Have a Happy Festive Season
And What I learnt From This Year
When I began the creative challenges in March, it was for the wellbeing of me and my creative friends and those who needed to be occupied, to try something new; to take our minds off what was happening.
I wasn’t sure back in February if visiting my family was a good idea, but now I’m glad we did.
When schools closed, we thought it might be for two or three weeks - not twenty four.
When everything else shut down. I began to look further inwards.
I have been learning about me and my self through the means of positive psychology with creative inquiry for a few years now but this year has been by far the most insightful. I began this process to understand why I didn’t seem able to function in the same way as others; why I always leaned towards the negative and had such low expectations of myself. Understanding these things isn’t easy. Processing these things is hard. Doing it creatively makes it easier.
What makes us who we are? How much is due to conditioning? It turns out we can recondition ourselves which is exciting news. Using art and mindfulness to do this reinforces those programmes and messages and allows for a depth of understanding and an explosion of ‘aha’s. It can take you to a place of revelation and from there you can begin your revolution. It all starts with the self.
Over the weeks and months I have shared my lockdown story. My kids and I have learned resilience and resourcefulness. We have played on the beach, given compost in exchange for pasta; we explored the woods, peered into history, photographed flowers, splodged paint around. We have told stories, made footprints, flown kites, baked bread, understood our emotions and made imaginary worlds. We have realised so much that we have. We know our good fortune.
My last challenge was to create a positive symbol. I chose a spiral. I made it out of journal pages which have been painted and chopped into mosaic tiles. I’d love to see yours if you did one.
As I write this, the year may be coming to a close, but the fear and uncertainty are not. I haven’t seen some of my family for ten months. I have no idea when I will see them again. When I think back to last year, I can’t believe how busy we were, the activities we all did; the before and after school clubs, swimming, dancing, brownies, football. It seems such a crazy, hectic way to live. My world has shrunk, and by doing so it has also expanded. As I expand further into next year, I hope you will come along with me, let's see where it takes us, what we can conquer and which worlds we can create.
Wherever in the world you are, whatever challenging situations you face, I am here with my paintbrush, my pens and a willingness to listen, to show you a different way to look at things. To help you shine a light into the forgotten corners and uncover the shiny things, remove the cobwebs and find what was there all along. As we move into who knows what, I invite you to take a day or two to pause, to focus on doing what you like to do, if you’re not sure if you deserve it or not - I’m telling you that you do. It is completely fine for you to relax, let your hair down, sing a song, dance a dance, paint a picture…..and rest.
With that I wish you all the best for the most wonderful festive season we can manage, with the circumstances we’ve got. And if you think about it enough, it will be enough, for now. And while we wait, let’s draw and paint.
With love and best wishes,
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