About two years ago I read The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown, and did an art journal e-course around the book. At that point in my life I thought that journaling and self-development work was fluffy, self-indulgent, a waste of time, hokey. I think you get my point. That was one of the most inaccurate judgments I've made. It absolutely changed my life in numerous ways. But, one way it changed me was to get out of my head and create.
The first art journal assignment was to draw a heart. A HEART!!!! Yes, a simple heart. I immediately froze up and began berating myself about how I can’t draw, how I’m not creative, how I know nothing about art. Then, I just let go. I drew the heart. I even colored it. I told myself no one is looking, and who cares what it looks like? I told myself it’s about me. The process. How it makes me feel. How it makes my mind work. For that moment, I stopped comparing and criticizing myself. I just put on my seat belt and enjoyed the ride.
Why Did I Wait So Long to Drink The Kool-Aid?
During the art journaling process I was able to check out; or, check in, rather. I noticed that I felt grounded, relaxed, and even carefree. In my mind there was no space for worry, or a “to-do” list. Time just passed. It was freeing. I thought to myself…why did I wait so long to drink the Kool-Aid?
Since I completed the e-course, I've taken workshops for collaging, mandalas, dancing, even chanting. Creating is a form of meditation, therapy, and play for me. I now use collage and journaling with my clients to connect them to their health and wellness path. Even more, there is a body of research correlating creativity to improved mental and physical health. The process of creating helps individuals feel happy, experience less stress, and be better problem solvers.
We ALL have the ability to create. Every single one of us. It’s part of being a human being. It’s our birthright to express ourselves. You can doodle, cook, build a deck, dance, make model trains, paint, knit, collage, write, draw, sing, chant, decorate, sew, your choice. Just get out of your head and color the world.