Sunday, March 20, 2016

Create to Help and Heal

What is the best thing about being a bit more creative?

It helps me and it helps others.  Part of what makes a person want to be creative is that they want something that isn't in their heads all the time.  I can come up with hundreds of ideas, but if I want to focus on what works, and what doesn't I'll need to get something out.

I'm saying do not write down goals.  At least not yet.

Don't misunderstand me, writing down goals are very important, but the problem is that, for someone like myself, I'll have some fairly lofty and insane goals. The ones where I'm setting myself up for failure and not even thinking about what I can do to get there.

Take my writing goals for instance, I'd love to sit back, enjoy some tea and write.  The only problem is that I tend to say "hey I'll write 2,000 words today."  Sure. Okay.  Yup.  So what sort of poor excuse am I going to give myself when I don't write 2,000 words TODAY?

I know I can't write 2,000 words in one day.  I haven't done that more than twice in all the years I've been writing.  I set myself up to fail, and then I hate what I've done, and hate myself for even writing.  The cycle continues.  In the end, I hate the fact I even considered how badly I was as a writer, and eventually as a person.  It broke me down, I hated the fact I was not of value in the creative world.

I hated to be near the computer, and I hated to be near people, because, heck, I didn't want to sit back and admit that my goals where so totally unrealistic to anyone, anywhere, but they weren't to me.  I did exactly what I said I wouldn't do- and that was be the person who made "over the top" goals.

The point?

Being creative in a different way means that not only can you help but you can heal.

Okay, I get your thinking, why be more creative, after all writing is a creative outlet!

Yes, it is, but when you hate doing something, you're not going to do it.  You actively avoid it.  By the end of last year, I was actively avoiding writing. I couldn't describe it, nor did I want to dig down.  My saving grace was walking away. (Or, for the sake of honesty, RUNNING THE HELL AWAY) I walked away and took my time.

Saying I don't know is okay too.

If I hadn't I am sure my mental state would be far worse than what it is now, I don't know, but I know I don't want to find out.  As it stands getting back to a state of feeling like I have some sort of creative view is a good beginning.  When I began to open up, to think and to act different it hurt.

It also helped me heal.  I began to use a more visual way of creating than I would have.  I found that eventually I was able to come to a bit of a better state of mind, but I was still in the cocoon, as it were.  I still am developing as a creative person, but being creative is to help, and to heal and in both I am just beginning. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Responsibility and Healing

I wanted to be more creative.  I had a problem to overcome.  When I would "go out on a limb" I would do my fastest and least productive work.  I would then expect praise, and when this was not forthcoming, I began to play the blame game.

Ah, that blame game.  The game can look like these: It's not my fault that I didn't bother to check my spelling it's the computer.  No one likes what I write anyways, so I won't write.  It's not my fault I don't have time to post each day.  It's the kids, it's the time away from the computer.

To some people it's everything but me.

Or, are you more like this?

The blame list can look like this: it's all my fault, I should have been better.  I am so dumb.  I didn't do it right.  I am useless.  I should have seen that grammar mistake for what it was, a sign I'm not good enough.  I'm stupid.

To others, it's them.

Either way the blame game is a knife to the gut.  It simply means I'm making excuses for my actions. Some people can do the blame game and can keep doing it, and there isn't anything that happens to them, at least in the wellbeing sense.  It protects them.

The blame game was for me, the game which broke me, and set me on the path to a mental wellbeing challenge.  I would blame myself to the point I would deny my own worth. I would work hard on my blog- or so I believed- only to find that I would turn it into another reason why I failed.  With this failure in mind, I could, and did find many ways to undermine myself.

Outwardly, I would be the most positive happy person one could imagine.  I was writing, I was someone most people cared to be around.  Inside I was angry.  I was helpless. I wasn't in control.  I could feel pain from an overpowering negative emotions.

To compensate I would self-harm.

Some days were worse, some better.  Some days I could believe in what I was doing and think I was better.  Most days were filled with the fear I would be found out.  That I was a failure, that I was worst for trying.  If I thought I would fail I would stop eating, I would yell and scream in pain I couldn't define, I would hurt myself.

I wasn't about to take responsibility for my actions and how I blamed people and myself.  I couldn't stop the pain, and I didn't have the means to do so.  I wasn't about to stop and say I needed help. At least not at the beginning.

The key to the start of my own journey to healing was to take responsibility.  Not to blame myself for things I couldn't change.  I took responsibility for my response to whatever was thrown at me.  If my writing was subpar, it meant a re-write.

I learned that responsible people have a deep sense of gratitude but also a deep sense of self.  They know what they can or can't do.  They might not have had the "tools" they needed to start with, but they took time to find them and to develop them.

