Why Creating is My Therapy

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Years ago when I worked in corporate America as an HR professional, I was required to attend what my colleagues liked to call “happy camp”. Each year new employees (and those who needed a dose of “happy”) were sent to Fredericksburg, TX for three days of motivational speaking and self-realization exercises with world renown motivational speaker Ed Forman. There isn’t much that I remember from that trip, however I did manage to take away one very important piece of advice:

“Never begin your day by watching the news.” Mr. Forman advised. “You should get up, stretch, brush your teeth, wash your face, exercise, and eat a healthy breakfast. Watching the news first thing in the morning will do nothing but bring you down and ruin your spirits!”

Years later I would come to appreciate his sage advice!

When I started scrapbooking, I would have never guessed how much the simple act of planning a layout, gluing precious photos on gorgeous paper, and embellishing could be so therapeutic. If I was lucky, I got to spend hours and hours focused on creative play. I would emerge from my scrap desk completely satisfied, fulfilled and creatively spent.

Recently, the news has been filled with one heart breaking story after another. As I wrote in a post on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group a few weeks ago, I just need time to breath – time away from the world, the news, and all that is bad and to just be still. And in moments of despair and utter helplessness, I retreat to my passions – reading, traveling, and scrapbooking.

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I am not running away; I’m an adult…I certainly know that I have to face issues head on. But sometimes, you just need a break from it all. I took to my craft studio, turned on my favorite music, and started to create.

Creating is productive – it takes my mind off of the things I cannot control, it allows me to refocus. I remember that all is well with the world. I tell myself that while there are a lot of awful things to be worried about, life is amazing, full of promise and hope.

We must all believe this, right?

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I like to open my art journal and let my feeling pour out on a clean piece of mixed media paper. I let the colors take me on journey, my heart decides the design.

I pull out my unfinished scrapbooks, print pictures, and begin the work of putting a layout together. I take a moment to reflect on the story I am documenting. I stare at my photos – I smile and laugh, some bring me to tears. My creative play goes on well into the wee hours of the morning.

Crafting is my therapy.

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When I make things, I’m in control. No one is there to remind me of what’s going on in the world. ย No one is there to dictate my next step or tell me to worry, I just go with the flow.

I took Mr. Forman’s advice…I don’t wake up to the news anymore. I don’t have cable. I’ve unsubscribed and stopped following my favorite news outlets. I don’t read the newspaper. When I want to consume news, I know where to go – it’s always there…24/7.

Instead, I escape to my creative place…my private retreat. My home away from the harshness of the world. I am safe and happy in this place.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Why Creating is My Therapy

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