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.
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?
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.
When I make things, I’m in control. No one is there to remind me of what’s going on in the world. 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.