Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Whoops! I did it again! Using Creativity...

Whoops! I did it again!

Well - sort of!

Finding creativity after a lifetime of "stuffing" anything about me that expressed my individuality or and sense of “self” has not been the easiest part of this journey (you can see my bio here). But - I have taken some steps to do that through a variety of mediums throughout my journey.

One of the first that I posted online was my storyboard. There are 5 collage cards and the interesting thing is that when I set out to do this activity, I had no plan in mind. Yet - when it was finished, I realized that I had told my story in this series. The first I titled "Disconnected".

The second in this series portrays how I felt in the midst of the worst of this part of my journey. "A Shadow" of who I might have been - but in hindsight...I see that also was only a shadow of all that I could - and will - become.

"Fragmented" is an expression of how I felt I had no defined sense of self; no "me" to speak of. This is during the time when I made the choice to take my journey into my own hands as I stepped to the top of the mountain, my arms open to what may come, trusting the process as I stepped off the edge. I was ready to do the "hard work"...the emotionally wrenching grieving of a life I would never know. Little did I know that this healing process would take me to the life I never knew that I could have.

Grieving...what was...and wasn't is the process that I have followed to find my way out of the legacy of hopeless and helplessness that comes so often with trauma of any kind. It was a time of finding the "how" behind learning to "let go" of all that I could not change in my past or control in my future. It was where I began to find the peace that passed all of my understanding. The joy of living that comes with living in the truth that set me free.

"I Am Free" exhibits the freedom I have found as I have followed this simple although not easy process to claim my right to exist, to breath, to stand tall. And it all began because I believed that I would "find something to stand on...or learn how to fly" ...I am now in flight:).

My post, "Was it worth it?" is where I posted one of my first "self portraits" as I began to use charcoal drawing to begin to learn how to express what I was feeling. I drew this portrait near the beginning of a new leg of my journey as I entered that place of willingness to step out of my shame and begin to claim my world, my life...as my own. This was that place within the process of my storyboard where I learned that it was safe...and I learned how to grieve the past and embrace rather than avoid the pain as my path to freedom from the darkness. This is what the "hard work" looked like for me...Today I cried...and was set free. This drawing is now in a frame on my wall where I am reminded each day of that sacred place where I found - and took - my freedom.

"Haiku" is my journey into poetry. This poem is the simplest and most beautiful description of the healing path that I have followed. Tears...wash the soul free.

I Believed is my version of the wonderful Patrick Overton poem that inspired me to keep moving forward when I thought I could not take one more step or endure one more moment of pain.

I have also done some writing of fiction based on my experiences as well as I have some non fiction things on the stove that are not quite ready to be served just yet:) And today...I wanted to post/share what I did yesterday with my iphone camara and the photo editing software on my mac. Nothing fancy schmancy - but it just goes to show that we all have some sort of creativity within us and it doesn’t have to be museum quality to qualify as “expressive”.

And, for me anyway, my creative expressions will typically connect me to whatever it is that I am focused on at the moment; whether I am consciously aware of it – or not. I can use my creative forms of expression to identify how I am feeling when I do not understand why I am being sullen, sad, irritable or even ecstatically happy. I can use my creative work to indicate and learn to identify an emotion or resolve a triggered situation that I cannot yet name.

So - yes; I guess I "did it again" as the story goes:) I used photo's to live in my now and build a bridge from my past pain to my present awareness and acceptance. 

What's the story behind these pics?

I have my story but you may have one too; what do you see when you look at these photos? What story from your own journey comes to your mind?

This is where your beginning may be. This is the story you might find a way to express today that will be your catalyst to finding your own freedom and creating your own new story.

And while we might hope and wish that doing this once or even twice might be the “end”…oftentimes each story takes us to the next and the next.

So how do I know I am done – or at least making some progress?

When my expression became less of pain and more of joy and peace and acceptance of what is instead of rumination over what never was or what “could” have been. When I could begin to sit with mine or another’s anguish instead of trying to “fix” things that are not broken but need only to be experienced and expressed. When my energy became my own, when I could claim my life power and create with intention my best day each day, even when it’s raining or storming around me. When I could think of the past…yet stay in the present.

It will be the truth that sets you free.

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