Archive for the 'self care' Category

Artist Dates, Creative Field Trips, and Artful Adventures: 18 Ideas for 2018

January 8, 2018

Last week I was scrolling my social media feed and stumbled upon a daily dose of creative goodness from Sharon Burton.  I always look forward to seeing Sharon’s posts pop up- they are full of inspiring ideas, people, quotes, and images to nurture our creative spirit.  Sharon recently founded Spark Your Creative to help others discover and strengthen their creative gifts.  Sharon posted an encouraging invitation to think about scheduling Artist Dates for the new year, something she already practices and shares weekly. I thought to myself, “I want to do this!” and make a 2018 commitment to taking creative field trips and going on artful adventures- on my own and with others on and offline. I started to brainstorm some ideas….. with regular creative activities and practices I want to do more of, as well as new possibilities and experiences that I would like to do/try/enjoy over the next 12 months:

1. Art exhibits: In 2017, I had the amazing opportunity to experience Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room- The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away at The Broad when I was visiting Los Angeles.  This summer, six of Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Rooms are coming to the Cleveland Museum of Art. This is definitely a must do local creative field trip in 2018! Is there an exhibit or artist you want to see this year?

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room @ The Broad, Los Angeles (2017)

2. Visit studio spaces.

3. Saturday Art Nights- with one of nights dedicated to playing with alcohol inks and watercolor on Yupo paper.

4. Take an art class.

5. Have an art movie night.

6. Organize my creative space and art materials, supplies- I realllly need to do this.

7. Blog more- One of my social media goals for this year is to begin regularly blogging more again! I’m trying out this editorial blogging journal to help support content, planning, and scheduling.

8. Replenish my magazine photo collage stash- I always find the process relaxing and inspiring! Made some progress on taking time to do this already! Doing another paper stash swap this year would also be fun!

9. Take a visit to Michael’s with my new giftcard. I would like to venture out for a visit to Blick this year too!

10. Take $5 to spend on items to use for an art project at a dollar store.  See how far you can stretch it. (#81 of Julia Cameron’s 101 Artist Date Ideas)

11. Bob Ross Art of Chill Board Game Playing- We recently played this during a Saturday art night and once we got all the rules and concept figured out, it was a fun time….

 

12. Follow, connect to, and be inspired by more art, artists, creatives, and art communities/organizations on social media.

13. Learn a new art technique or media.

14. Discover new artist blogs and revisit my favorites.

15. Organize a local art therapist meet up to hang out, make some art, and have fun together!

16. Create a new creative offering online.

17. Remain socially engaged in arts and art therapy advocacy through reaching out to, visiting with, and building relationships with legislators, policy makers, and stakeholders.

18. Invite spontaneous opportunities for creative connection and mindful moments of creativity!

What kind of artist dates, creative field trips, and artful adventures do you want to take in 2018?

 

Advertisements

Trauma Informed Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

December 1, 2017

The holiday season is upon us: at home, in the workplace, in our communities, classrooms, and far and wide in the media, online, and in neighborhood stores.

This time of year can inspire festive gatherings and activities of joy, togetherness, and heartfelt memories with family and friends. For some, though, the holidays can be a challenging time of stress, adversity, and a difficult trigger of strong emotions, pressures, or traumatic experiences. This topic is the focus of my new guest post for The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children’s (TLC) blog, helping to provide a trauma informed considerations for the holidays and additional resources to learn more.  Read more here.

Gratitude Round-Up: Creativity, Resilience, & Well-being

November 23, 2017

I thought today would be a nice time to re-share some of my favorite archived blog posts about gratitude, creativity, resilience, and well-being. I enjoyed re-visiting these and I hope you will enjoy this round-up too:

These posts continue to guide me about the importance of having a gratitude practice and the role of creativity in helping support and express what we are thankful for– especially in times of uncertainty, stress, or conflict. Not just today or when times are tough, but beneficial for our well-being everyday.  A wonderful opportunity for us to activate daily creative practices with an attention to gratitude.  🙂

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

Make & Do Show & Tell

February 20, 2017

I wanted to offer a quick show & tell of some images from my Make & Do 365 journal.

