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Rachel Clarkin

I am a metamorphic womxn.

What are you working on?

I am at the end of my second year of the Bachelor of Art Therapy with Ikon Institute. An amazing path of self-discovery, insight and healing. I am learning much about therapeutic processes and healing properties of creative arts through safe and supported facilitation processes. I am motivated by the desire to find ways to use our natural resources and gifts to understand that depression can be treated non-medically.

What's easy for you as a womxn?

Nurturing everyone and being empathetic. I have a natural chameleon-like ability to adapt to different environments.

What's difficult for you as a womxn?

The burden of meeting everyone’s needs and keeping the peace. As my family responsibilities lessen I am learning to prioritise my own needs.

How do you maintain mental fitness/mental health?

After twenty years of being prescribed medication to combat depression I have come to learn that self care skills help me to recognise that my resilience is reliable. I use humour to have a more optimistic view and mindful practices such as visualisation, breath focus and creating art. I like talking with people to gain other perspectives and to share my experience.

What brings you joy?

Exploring the world with my grandchildren and playing with them creatively.

How do you nurture your relationship with nature?

Camping is a revived hobby that brings me close to nature and requires adaptive thinking. It’s a way to switch off from everyday life and to be a natural being.

Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?

I find a sense of community as a student, choir member and with family. I’ve been developing a sense of belonging by identifying with like-minded women. In the choir we all have a sense of joy, there is a resonance - we mirror each others emotions.

Where do you live/work?

Between the Gold Coast, Bullongin land and Brisbane, Turball Jagera country.

What have you learnt from your children and grandchildren?

How to live by your values and be brave enough to question the norm. From my grandchildren I’ve learnt that quality time strengthens our bond.



Recently I read The Heroine's Journey by Maureen Murdock which examined the unsuitability of the Hero's Journey, as defined by Joseph Campbell, to a woman's life. Talking with Rachel about the metamorphic quality of her life made me reflect on this passage from the book:

Women find their way back to themselves not by moving up and out into the light like men, but by moving down into the depths of the ground of their being. Her metaphor of digging into the earth to find her way back to herself expresses woman’s initiation process. The spiritual experience for women is one of moving more deep into self rather than out of self.

To make this journey a woman puts aside her fascination with the intellect and games of the cultural mind, and acquaints herself, perhaps for the first time, with her body, her emotions, her sexuality, her intuition, her images, her values, and her mind. This is what she finds in the depths.


About Rachel

As a Team Leader in finance for the state government, I was officially recognised for supporting staff, receiving awards for Focusing on our People, and Partnerships and Connections. I then realised that I could make a difference in the wider community. I started my educational and creative journey by working in early childhood care and dabbled in my own artistic and mindfulness techniques at home. I saw creativity and exploring nature as key to strengthen trusted relationships, building confidence, independence and joy in the children. So, when I discovered the Bachelor of Art Therapy Course, I saw the chance to work towards an incredibly rewarding future in community services, combine my passions, needs and strengths together with a thirst for knowledge as an Art Therapist.

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