Creatively Through Cancer

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Getting a diagnosis of some form of cancer is all too common in our society, but that does not make it any easier for anyone. Those with cancer and their support people need all the tools they can get to process all the emotions that come along with this disease. Creativity is one of those tools that can help in many ways while on this path.

Not only is there physical pain, discomfort, and exhaustion, but your emotional world has just as much of a battle ahead. Processing all the intense physical and emotional distress is imperative to your long term health. I know this because I’ve been there. My creativity helped me when I needed to relax, express intense emotions, and see the lessons of this journey.

My bio on my webpage talks about my being a returning collage student in Art Therapy when I was diagnosed. This gave me an intimate lesson in just how important personal art is in my life. I used hand building/sculpting clay vessels to relax and let my pain float to the background while my focus was on the project. Images of cancer looking cells made their way into my projects in ways I didn’t expect.

in the room (1 of 1)

Having the emotions flow out of me and into a creative project turned into a pivotal discovery for me and that was, “if my emotions are moving they won’t get stuck and ignored.”  Why is that so important? Fear starts to magnify if we don’t look at it, pain turns to another bitter form of cancer if we don’t understand it, and we may find it so much harder to pull ourselves out of anger if we do not find a channel for our emotions.

I now have a mission to help those with and those around cancer to have a creative outlet. On June 1, 2018 I will be publishing the Creatively Through Cancer Workbook! In the workbook you will find coloring pages, how to doodle, college projects, and other calming meditation practices to help get you through this intense time. I crafted the projects for those who may not consider themselves creative so no one will feel too intimidated and you DO NOT need to be an “artist” to use this workbook to process your feelings.

This workbook is not intended to make me rich, it is in existence to be a part of support for as many people as it’s able. Going through this I have a deep compassion for others with long term pain, illness, and cancer. We need a comfort during these times and your creative spirit will help. Please help me reach as many people as possible by sharing my blog and announcements with those you know.

I will be blogging about personal art and how it helps in times of stress for us as well as just having fun. Come along, all are welcome!!

Dear Diary, Why am I Here?

“Why am I here?” Probably the most asked question in all of history and a perfect exploration for you in your diary. Here’s the best part of the question, it’s one only you can answer for yourself. This is a decision YOU decide. It also tells a lot about how you frame your life.

Are you a people pleaser? Then your first gut reaction answer may be about serving others. This is definitely a big part of a life that brings you purpose, but I challenge you to really think about other reasons you are here. Think of them all, explore the possibilities beyond just doing for the sake of doing. Serving because you were programed too.

My purpose is to learn about myself and deprogram the bullshit that is clogging up my brilliance. The brilliance of love, first for myself and then for others.

I am learning how I can best adapt to what a human existence throws at me. Life as a human is not easy and our bodies do weird stuff.

Everyday I try to keep love at the forefront of my mind so I can adapt to all the varying situations. If I find true confidence in love then I can feel supported by love. Life doesn’t seem as scary if I focus on love instead of fear.

Fear is the opposite of love, not hate. Fear tells us to be small and invisible. Don’t step out of your comfort zone or you’ll be hurt. Love tells us to go boldly no matter what because if we go in confident love, we will always gain something. If is isn’t an obvious gain, then you will see how love teaches you. You will always be open to learning more about yourself.

How do we take this concept and put to use in our diary? 1) Observe a lesson you learn and make that a page you doodle. Letters are fun to doodle and color. This will give you a chance to meditate on the ways you can incorporate this lesson into your mind, body, and spirit.

My lesson was about adapting to life with the key of love so I wrote the lesson out and how I can use this lesson in the way I think, how I see my physical body, and how I can shine my spirit.

Your diary is your safe conversation with the most important person in your life – YOU!

What have you learned lately? Think about the mind, body, spirit connection as you act out this new information. If it conflicts with old programing and thoughts, ask yourself, “who is the real me?” You are here to live your best life and you get to decided what that is.

 

Dear Diary – I feel clear when I write it out.

The best thing about having a diary is to process all the stuff that goes on in my head. If you are a creative, you have a lot of ideas and those ideas get cluttered if they stay in your head. I do feel clear when I write out the ideas I have.

