Featuring: Sachita Sharma.
Nowadays we are, literally, running to accomplish our tasks and achieve our goals as quickly as possible – but, normally, we are always late. This brings a constant growing of anxiety. There is no room in the agenda to include a meeting with our own selves. We are induced to see the reasons and solutions of our problems in external things.
Arts, like any non-verbal expression, help express and communicate aspects of our inner selves, which, most of the times, we are not aware of: our emotions! Emotions are an intrinsic part of any human being and they are of extreme importance.
Sachita Sharma was introduced to art when she was a child. She started painting on canvas in 2008 as a hobby and since 2015 she is a full time artist: “Art is everything to me”, she says.
In 2016, the self-taught painter did a commissioned project for the Udai Omni Hospital, in Hyderabad, and from this experience was born a connection between art and therapy for her: “I had to make 100 abstract paintings for them, without religion, nature and my strong colors red and yellow. All I was left to explore was within me. At that time, I had made major changes in life and moved to a different city, was lost, hurt and clueless. I might not be able to explain in words how painting healed me. It was maybe the colours and the organic patterns that appeared. Which was like magic that took over me.” The project was a success! Sachita was recently at the hospital and asked few patients what were their feelings when looking at the paintings. “One answer which made me feel like I had done my job right was that ‘it feels lighter. Lighter in my head and body. I can just keep looking at it’. Yeah, that’s all I wanted to know.”
Sachita defines Art Therapy as a “solid practice” that helps her to connect with her own self. It might sound like a simple definition initially. But if we consider that this connection means expression of feelings that are difficult to verbalize, improvement of self-esteem and confidence, to decrease levels of stress by identifying or being aware of what is causing pain… Well, we have to agree that this is much more complex than we expected.
Art Therapy helps to understand and develop our emotions, increasing the quality of life. It is an alternative to deal with our expectations and frustrations, to learn and to comprehend about our own selves. Complementing this idea, Sachita mentioned that: “I’ve always learned something from each piece of art that I’ve made. Either while I’m making it or when I look at it after ages.”
In this way, Sachita explained that her primary intention for doing a workshop like Art Therapy with Sachita is “to empower people with the tools to do the digging and the searching for themselves”. She emphasized that this learning about your own self is a process: “it’s not a workshop where you come and paint and feel good and go back”.
Each and every art therapy workshop Sachita conducts is a different experience, depending “on the participants and the energy and the vibe I get from them”, she says. Different people with different backgrounds, discussing “delicate and personal things.” But there are common lines she follows. “Basic simple stuff which we tend to forget”, like exercises she proposes to the participants: to remember to breathe, to stay in the present, to believe in yourself, to have a clear vision, and many others.
When asked about how is the feeling after doing an art therapy workshop, considering all the powerful exchanges, between her and the attendants, that happen in this moment of going through the journey of self expression, the artist told that in the beginning it was very tough to handle so much unknown energy. She also felt physically the effects of those exchanges. Even seeked for help: “I consulted other art therapists as to know what could be the solution for this. (…) writing down everything I felt was recommended to me. I’ve never been affected like that after that. I’ve been writing regularly.”
Sachita is an enthusiast! An example of the importance of considering ourselves part of our daily routine. In this context, in which we are constantly running out of time, we need to save (somehow!) some of it to take care of us. To look inside and to understand that cause and solution of most of our problems are part of ourselves. There is no point of taking care of your body, if you are leaving behind your mind and soul. And from the moment we can deal with it, some strength comes and we are able to help others.