Here is an outline of the 4 step model and how to adapt it to an art project.
H stands for: Have an experience that is an antidote to stress and increases a sense of wellbeing. This can be in the moment, or a recent memory. For example, you might have gone for a walk, written a letter to an old friend, sat 15 mins of meditation, or giggled with your kids. Write a short descriptor down the spine of the 'feather'.* Eg: I went for a walk and admired the autumn colours.
E stands for: Enrich the experience – allow yourself to dwell in the experience for 20-30 seconds (or as long as you can), bringing all the sensory detail to mind/body. “What detail do you remember from that walk? What was the weather like? What were you feeling?” The longer you can recall or re-experience the memory the better you can install it in your long-term memory system, creating new neural networks. Write this down the left-hand side of the 'feather'. Eg: Vibrant colours. Favourite smells. Happy dog by my side. Sun on my face.
A stands for: Absorb the experience – intentionally let the experience land and affect you. Ask yourself at least one of the following questions: "Having had this experience, what shifts in my body? How does my body let me know that this experience has sunk in? How do I absorb the feeling into the very sinews of my being?” Write this down the right-hand side of the 'feather'. Eg: My body begins to relax, unwind, exhale. A deep sense of satisfaction and connection arise.
L stands for: Link the bank of positive experiences and wrap them around a difficult experience. NB: This is a more advanced stage and is always optional. I only attempted to do this stage once I had already created many 'feathers'. Let’s come back to it later.
* As in all of my communications I use the term 'feather' to denote the daily art practice, but as always, I encourage you to find your own imagery and metaphor. People have created all sort of shapes including leaves, stars, scales, birds, tea-cups, fish, amoebas, circles, seeds, stones, and weavings. The possibilities are endless.
Another way to describe is using the metaphor of having a cup of tea. Selecting the tea bag is like selecting a memory - Having the experience. Enriching the experience is like brewing a good strong cuppa. Absorbing the experience is like drinking the tea and letting it nourish you.