For me, it was learning to cope with what was the only "way" to cope.  I learned to express my anger or my frustration to the right mentors and guides.  They in turn helped me along the way, re-learning old habits, replacing them with better ones. (Note I didn't say more positive ones, rather better ones) and then, going back and working with my new tools.

Healing begins after you take the steps to stop the blame game.  Stop it.  I'm not saying it's easy, it's a huge undertaking to stop blaming, making excuses or justifying why you did things.  That's the start.  Next is learning to be more responsible in how you heal, and how you become more creative.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Being Creative Means Healing

I'll make it clear right now, when I say creative I'm going beyond the usual things of writing it down, or finding a craft to do, but rather looking at a stronger way of healing.

Every person has something to heal from.  I know the only way to begin the process of healing is by beginning something- from a place where you understand you can heal.  I'm not saying this for growth but I'm saying it as a starting point.

When I came to the conclusion that I wasn't where I wanted to be in my life, I needed to find something to hold on to.

I want you to look at that statement for a moment.  "When I" it's not about making someone else happy or finding that right person, place or thing that you think will make you happy this is when the change begins.  For myself, because I internalized anger and was a person who felt forced to be more "bubbly" more "open" filled with this "joie de vivre," I would never want to be angry at anyone.  The only problem with this unhealthy method was I was prone to outburst of anger to the very people whom I should have rationally told them before it got to the point of fury and harsh words.

After this point I would feel extreme self-loathing, and hurt and pure anger with me.  For a long while the answer to this was to turn the pain outward, and on myself. I would hide, deny, or belittle myself for being angry.

I don't think there was a real "rock bottom" more of a point when I realized that if I continued down the road I would, and could so serious damage to myself, and emotional damage to those around me.

That was my when.  

My when lead me down many paths, at first, it was writing in a journal, but I feared someone finding the deeper parts of me, where I could not hide or deny or let my guard down.  It hurt, it was hard to trust my own instincts, and trust is not something which can be made - or bought.

Over the years, and I do mean years, I began to learn about myself, and the beginning of how a more minimalist creative lifestyle is leading to healing.

One of the biggest things that I began with was creating a space for myself.  I saved up for a bedroom set which I wanted and which spoke to me.  Right now the bedroom is my place to find a restful sleep and to do a bit of evening reading.

The next thing was getting rid of excess baggage.  The last few months, I have begun to go through things and remove and sell and also donate.  I've felt lighter, more positive and have a sense of freedom that I didn't before.

One of the things I am starting to do is to find what I really want.  What moves me.  To begin with I started simple.  I figured out what I loved, I love the colour purple.  I also let myself love my self again.  One of the things I did was toss, and donate the clothes and other items which didn't speak to me.  This took me about two weeks to do.

I did the same with my books.  The ones which I hadn't read in years, the ones I had bought with the "I will read them." In short the ones which didn't make me feel creative, or help my growth.

I also looked at what sort of animal caught my eye.  I mentioned this in the last post but the one which speaks to me the most is the butterfly.  So I used that to spark my creative healing.  In essence I  let myself be in a chrysalis for a while.

My creative goal is to find a way to mange my feelings in a more constructive way.  I'm sure that some would like me to say a more positive way, but I'm not as keen on being the "positive" person.  I'm more inclined to build as a person who has learned from mistakes and is willing to continue being more creative.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Why A Butterfly?

Welcome to the Butterfly Creative.  It's not much yet, but here we are talking about growth, and renewal and just becoming someone who is passionate about what they do.  Someone who can take the hurts and challenges they have faced and learn from them.

Let's do this.

First thing you will need to get is a journal.  I prefer mine blank, but one which I can lay flat. It's a personal preference and it is it something that almost anyone can do.  Over the many years I've come to learn I'm not really into journalling if it doesn't have colour, or doodles or just about anything that isn't a 'writing' style of journal.

Next, make it real.

I love dragons and dolphins and butterflies.  I wanted to make my journal real for me.  I wanted it cool, and creative and fun.  Of the three I picked the butterfly and found magazine pictures and flowers and all sorts of nice, beautiful, grab the eye type of pictures.

I think the next one might be dolphins, but the butterfly has a lot of meaning for me.  I like it because no matter what it is always strong, but fragile. Graceful, but forever a bit clumsy.  The butterfly is creative in a way, and in its own way transforms from something no one likes to something everyone does.

Why a butterfly?

It's all about growth, and learning and taking it one step at a time.  A good way along the path of healing is accepting that healing needs to start.  For me, it's about just becoming more creative to express the challenges and the hurts I've dealt with over my life.

Butterflies give a sense of peace and a willingness to re-create themselves.


Time to get creative.