There are a lot of people who have multiple notebooks, sketch books, and diaries. If you are one, then you know just how much it helps to focus and refine your thoughts. We need somewhere to catalog our ideas so we don’t loose them because we never know when something really juicy with be in the mix.

If we keep all the thoughts in our heads, it may have a paralyzing consequence. Our heads become filled with ideas – too much, too many, too jumbled. Think about a physical hoarder and the confusion they live in, we may not show it on the outside, but that is what is in our minds.

I use two diaries – one is for conscious stream writing in the morning and the other visual diary if for the creative expression of themes.

When you write all the thoughts and get them down on paper, you can really see themes emerge. It’s like an areal view of a forest where you can see the landmarks clearly, but when you are wondering around in the woods, you just see trees.

Once you see themes emerge you can make the choice to reprogram your thinking, use an idea, build on an idea, or trash an idea.

Your diary is your organizational tool for your feelings, emotions, and ideas. You might as well get clear about what’s going on in your head so that organization can manifest what you really want.

   

Visual DIARY for Mixed Media Expression

Some people use sketch books, some an art journal, but I have a visual diary. Having a diary to explore my inner world has less expectations built in. The word “diary” feels more comfortable than art journal or sketch book. A diary is your private space free from expectation or judgement.

That is what personal art is supposed to be, you playing in the creativesandbox just because you want to. We need shelter from all the expectations and responsibilities in our lives. A visual diary is the perfect get away.

In my diary I write notes, plan stuff, make lists, doodle, collage, and color. All of the pages are for me so I can process my thoughts. If I don’t like something, it’s ok because it doesn’t have to be perfect.

I am going to be sharing my diary pages for those who may feel intimidated with “art” and the creative process.

Art is a language first and foremost. It is the language of your inner wisdom. It should be used to connect your mind, body, soul and help you tell a story. It is not just a product to be sold – that is for a small number of people who thrive in that environment.

For the rest of us, we can breath a sigh of relief that our personal art is going in our diary, not on a wall.

Next week’s blog will be about why it’s important to have a space to process life.

Dear Diary Mental Responsibility is Tiring

There are jokes about “being tired of being tired” but they are not very funny if that is what you live with. When I started the Dear Diary Project, I thought journaling through goals as the focus and it still is, except this tried thing has almost taken over my days again.

The thought about finding my “WHY” in this diary/visual journal hit me at my core. WHY am I tired again? As I thought about this, two terms kept – tired and thoughts.

ripples

This appears to be ripples but it also looks like a view into a tornado and the whirling wind gusts. I see into this as my “why” being in the calm center and all the random thoughts of my creative brain having the force to disrupt my calm. I saw into this page and envisioned all these thoughts, ideas, projects, the past, and the future in front of me so I couldn’t get past the clutter.

below the surface

This represents what goes on inside my head. I know that I am susceptible to my brain overproducing ideas because I am creative. I have trained my thoughts process to “brain storm” until I have a solution to my creative projects. Add to that my passion for learning about how we humans tick.

I have trained my brain to always be on and searching for solutions.

get-clear

Because my brain come up with pretty good ideas and I continue to learn about new things, I think that I am responsible for implementing these idea. I remember hearing in church years ago that if you know something you are responsible for it. With that suggestion and being a perfectionist, I’ve been running on a mental program that is assigning a false responsibility to everything in my mind.

This week, use your diary to find a “WHY” in your life. Follow it down into the rabbit hole to the point of origin. You just may be able to rid yourself of some false responsibilities like I did.

Dear Diary – Why?

why

Why start a diary? I propose that it is to find the “why” in yourself. Why do I feel_________?, Why do I react like this_________? Why do I keep finding the same person to love? Why do keep hearing the same thing repeat itself in my head? and even the big one: Why am I here?

Why call it a diary? I am calling this the Dear Diary Project because having a diary feels like being a teenager again with a lot less pressure than being an adult who is working through issues in a journal. Journal these days are so pretty and special that I have a problem spilling words on a page that doesn’t look good.

Go back to that kid that has dreams and believes in magic so you can let loose in your diary!

get-clear

When you ask yourself “why” in your visual journal or Diary, it opens the door for you to get clear about what is going on inside you.

Through free writing, gluing in images, doodles, and color, you give yourself the time and space you need to explore your inner world.

