Archive for the 'intention' Category

Creative Action Link Round Up: Self-Care, Responsibility, Community

August 20, 2017

 Social media is a powerful tool for self expression and engagement of all kinds…giving a voice for many and often a way to cast attention, influence, and respond to causes, values, and efforts we hold dear or reject.

Below are some links I have been reading, saving, and sharing from and on social media recently. Most are rooted in self-care, individual influence and responsibility, and creative community action through the arts. Many offer ways we can effectively activate resources, ideas, and our gifts both on and offline with others (and ourselves) as artists, creatives, mental health professionals, helpers, and human beings.

Self-Care:

Influence:

The Arts, Social Action, and Community Response:

Related Links:

Creative Resilience Link Round Up

20 Creative Quotes on Courage, Hope, & Possibility

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Mission Statement Crafting

August 5, 2017

Recently I attended a retreat where part of the day introduced a closer look at the meaning behind mission statements. A mission statement offers intention and guidance towards ones goals and potential, often empowered by important values and beliefs.  A common practice in organizations and companies is to have a mission statement that helps define and offer focus about what the organization does, its purpose, and values.

Also introduced as a component of self-care during this retreat, mission statements can also be created as a personal declaration that helps define meaning, intentional living, and our own values that guide and empower our work, life, and goals.  It also helps strengthen resilience and compassion satisfaction, especially important for combatting compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and burnout. After reflecting on this practice more, I was inspired to create a mission statement collage to explore this idea deeper.

Before crafting the collage I used a provided template inspired by the work of Covey, Merrill, & Merrill (1997) that offered a series of “it is my mission to” prompts. I also discovered there are a lot of mission statement generators and builders online if you want additional help!

Creating this collage also will serve as a visual reminder to continue reflect on and refine.

It is my mission to

Live mindfully with intention and courage

Work creatively to help others

Continue growing and learning

Love unconditionally

Be grateful, calm, and present

Become open to what unfolds

Believe in humanity and the greater good

Promote hope and possibility

Strive for grace and presence

Seek understanding with integrity

Creative Resilience Link Round Up

January 20, 2017
Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Resilient Insights

I’ve put together a round up of recent links and posts that highlight the role of creativity in managing challenging times, finding hope, and empowering resilience. I hope you find them as inspiring and helpful as I have.  As I was reading these posts over the last couple of months, they have been comforting messages about the importance of creative expression to make sense of new shifts, uncertain moments, and distressing times. They have also been amazing reminders of the power art and creative expression hold to connect us to our voice and each other.

On this day, I am grateful for all of this.

 

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Change Agent: Artful Entry

 

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Creative Evolutionists

Reflections on 365 Making

December 31, 2016

Today marks the completion of another year of daily creative practice with my annual 365 project…. after being so curious what it would be like to take on this kind of challenge, I am so glad I embarked on one in 2013 on New Year’s Day…. Each year and creative undertaking since has graced me with something new to explore over the last 4 years… Towards the end of my first 365 project, I reflected on the discoveries and reminders it helped inspire.

I am re-visiting this list today to make some updates and to reflect more on honoring the lessons that continue to keep me committed to this important process:

Reflections on 365 Making | creativity in motion

1. I’m always amazed and astonished by the containment of small holding spaces in art making. Working within a small space has helped me make each 365 project manageable. Time and time again the power that this small space holds in its message, form, and process is awesome to witness.

2. Remember to slow down.  This reminder is only one of the important lessons that my 365 projects has gifted me. Taking time out to stop and pause for a moment to work on the day’s image is so important.  Sometimes it might feel like there’s no time or things are just so busy that taking this time seems impossible… but engaging in this process helps bring a grounding, focus, and presence that I have come to value and appreciate every day.

3.  Appreciate each day. Each creative piece and image is an expression of gratitude for another day.   It also allows me the opportunity to be thankful for the moment, which is important to recognize and not take for granted.

4. Trust the process. There are definitely some days that I have struggled to find time or don’t feel as connected to the image I have created in comparison to others, but at the end of the day it all works out.  The process of creating everyday outweighs the emphasis on the product. Just like art therapy!

5. I really do have 20-30 minutes everyday to create. Probably one of the biggest surprises after 4 years of consecutive creating!  It’s still true!  Some days it may have been 10 minutes, sometimes longer than a half an hour, but there was always time within each of the 1460 days.

6. Community: It has been inspiring to connect to and support others working on their 365 projects or daily creative practice through social media… 🙂

2016 also brought a couple of opportunities to share my 365 projects, which I enjoyed contributing to:

I thank everyone for their support and encouragement with this process over the last four years! It has definitely helped– ❤  I am looking forward to launching another 365 project for the new year ahead. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Happy creating in 2017- What are some of your creative goals to focus on in the next 12 months?

 

 

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Creative Deeding in Action

October 13, 2016

This past month has seen much creative deeding!  The Hope-filled Postcard Art Exchange that Nancy Lautenbach and I organized went super well with almost 100 participants swapping art across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia— You can check out some of the postcard art submitted on the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook page and on Instagram — So much hopeful energy and positive vibes shared through the handcrafted images made specifically for this collaborative effort! These blog posts from art therapists who participated in the exchange described more about their process: Carolyn Mehlomakulu’s  The Power of Hope-filled Art  and Sally Swain’s Clouds of Hope.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project!

I also recently received word that undergraduate art therapy students at Millikin University implemented their own creative deed project for their Materials and Methods class, inspired by last year’s 365 project.  It was awesome to learn about their efforts from their instructor, art therapist Serena Duckrow and to see the art and creative goodness they were spreading to others on their campus.

 Millikin University Creative Deeds

In addition to the art that was made for the project, the students also used photography, video, and video editing to document the experience. They really valued the role that digital media played in their process. I love the idea of video being part of the project and seeing the different locations creative deeds were released. Below is a video that the students made to showcase their project, which they called #MUCreativeDeed. Enjoy this dose of uplifting art and messages of encouragement, self care, and support….

What is great about creative deeding is that anyone, anywhere, anytime can do it! Creative deed on! 🙂

 

 

 

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Creative Refuge

July 25, 2016

Creative Refuge | creativity in motion

Truth.

 

For lots more artsy quotes and images , check out this collection on Pinterest.

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3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop

June 14, 2016

I had a great time at Lani Gerity‘s workshop this past week-end at the Mid Atlantic Play Therapy Institute: Visual Art Journaling for Teens and Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, and Contained.

creativity in motion

The day was an artful exploration of resilience building, flourishing, intention setting, strength reflection, and lots of creative goodness to fill our handmade art journals that we made from hanging file folders, basic manila file folders for the signature pages inside, and a simple pamphlet stitch to bind it all together.

3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop | creativity in motion

I really enjoyed using the various supplies I brought in my mobile art stash– as well as sharing them with my tablemates so they could experiment with them in different ways. It was very inspiring to work in this community. We even did a table exchange of mini art in the form of artist trading cards, index cards, and craft tags to honor the concept of art as a gift, one of Lani’s prompts to explore practicing kindness and sharing joy with others through our art.  I was lucky to be gifted this art from Mary during our table exchange:

creativity in motion

Art as a Gift

 Upon returning home, as I was unpacking my supplies, handouts, and art from the workshop, I reflected on Lani’s teachings from the day prior and the power of art making to help us cope in distressing and challenging times.

This reflection also prompted me to summarize a list of 3 good things (so many to choose from!) from content introduced during the workshop- and ways to help instill hope, gratitude, and self-care into our lives:

  • Three Blessings Exercise– Dr. Martin Seligman suggests this practice as a way to foster well-being and decrease depression.  This exercise encourages us to make note of three things (for one week) what went well throughout our day and to reflect on why they went well (i.e. “why did this happen?”). According to the research of Dr. Seligman, focusing (and dwelling) on our blessings (what is good, going right with life) helps increase our well-being and decreases anxiety, depression that dwelling on bad events can actually make a lot worse. Lani puts an art-based spin to this exercise by suggesting to create art about three good things (collectively in one image or in separate images).  In one of Lani’s Happy Artist’s Life Workshops a few years ago for 6 Degrees of Creativity I even made a Pinterest board to collect images and content inspired by things that made me happy.  Re-visiting this board made me thankful that I created it— and maybe it is a good time to start adding to it again.
  • Daily Creative Practice– Citing the work and practice of art therapy pioneer Edith Kramer, Lani shared that creating art everyday helps guide skillfulness (mastery). This type of practice has a direct connection to nurturing our resilience, regulation, and inspiring us to be and do the best that we can.  I love that this reminder was included as part of the day’s offerings- and very much agree with these findings!
  • Sensory Relief Art- This prompt (originally to create an image representing a mini vacation and to incorporate the senses) inspired a collage that was connected to the importance of self-care, focusing on the here & now, and finding refuge & breathe in this space. I used a photograph of an old collage I created, pieces of torn (blue) magazine pages, distressed ink, and paint pens. Lots of relief in this image!
3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop | creativity in motion

Self-Care © 2016 gretchen miller

Thanks to the Lani, all the participants I met at the workshop, and the small group of fellow art journalers that I worked with throughout the day.  I look forward to incorporating content we learned into my groupwork and adding it to my art journaling ideas and inspiration.

Related Posts:

Happy Artist’s Life Art Journaling (VIDEO)

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways and Creative Offerings

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Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup

June 3, 2016

Behold some of the daily photos I’ve taken and re-worked for Illuminate 365 over the last couple of months!

It is inspiring to see them together here. With springtime gradually awakening during this time I have enjoyed capturing and symbolizing aspects of the season to reflect on the illumination theme.  A time for re-growth, renewal, as well as gratitude for days that awaken with and contain so much more light, even on the darkest days.

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motionIlluminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Related Posts:

Bring On Illuminating 2016!

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365

April 5, 2016

It is now month four of my 2016 project: Illuminate 365.  Uploading all the photos and captures I’ve taken everyday over this first quarter was a wonderful (yet, a little overwhelming!) opportunity to reflect on the images, concepts, and messages they each convey.  This creative adventure has become a daily treasure hunt for illumination- revealed through rays of light, shadows of darkness, nature’s beauty, the morning sun, ordinary objects, warm candlelight, and many, many different places both outdoors and inside throughout this year’s winter season and now the fickle springtime that is upon us….

Many days honor inspiration such as, but not limited to: hope, grace, passion, courage, and creation…. other days provide a reminder or awakening of guidance, validation, and encouragement…. or a time embrace slowing down… while other days help me recognize that you cannot appreciate the light without the presence of darkness… each of the images below are all are sacred pieces and moments of this journey so far… (in no particular order):

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

I’ve taken all these photos on my iPhone- experimenting a lot with app filters (LiveCollage, iLeaker, Instagram, LightEffects) which is quite fun.  Another treasure hunt that accompanies this project for me is discovering quotes and inspirations that connect with the image.

As the spring starts to completely bloom and begins to give way to summer, it will be nice to take notice of a refreshed landscape with a greener scenery outside and the impact of longer, warmer days ahead. 🙂

Creative Deed 365 Reflection Begins

December 26, 2015

This week begins the last week of my 2015 creative daily practice of Creative Deed 365.  I have so enjoyed doing this project throughout the last 12 months, both in the making & giving!  Inviting others to join in this effort has been super inspiring and lots of fun to see and take in throughout the year…

Creative Deed 365 Reflection | creativity in motion

This post is a little pre re-cap about the goings on of the project before it ends on December 31!

On Making:

In previous posts I’ve shared how introducing a daily creative practice into my life has been such a huge benefit.  I’ve written about how creating these little pieces of art helps slows things down and take pause in my day.  I’ve also stated how those moments where I am most busy or active in my day are the times I feel like I get the most out of this process.

For this year’s collection of art I started using half sized index cards, then started to use playing cards- which I ended up really liking the most because of their texture and thickness.  I used a lot of magazine photo collage or scrapbooking and printed paper gifted to me in stash swaps, as well as stamping ink, rub on/transfer lettering, & a variety of pens from gel, ink, paint & sharpies.