I have found that this daily creative practice has taken on a new level for activating self-care and creating an opportunity of creative refuge. I’ve worked my way through filling the journal’s pages for plans and wishes… and currently finishing pages dedicated to the section on dreams. I use the valuable creative time I have committed to this journal and to myself as a way to connect to a sense of mindfulness, hope, and peace of mind – a process and act that I continue to have much gratitude for and hold sacred.

Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion

img_9029 Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion

Save

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

Save

Save

Save

Create Fest: The 1st Annual Virtual Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals

February 8, 2016

Check this out! Create Fest — The 1st Annual Virtual Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals!

I am soooo excited to be a part of this offering!

Lisa Michell and Courtney Armstrong have brought together 12 influential therapists, and asked each to offer inspired approaches that will help you partner with your creativity to do your best work and elicit deep transformation within your clients (and yourself).

CreateFest | creativity in motionDiscover new, creative ideas and earn 12 CEU’s from the comfort of your own home or office and… each speaker will lead an inspiring activity you can do during the festival to experience these transformational strategies yourself!

I am speaking about topics related to self-care, trauma focused work, and creativity’s role in supporting mental health professionals. It was a pleasure to speak with Lisa about these topics–  It’s an honor to be included in the debut of this event with such an inspiring line up with so much to offer…

If it seems like this offering would fit related to your work, I hope you’ll join us later this month!  🙂

Learn all about the offerings and speakers for this event here!

Moments of Creative Breath: Creative Deed 365- September & October Offerings

November 1, 2015

It’s been a super active last couple of months during my Creative Deed making, so I am catching up on sharing my offerings here for the months of September and October!

Creative Deed 365 | creativity in motion

In moments of long days & busy scheduling; having a moment everyday to stop & create truly fosters a sense of centering and opportunity to catch & regulate my creative breath.  It’s times like these that this daily creative practice is important more than ever.  It’s also a valuable reminder how essential it is to have this commitment part of my day and self care. I breathe in stillness & grounding. I exhale the possibility each deed released into the world could offer to another.

Creative Deed 365 | creativity in motion

Creative Deed 254 discovered on September 11

So here are the offerings I’ve made over the last 2 months with these quick videos from Flipagram (click on the image to view!)… These little videos are so much fun to create!

Creative Deed 365: September Offerings

Creative Deed 365: October Offerings

I also recommend these great reads to advocate for the role of creativity in self-care:

The Creative Life and Well Being- The Creativity Post

Are you missing out on an essential ingredient? – Kind Over Matter

Happy November and Art On!

 

 

 

Creative Shifting

September 13, 2015

“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it’s welcome.” ~K. Armstrong

Creative Shifting | creative in motion

Creative Deed 256/365

For me, shifting is about moving and changing and the shift in seasons that is upon us particularly reminds me of this.  Fall tends to be an active time of year for my work, which also reminds me about the importance of my own self-care and finding creative solace amongst my busy surroundings.  Just like the leaves that will be changing and falling soon, some things I have begin to let go of. Other things I hold onto with fierce dedication and determination.  I think shifting includes the delicate art of balancing this concept of letting go vs. holding on and the possibilities this ultimately brings. Our art can serve as a safe place to explore these new directions, adjustments, and changing of the tide.

I’ve mostly spent the last few weeks in training & getting orientated with joining Akron Children’s Hospital Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient team within the hospital’s Division of Pediatric Psychiatry/Psychology to facilitate art therapy with adolescents, starting the fall semester with students at Ursuline College’s Counseling & Art Therapy Program, and prepping for these upcoming events I am super excited about:

Creative Shifting | creative in motionSeptember 191st Annual Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Teen Summit hosted by the Renee Jones Empowerment Center in the Gordon Square Arts District in Cleveland. Learn more here!  As part of this Summit, there will be an art center dedicated to creative expression to help teens attending share their hopes and empower their dreams.

