Compassion & Creativity

September 24, 2014

I just finished participating in this year’s Compassion Games with a team I organized through the 6 Degrees of Creativity community. Our Creative Deed Team included a dozen a.maz.ing members from all over the globe! For 11 days, we worked on a series of artful acts that I sent out each day of the games to inspire kindness & compassion.  You can view the prompts for each of the Creative Deeds here.

Compassion & Creativity | creativity in motion

12 Days of Creative Deeds

For the team’s first creative deed, I thought it would be a nice start to have each of us photograph a heart in the palm of our hand, as a symbol and offering of compassion.  Below is a pic I took of my hand holding a glittery paper heart in my creative space, with a quote connected to service, compassion, and supporting of others.

Compassion & Creativity | creativity in motion

Show Us Your Heart

For our second Creative Deed, Chalking it Up for Compassion, it was pretty dreary, damp, and cold on my end, but getting out my sidewalk chalk & pastels to work on a rock I chose to create a message of compassion on, helped brighten the environment.  My chalk art was inspired by the Dalai Lama quote, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

Chalk It Up for Compassion

Chalk It Up for Compassion

My love for making wordles and word clouds inspired Day 3’s Creative Deed, as team members were encouraged to experiment with free, online sites like Wordle, Tagxedo, and Word It Out to create Compassion inspired word art.  My image was made using Tagxedo (love their shapes), using words from the quotes that inspired me during Day 1 and 2.

Compassion Wordclouding

Compassion Wordclouding

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness inspired Creative Deed Day 4 and I made this art tag that I hung on a telephone poll along one of the busiest walking streets my city.  My hope is that someone spotted it, took it, and enjoyed it!  On the back side of the tag is the A.A. Milne quote, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Compassion & Creativity | creativity in motion

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness

Day 5’s Creative Deed was inspired by a concept introduced in Seattle for the Compassion Games, in which individuals are nominated as Compassion All Stars. The Creative Deed Team nominated individuals in our lives and then made an award to recognize him/her.  I nominated Lani Gerity as a Compassion All Star I am grateful to have in my creative life as a friend & colleague— Just visit Lani’s blog to take in all her compassionate and artful ways.

Compassion All Star Award

Compassion All Star Award

The next day the Creative Deed Team embarked on a Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt and we used online programs like Recite and Quozio to transform these words into graphic designed images.   I chose one of my favorite resiliency based quotes from Ben Orki that I often use as an affirmation in my work.

Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt

Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt

Day 7’s Creative Deed was dedicated to celebrating everything and anything awesome through making Compassion Cards of Awesomeness for ourselves & others.  I stashed this Creative Deed message inside a random book.  I think there is much power and strength in this quote.

Compassion Cards of Awesomeness

Compassion Cards of Awesomeness

Our next Creative Deed was inspired by one of the ways the Compassion Games invites participants to play:  as Secret Agents of Compassion.  The Creative Deed Team embarked on a mission dedicated to showing compassion to the earth and to capture our observations & reflections related to interrelatedness through photography. My photo was about the transitioning of summer into fall and its connection to letting go & how from this state of dying; new life & growth follows…. even if we have to get through the winter first and I am grateful for this process…

Secret Agent of Compassion: Nature Mission

Secret Agent of Compassion: Nature Mission

Day 9’s Creative Deed focused on mandala making with a compassion theme.  A recent photo I took of a candle and its flame reminded me of a light bearing mandala and how light (giving & receiving) can bring an awareness of hope & clarity  in times of distress and despair.

Compassion Mandala

Compassion Mandala

Sticky notes were transformed into Compassion Art on Day 10 as a way to publicly display positive messages of kindness.  I left my sticky note art of hope on a restroom mirror  in one of my favorite roadside travel stops on the way home from a trip.  It included a message to have, trust, believe, and embrace hope.

Compassion Sticky Note Art

Compassion Sticky Note Art

The final day of the Compassion Games ended on September 21, International Day of Peace.  The Creative Deed Team reflected on this CG post and was encouraged to create a Peace Flag to symbolize the power of peace, as well as what peace symbolizes to us and for the world.  I used small fabric swatches to create a series of flags using fabric markers, acrylic paint, sharpies and ballpoint ink with some hand sewing.

International Day of Peace Flag

International Day of Peace Flag

It was not only meaningful and lots of creative fun to work on each of these days for the Compassion Games and to share these good vibes & intentions with others, but it was also really wonderful to connect with everyone on the Creative Deed team through art, service, and reflection over these 11 days. Lots of creative goodness!!  I am appreciative of my teammates’ dedication & thoughtfulness, as well as the passion, support, and organization from the Compassion Games. Good times!

You can see the entire Creative Deed Team Collection on Facebook here.

And check out the scientific benefits & origins of compassion from the Charter for Compassion.

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Related Posts:

Wow! 2014 Games Are Behind Us, Now it’s Time to Celebrate and Share!

Wrap Up: Creative Deeds in Action @ the 2014 Compassion Games over at 6 Degrees of Creativity

Compassion Games 2014: Team 6 Degrees of Creativity Creative Deeds Go Global

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2 Responses to “Compassion & Creativity”

  1. deboraheh Says:

    Thank you Gretchen. My Compassion Games journey was exciting and fun! Although not all assignments were completed, each one that was helped me feel more connected; more a part of my own community. It works! I will continue to spread the energy with creative art therapy group deeds in Toronto! xox Debbie.


  2. Super inspiring, as always! Thank you for sharing and touching us all trough your amazing imagery!


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