Sandtray Therapy Class: Extended Sandtray Journal continued, Student #1
by Sand Tray Therapy Student
Extended Sandtray Therapy Journal continued, Student #1
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Todays sandtray for my sand tray therapy class assignment represents the pull I am feeling between my presence in nature and my responsibilities at home, as my time in the mountains comes to an end. I finally included some actual beautiful artifacts from the nature surrounding me and feel I have become more peaceful and connected to nature and myself during this week. But I also feel pulled toward “the real world” and my responsibilities as I get phone calls from work and have to prepare for exams and think about leaving this beautiful place where the mountains and valley come together, where the wind blows freely and I notice the birds singing. I’m excited to see my children and my husband, but it doesn’t feel long enough for me to have completely let go so I wonder if they have been able to reconnect with nature and themselves.
It is me sitting on the bridge looking toward the natural world for renewal of the energy that I have lost in all the noise of my daily life. The exhaustion is still there in sleepy laying with me on the bridge closer to the other world. I feel like I’ve just begun my process of renewal and connection and am not ready or strong enough in my resolve to return to that busy overwhelming place of my life.
At home, I sit as the female lion between work and family, feeling like the protector of both. On one side, there is my husband the kind panda carrying our beautiful and sweet daughter looking over our lion cub and koala. On the other side of me is the lion cub I feel represents the children of whom I am the protector and must be present to advocate for their wellbeing. Overpowering us is the large lizard (DOE) causing conflict and distraction from positivity and the orangutang (HOS) who seems so friendly and motherly but can be powerful or absent causing the conflict to become overbearing.
Friday, June 14, 2013
I missed writing a journal and doing a sandtray this day because I was traveling most of the day. Had I created one, it would have definitely included a bridge because I was leaving the NC mountains to return to GA. I felt torn because my oldest would be staying on at camp, though I was happy to reconnect with my son who I was able to pick up. It would have definitely been a happy tray because I got to spend the day hearing camp songs and reconnecting with my children and my husband.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Today’s sandtray shows my oldest (the sweet bird) still in NC over the mountains with nature, both lovely and still with a bit of danger (the spider), as well as with his friends (the cute lizards). The mountains divide us and I am longing to see him though happy for him he can spend this extra time at camp, such a joyful place.
The rest of us are together. My husband is actually the largest with his arms spread around us, partially because he is reconnecting the most (he was not with us in NC), and also because he seems a lot more present then he has in a long while. We are all happy to see him. The girl is my daughter, happy to be with her dad, dogs, and brother. My son is the pirate, standing between us and camp, looking back at camp because he is still transitioning and wishfully hoping he had a little more time there. He is the pirate because he seems bigger and stronger and has been doing lots of dangerous activities, like tomahawk throwing and white water canoeing and has spent all of today doing archery. He’s a sweet pirate though.
For myself, I am sleepy and both with my family and still not 100% present, though I am trying to wake up. At first I laid myself, slightly buried in the sand, but then I replaced me near to my family where I do feel close. Except of course, I am still dreamy about NC and its beauty and peacefulness that I finally was able to hold on to. I’d still love to be there and am very much resisting returning to the real world, which is why I chose to not even bring it into the tray even though I do feel it is very much in the back of my mind.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
So, I tried today to focus on myself more than my relationships. I made the sand varied to represent the mountains, Atlanta, and the sea, the places in my life but also the different parts of me. I feel like parts of me are different and relate to those different environments. The sea is where I am most relaxed, best represented by the sea turtle where I am calm and peaceful and connected to the present without a need to move fast or be anything other than who I am. I also get closest to being a playful self, the dog in the background who wants to play and have fun and enjoy life without worrying too much about the dangers or the negative consequences in the world and out of my control. Overall, I am present and calm, peaceful in me an in the world.
In the mountains, I am the koala trying to climb the mountain but also the orangutan reminding me of the dangers, unfortunately these also represent me and my children both inviting them to take risks and standing in their path. I want to be the small beautiful, green bird, singing and connecting but I often let the louder (blue bird) part of me warn of the reasons I should be more careful.
In the middle of all of these, I am the kangaroo, first a mother and a child of my mother whom I try to hold close and am often overprotective of my own children wanting to keep them young and safe within my arms. I have both parts of my parents in me, the gentle lamb (my mother) and the outspoken gorilla (when protecting myself or my family, especially as a momma gorilla even though this is my father’s part of me).
I am always the young girl who is cautious and innocent as well as the sleepy yet old and seemingly wise self, though not truly confident in my knowledge or self to really speak out. I’m not sure of who the giraffe is but I felt the need to include. I think it may represent me as a wife and friend, an interested listener and partner, helpful but also fragile and young in my life’s experience, both necessary that I stand tall as a protector but also recognize the fragility in my relationships. Behind the kangaroo is the elephant, the part of me that still has my story to share with the world, and a little part of me that I am still creating each new day in figuring out what my story will become.