Art as Therapy

Prismacolor markers and pencils

I’m a runner.  Two years ago I fell on my face.  As you can guess, the experience was pretty traumatic.  My friend, a nurse, said it would be considered a head injury.  My world changed in an instant.  My front tooth was bent at an odd angle.  My husband and dentist (both angels) helped pull it back in place.  In those first moments, I lost my ability to communicate.  For a Gemini, this is a problem 😉

The recovery was emotional.  One of the things that helped me most was art and prayer.  These two things go together more than people may realize.  I started by writing about it, but the experience was hard to put into words.  Working with images can be more intuitive.  Here is a sketch I did when I was trying to facilitate the healing of my tooth.  Many times we feel powerless.  The best thing of course is to go with the flow and give up control.  But working through difficult situations by creating art is also a beneficial tool for becoming empowered.

I’m a big advocate of positive thinking.  I think it keeps us relaxed and helps promote healing.  If we can visualize change (through art and positive thoughts), we can make it happen.

You may not consider yourself an artist, but don’t let that stop you.  Art therapy is more about the process than the end result.  Focusing on color imagery might be one place to start.  You can make it as detailed or abstract as you want.  Check out this art therapy blog for more information.

We may never learn the reason why certain things happen to us, but we can bring a sense of peace and closure  to these events.  In literature, we call this catharsis.

So where am I two years later after this event?  I’m running outside again.  I’m also finally pursuing my lifelong dream of becoming a published author and illustrator.  I’d like to think art and prayer/positive thoughts had something to do with it.  What will you do when life gives you lemons?  Please comment and share!

Need some comic relief?  Here is a new favorite quote of mine:

“When you’re falling on your face, you’re actually moving forward.” — from Friends: Lovable, Livable, Laughable Lines

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The Simplest Cure

Have you ever had one of those days when your writing goes terribly wrong?  You might have spent hours typing away at the computer only to find that your main character is whiny, cliché, or worst of all…boring.  What should you do?  Before you burn your manuscript and take another day job, pause for a moment.  I think we all know the solution on some level, but it is so easy to forget.  See if you can answer this question correctly.  When we have trouble with our writing we should:

a) consult a style manual

b) consult a shrink

c) read another novel in the hopes of soaking up some of its greatness

d) rehash the novel with a friend

Technically, any of these answers could apply or none of them.  But I just realized, to my surprise and delight, that the best therapy for a bad day of writing is actually more writing.  Try it!  I dare you…