Meaning Making and Self-Discovery

Posted on September 6, 2014. Filed under: Intercultural, Leadership | Tags: , , , |

Way back when I launched CamComCoaching and was looking for an image that could convey my purpose, my values and my sense of aesthetics, I decided to go with my favorite artist – Odilon Redon.  I find his use of color and symbols strong and exciting.

Odilon Redon's Apollo's Chariot Painting

Apollo’s Chariot Painting by Odilon Redon

I have several favorites but chose this painting from a series inspired by Apollo and his chariot.  Here we see Apollo’s horses triumphing over the darkness/the python/the earth.  As a symbolist, Redon left open to the viewer the interpretation of what a painting contains.

And it is just that openness, that validation of an individual’s experience and the meaning he or she derives from that experience which captures so perfectly the world I work in and what I try to do.

For me coaching is the art of facilitating an understanding of the meaning our clients are experiencing and accompanying their journey from the darkness/challenge/quest towards the light they seek.

Redon said he wanted to ‘place the visible at the service of the invisible’.  What better way to describe how I use art in the coaching workshop called ‘Art & Coaching’ which I’m currently running at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum!  Clients select a work of art which draws their attention and spend some time exploring what that piece of art can reveal to them as they seek to better understand what is important, where they want to get to, what they want to achieve.

Seemingly abstract, this workshop shows us how we can step back from our most intense concerns and liberate our minds from the usual constraints.  By looking outside of ourselves – at something which attracts our interest – we can find new prisms to explore our situations through.  What better way to find new alternatives for moving forward with those concerns.

So I invite you to pay attention the next time you find yourself in art of any kind; what draws your attention?  And what does that know about you?!

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