On Giving:

What really inspired this 365 was the intention to give away all the art I created this year.  I really enjoyed this part of the project!   It was exciting to release what was made and its accompanied message into the universe.  Whether someone claimed the creative deed as their own or not, the spirit & energy behind its creation was “out there”.  In times of challenge, stress, or moments of tough things going on in the world, I hoped that a creative deed helped bring some kind of light.

Equally exciting was where/how/when to release the creative deeds.  My favorite public place were gas pumps. The most oddest place I sometimes would put creative deeds on were on the tops of garbage cans. I wondered if it would be an easy way for them to end up as trash?  Surprisingly I enjoyed leaving creative deeds out during the winter months because it helped me get out & about in the bitter cold and snow more than I would have without this special mission. I don’t know if anyone ever noticed that I was leaving one behind. There were definitely times that I stayed around (mostly in coffee shops) and could watch the different reactions of someone discovering one.  Sometimes they would be picked up, looked at oddly and put down- and other times welcomed with a smile and then claimed.

In addition to the public random places I left creative deeds, over the last couple of months I finally finished mailing out creative deeds to everyone who requested one through this blog or social media. I also mailed out some batches when inspired to friends and supporters of the project.  From January to December I’ve slowly put these tiny pieces of art in the postal mail here in the US, to Australia, Europe, New Zealand, UK, and Canada.  Below are some pics from some of the creative deed deliveries received in December. Awesome to see these captures made upon their arrival and in hands @ their new home!

Creative Deed 365

Creative deed delivery to Rosann, Bailey, Theresa & more!

 

Creative Deed Reflections

Instagram photo credit: @franckstagram

On Connection:

I was super curious how inviting others to become involved in the process would work out and in what form.  I created the Creative Deed 365 Facebook Group as a space for anyone interested in also spreading this form of creative goodness throughout the year.  I had no idea how important this group would become to the process!  Not only was it an inspiring, encouraging, and positive place for sharing our creative deed efforts, but I enjoyed seeing the variety of creative deeds everyone involved in the idea were making for others. I hope others did too. Social media through FB group primarily, but also Instagram with the hashtag #creativedeed365 became another way for ones creative deed energy to be released “out there”.

It was also just as fun to invite art therapist friends and colleagues this summer to join in on the #creativedeed365 fun while attending the national conference in Minneapolis. It was like a Creative Deed treasure hunt in the hotel we were staying at.

What was always a nice find on my end was when someone who discovered a creative deed would use social media to share the news, using the #creativedeed365 hashtag— again on Instagram and sometimes on Twitter.  It was a nice feeling to know the creative deed was received and read the expressions of gratitude, surprise, and joy. The creative deed e-mail was also used on a few occasions to share finds as well!

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I was also really delighted that Ursuline College, where I am on faculty in the Counseling and Art Therapy Department, became aware of this project and invited me to guest blog for their online publication VOICES last month.  You can read this post here.  In this post I was able to reflect on how the project started, the role of community & social media, and the creative goodness this effort has hopefully helped spread.

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In celebration of the remaining days left in this project, I wanted to share my Top 10 favorite creative deeds and some of the quotes I posted with them:

Creative Deed- February

“Compassion brings us to a stop, for a moment we rise above ourselves.” -Mason Cooley

2April

Creative Deed- May

stimulus + response + space = power & freedom

 

Creative Deed- July

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” -Napoleon Hill

 

Creative Deed - July

“by walking the path, we make the path visible.” -Phil Lane Jr.

 

Creative Deed-September

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

8October

Creative Deed

“Faith and hope work hand in hand, however while hope focuses on the future, faith focuses on the now.” -David Odunaiya

 

Creative Deed

‘Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love’! ~Hamilton Wright

Past updates, creative deed work, discoveries, and more from this year can be viewed here.  I’ve been using Flipagram recently to document the last few months of offerings.  December’s will be coming next week when this year’s project ends!

I thank everyone who has participated on some level with this project: as a creative deed maker, finder/receiver, supporter, through this blog and my updates….. 🙂

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With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Past 365 Projects:
2014 | 3×5 365

 

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