Experience in Gratitude

 

Gratitude is a powerful thing. Many years ago, on my journey of self-discovery and healing, I discovered the power of gratitude. In the late 90’s, I was going through a bit of a depression, so my therapist suggested I start a gratitude journal.  She said, “Every night before you go to bed, write down 5 things you are grateful for”.  Even though in my head I was thinking, what is there to be grateful for, I agreed to give it a try.

After my appointment, I went straight to my nearest bookstore and purchased a pretty gratitude journal, you know, the kind with a silky ribbon inside to mark what page you’re on.  It was called, “Gratitude, A Record of Blessings”. Ah, what a title! Throughout the book it had inspirational quotes like, “There shall be eternal summer in a grateful heart”.  Each page had lines across it and at the top said, Today, I give thanks for:

The day I bought the journal, I even stopped at the arts and crafts store and picked up some pretty colored pens. I chose my favorite color blue to mark my name in the front with the date, February ’99. I began to write. I used different colored inks, sometimes drawing little pictures, writing with a poetic flare, or just sticking to the basics.  Sometimes I would write tons of things down and other times, I’d stick to a simple five.  I wasn’t always easy.  On really low days I had to really dig.  However, I could always find something.  Even if it was just that I was breathing or my cat came to sit with me, there was something.

I can’t remember how long it took, but it didn’t seem long before my depression had lifted. I was experiencing that power of gratitude.  It lifts you up and reminds you that even if you feel like crap, you can always find a few things to be grateful for and that feels so good. Doing this practice has been huge for me.  In fact I have gratitude for gratitude!  From doing this small exercise I learned to notice and appreciate the things I am grateful for, big or small.  Sometimes I don’t write them in my journal, but I go back to it time and time again. It just makes such a difference in how I feel!

To honor the gift of gratitude, I will be creating a gratitude tree for the next, Creative Minds, workshop! I will give a little sneak peek, but I want to save the bulk for our group session!

I hope this blog will inspire you to stop and notice what you are grateful for today. Even if you don’t start a ritual of writing them down, just noticing and giving a little nod, it is immensely beneficial.

Many blessings and creative expressions!

Deanna

P.S. My next creative expression workshop will be at Merlin’s coffee on September 22 at 6 PM. Please check out my Facebook page!  Go to Events, to RSVP!

 

Below is a picture of a butterfly that came and sat on my shoulder.  I was having a particularly bad day, too.  Snapped me right out of it! Gratitude!

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Hamsa Zentangles

We had a lovely turn-out for our June 6th workshop.  The workshop was inspired by the hamsa hand and an art journal spread I did. Zentangles are known to be relaxing, so I thought it would be nice to use them to create our hands.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the process and I saw many different ways in which people expressed themselves.  The art and expression , both, were beautiful!

Hamsa prayer

Let no sadness come to this heart

Let no trouble come to these arms

Let no conflict come to these eyes

Let this soul be filled with the blessings of joy and peace

 

Affirmation Cards

 

April’s workshop was affirmation cards.  We gathered at a locate coffeehouse, Merlin’s, and sat outside on a lovely spring evening.  We ripped paper into squares and had a lot of fun making backgrounds with color and designs before adding a helpful word or inspiring phrase.  We thought we could bind them together with a ring or ribbon or even hang them together as a banner.  Either way, now we have some beautiful reminders to be courageous, relax, or express joy!

 

Word of the Year

For our March workshop we completed a journal page for the word of the year.  When starting with a blank page, just begin writing about the things you would like to bring into your life for the next year.  If you haven’t picked a word, sometimes it will show up during this process. Next use a white gesso to lightly cover the writing and begin adding paint and marks to building-up your background.  Use images and quotes to go along with your word.  Below, are two examples of a “word of the year” spread, one goes through the process in a little more detail.  Enjoy!

A take on the word: Action

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Below is an example of the process described above for the word; Trust.

Do some writing to find your word or express what you want to do with your word for the next year.  Use something water-soluble and write loose and illegibly to create a nice texture. Once you are finished writing put a light coat of gesso over it then begin build-up your background using color and marks. Finally create a focal point and do more journaling or use a quote to finish your spread.

 

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Below are some close-ups of the yummy texture achieved in the above spread!

 

Sweet Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

christmas

Creative Minds has been enjoying a little holiday break for the months of November and December.  We will be back in January with an art journaling session that is in the works.  We want to send out many blessing for the holiday season and for the new year!  Please keep an eye out for upcoming gatherings that will help you nurture your creative expression and spirit throughout the year!!  Peace and happy arting!!

Dream Catchers: If you couldn’t make it out to the dream catcher workshop, here is a quick guide to make one on your own! If you’d like to share a picture of your dream catcher please do so in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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Start you dream catcher with a ring. I used plastic plates with the centers cut out (this was a bit brittle, and I had to reinforce with tape) I also tried an embroidery ring and that worked much better!

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I used jute to cover the ring, but you could used yarn, ribbon or fabric.

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I used embroidery thread to form the web and added a bead. I also ripped stripes of fabric to add to the bottom, along with ribbons. I went on YouTube and found a video that helped me make the web.

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Next, I drew some feather shapes and used a light color to scribble a few of my dreams in them.

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Before cutting out the feathers, I added decoration over the writing.

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The finished produce!

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