Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Being Creative

I am about the least artistic person that I know when it comes to drawing or anything along that line, so when I walked into a creative journaling seminar last week and saw art supplies on the tables I got a bit nervous!  I guess the fact that the seminar was called "Beyond Words: Journal Workshop" should have clued me in!  Luckily the seminar gave opportunity for creative expression, but didn't require any skill to participate.

It was really good to be challenged to think outside of the box. As someone who likes words I tend to just journal by writing a lot.  The downside is that if I'm not in a mindset to articulate well, then I don't journal and leave huge gaps in my 'story.'

I didn't write the figures down so don't quote me, but the speaker talked about how bringing a creative aspect into something that you do actually slows down the words per minute that your brain processes (something like 600 words per minute as the usual down to 120) and leaves you in a more restful, contemplative mode.  And how much we need that in our modern world.  And how helpful that is to calm us down to contemplate Scripture and talk to our Father.

We did a number of exercises which I actually quite enjoyed---even though there was something art related in my hand!  One of them was to write a 'cinquain' and decorate it if you wished to slow yourself down to really think.  I think I related especially well to this one because it still let me use words!  A cinquain is this:

Start with ONE word
Choose TWO adjectives
Add THREE words ending in 'ing'
Next come FOUR words that make a sentence
Lastly,  a ONE word ending.

A few days ago something happened that suddenly left me feeling tense, unfocused, and worried.  I decided to try a cinquain in my journal at home.  I was in no mood to articulate sentences but somehow just putting down the root of what I felt seemed do-able.  I wrote this:

Ugly binding
Stressing worrying over-thinking
Is not from G0d
And I drew chains around my poem.  (Those are easy to draw!) I didn't like leaving something so dark so thought I'd look at the opposite:

Restful holy
Refreshing peaceful loving
I'm free in You!

And I drew a daisy chain around that. :-)  (Mine wasn't quite as good as this picture, though!)

Somehow slowing down and doing this simple exercise relaxed me and focused my mind and heart so I could actually deal with how I was feeling with a lot less struggle to get to that point than usual.  I had a great talk with my Father and left the room after only about 15 minutes feeling peaceful and trusting.

So while I'll never be artistic in that way, I'm leaving a box of art pencils by my journal in the nightstand---and we'll see what happens!