September 21– As part of the ADAMHS Board Annual Roads to Recovery Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, I’ll be offering the workshop, Art Journaling’s Visual Voice in Trauma Intervention.  This hands-on workshop will explore the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for processing emotional expression, promoting self care, and sharing ones personal narrative and intentions. Content will include themes and the benefits of art journaling as a visual voice and means of trauma intervention with survivors. Participants will engage in creating their own mini art journal with mixed media to identify and support their own professional self-care practices and intentions related to working with trauma & loss issues.

Creative Shifting | creativity in motion

September 26– During the 2015 Buckeye Art Therapy Association Symposium in Columbus, Ohio I’ll be presenting the afternoon workshop, Strengthening Emotional Resilience through Art Journaling. This workshop of art-making and creative expression will focus on creating a simple, small, mobile art journal that can serve as a tangible reminder of emotional resilience, support and the importance of self-care for the work we do in service & care of others.  Registration online is still open!

Creative Shifting | creativity in motion

October 3– As part of the New Jersey Art Therapy Association‘s Annual Meeting I’ll be offering the Keynote Address and an art making workshop focused on the conference’s theme: “The Art of Self Care for Professional and  Therapeutic Resilience“.  Registration is open here.

October 23– I am honored to be included as a Speaker for the 2nd year of TEDx Ursuline College, being held at The Maltz Museum in Beachwood, Ohio. My talk will focus on the intersection of social media to foster creativity, connection, and community within the art therapy community and beyond! Learn how to purchase tickets here.

Spectrum 2015 - Online Holistic Art OfferingOpen through November (!)- Holistic Creative Circle- Spectrum 2015: There’s still time left to join in on this year’s Spectrum, hosted by Hali Karla Arts!  This online offering is a multi-media experience guided by 25 artists, healers and visionaries. Spectrum is for anyone interested in enhancing intuition, strengthening courage, celebrating wholeness & diversity, widening perspective, developing deeper relationships, and who wants to offer her own gifts to the world, guided by personal awareness and creative living.  I am so excited and grateful to be part of this year’s Spectrum Teaching Collective to offer a new workshop, Creative Covenants. Learn more about Spectrum and all its offerings here.

Group Strategies & Interventions with Traumatized Children and Adolescents eCourse: Looking for CEUs? My continuing education course offered through The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children focuses on the benefit, strategies, interventions, and considerations important to facilitating group work with traumatized children and adolescents. Course content introduces participants to themes, sensory based activities,therapeutic books, games, and creative interventions to implement in the group setting with traumatized youth.  6 CEUs available. Registration is on-going and the course is self-guided, so you can complete it at your own pace over several months.  For more information and to register, visit this link.

Happy creative shifting to you and yours as summer begins to wind down and fall gradually starts to show all its beautiful colors & glory! 🙂

 

 

Labyrinth Love

July 17, 2015

The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

~The Labyrinth Project at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

One of my favorite places on the campus of Ursuline College is its beautiful outdoor Labyrinth.  For me, this is a peaceful and calming refuge that I often use as a walking meditation and a way to slow down and pause- spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

I recently was able to introduce one of my art therapy groups with Ursuline’s ArtSpace Outreach Program to the power of the labyrinth through a visit to the site, as well as engage group members in creating their own finger labyrinths to use as a portable and accessible meditative tool to manage stress, anxiety, and promote awareness.

I discovered this fabulous finger labyrinth how-to from Heather Plett that was perfect timing for this labyrinth fieldtrip.

Here are some photos from the making of my labyrinth, as I tried out the materials and process as prep for my group:

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

I chose to use bleeding tissue paper with mod podge to cover the craft cord I glued down over the labyrinth pattern.

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

When all the craft cord was covered and dried, I took a silver ink stamp pad to brush/press over top to accent the pathway against the background.  Lots of fun to create!

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

It was wonderful to tie in an art-making experience with this special trip and thank Heather for the inspiration! 🙂

 

%d bloggers like this: