacred third has grown into the idea that there is something inherently spiritual about queerness in all its myriad forms.

Queer bodies, relationships, brains, genders, and languages all bring something special into the world.

There is inherent value in queer experiences. Marginalized life journeys often lead to special knowledge and wisdom unavailable through life in the social center. This sacred knowledge and wisdom can support all people

(Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash)

The sacred third also refers to important concepts in art therapy. In this practice, the image or creative process takes on a third role in the therapeutic relationship. This third role is a sacred position that increases the opportunity for growth, insight, and healing.

The art brings something to the therapeutic experience that the client and therapist couldn’t manifest alone.

The “third hand” is another neat art therapy concept that defines the role of the art therapist beyond listener and guide. The art therapist acts as a “third hand” by providing neutral, creative assistance to help a client express themselves authentically through imagery. Intuiting what a client is trying to express and helping them without imparting our own artistic preferences or ideas is one of the most important skills an art therapist has.

Now, why creative well-being rather than art therapy or healing arts? Creativity is a realm of experience more expansive than “the arts” alone. And it is our birthright as human beings. Creativity is at the root of our human lineage. What is more human than taking something from our imagination and making it tangible through our hands, voice, and body?

Creative expression is essential to our well-being as humans.

Notice how I say well-being and not health. Health is a privilege tied up in factors beyond our individual control. But well-being is available to anyone, regardless of their health status. A person can be living with illness, grief, or disability and still find well-being. And creative well-being goes beyond art psychotherapy. Just like you don’t have to be sick to benefit from a good massage or a comforting meal, creativity can contribute to your well-being beyond healing from harm. Creative care is as important to thriving as physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual care. And it’s available to everyone whether you’re a fine artist, a hobby crafter, or a devoted dreamer.

I hope The Sacred Third Creative Well-being is less mysterious now. I want you to know that there is more to life on the margins than just surviving or even living. There is a third possibility... You can thrive, in all your beautiful queerness and creativity. If this makes your heart sparkle, even just a little, come check out my current offerings. I’d love for you to join us.


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