 

How do I start? The easiest visual journal to work in is a mixed media pad with a spiral binding. The paper is thick enough to paint in when you want to play with color or create a background with ink spray.

dear diary book

Canson is my favorite brand and it comes in several sizes. The cover is paper so you can decorate it if you want to.

Cut out pictures from magazines, books, calendars, and even junk mail. Don’t over think why you like an image. Cut/rip out everything that pulls at you to look twice and put them in a gallon plastic bag. Look for words that attract your attention too. You can put those in a smaller plastic bag for easy access.

Start journaling at any time. Just sit with your Diary and a pen and just start writing. It will feel weird if you haven’t journaled in awhile. Put your pen on the page and write whatever comes into your head. If you find you are writing quite a bit (fantastic!!) you can use a spiral notebook for writing and your mixed media pad for your visual Diary with shorter insights from what your writing.

Start playing and gathering other supplies (glue stick, scissors, paints, washi tape, pens, and anything else). Cut out images and start to notice the different thoughts in your head. Do they repeat? What does the voice sound like? We’ll dive in to a page theme next week!

 

Dear Diary – Visual Journaling 101

Good Day to Everyone! I have finished the hardest part of creating a workbook – the writing so now I have the energy to get back to blogging!! I want to offer inspiration to get people into visual journaling so here is the start of my “Dear Diary” project.

Do you remember being a teen and rushing to write in your diary after school or before bed? That was your special place full of wistful thinking, big dreams, heart ache, and bitching. All of which we still have in our lives, but where do we keep all our thoughts?

vasaline page 1 I know first hand that having a diary is very important to process, visualize, vent, and celebrate our lives. The “grown up” version is a visual journal and I think it’s even more fun than just writing in a diary!

Follow along with me as I share topics, techniques, and examples of visually creating in your diary. The first topic I need to tackle in my life is goal setting and follow through. Do you have a goal or would you like to create a goal in your life?

Grab a mixed media spiral pad and get ready to create your special space for your dreams and experiences!!                                                              dear diary book                                   dear diary

Come on along! Every Wednesday I’ll post a blog here and on my Facebook page Your Inner Art

 

 

 

The Ripples from our Actions

ripples“Having a vested interest in other souls unconditionally creates a ripple effect that produces miracles in the lives of those around us.”
Molly Friedenfeld, The Book of Simple Human Truths

The ripple effect is either positive or negative and you get to choose. That can be very exciting or daunting. Right now our reality seems quite daunting and scary. The what if’s are flying around unchecked and we are scaring ourselves crazy. What can you do when you feel there’s nothing you can do? Get clear about yourself. We can’t change the world if we don’t know what’s going on inside ourselves.

get-clearGet Clear is my motto for this year. What do I really want out of life? How can I serve without burning myself out? What are my priorities, focus, and intentions every day? Where are my feelings and anxieties coming from and is it the way I was conditioned to react?

How do we focus and unearth our inner wisdom? With a visual journal and morning journaling. You need time after you ask yourself questions and the way I recommend is to use art as a tool.

journalWhen you get up, take some time to just start writing. Don’t worry that you don’t have anything to write – oh honey, you do! There are many mornings when I wake up groggy and just look at a blank page. I write the first thing that comes into my head and keep going. Your thoughts don’t usually come out all nice and neat. I find myself being very random and bounce all over but I always find at least one gem of inner wisdom appears on the page.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some prompts: If money was no object, what would I be doing? What is my intention for today? What is my focus? What is so important for me that I would fight for it? What am I feeling? Where does this come from? Am I living my life authentically or am I playing a part that I think society wants me to play?

I used one page for two days worth of journalling. No one can read it, it uses less paper, and you have a great background for a collage project. You gain your insights as you write so you don’t really need to go back to look at it. If there is something that you want to remember then that becomes the focus of your visual journal page. Write that thought on another piece of paper and collage it on top of your writing or write it in big black letters right on top.

You are creating ripples every day with every decision you make and action you take. So many people are just blindly flying by the seat of their pants and causing anxious jagged ripples. Get clear on the best way you can love yourself so your ripples are the result of your inner wisdom.

WE NEED ALL THE CLEAR LOVING RIPPLES WE CAN MAKE RIGHT NOW!