Posts Tagged ‘Laura van Dernoot Lipsky’

On Practicing and Creating Gratitude

December 14, 2011

As I review my 2011, this summer’s workshop I attended with Trauma Stewardship author and trauma specialist  Laura van Dernoot Lipsky had a major impact in strengthening my practice about the role of gratitude in my personal life and professional practice.   For me, part of this awareness included Lipsky encouraging us to create scheduled time each day to stop and take time out for grateful reflection.

As previously written about here on Creativity in Motion in the above link, this suggestion first inspired me to try Lipsky’s recommendation of setting a series of “gratitude alarms” on my iPhone, which then I developed into creating gratitude wordles from these reflections. I recently upgraded my iPhone and now have Siri also assisting me with my gratitude reminders and finding quotes!

One of my many intentions with these activities was to hopefully incorporate this content into my art-making somehow. I decided to combine my interest in gratitude scrolls and my wordle making into a piece of art that would continue to remind me of the importance of creating and practicing gratitude.

This gratitude scroll was created with a piece of gessoed canvas, then painted with watercolor, distressed with ink, and then collaged with some of my favorite words, reflections, and a quote from my gratitude reminders and wordle making throughout the last 5 months.    To allow the scroll’s contents and good vibes to be available and a visible affirmation, I intend on displaying this as an open wall hanging in my creative work space for continued inspiration.

The quote at the top and “wordle words” underneath are a humble reminder for me with a powerful message of simplicity, enoughness, and that I have the choice to recognize and nurture the uncomplicated abundance that comes into my life, relationships, work, and daily practice.

Gratitude unlocks the abundance of life and turns what we have into more than enough. Gratitude makes sense of our past, delivering tranquility for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

My Gratitude Wordle Collection

September 16, 2011

I recently started making gratitude wordles after attending a trauma stewardship workshop with Laura van Dernoot Lipsky this summer.   Here’s a collection of some wordles I’ve created over the last couple of months:

The process of  taking a moment to make an intentional reflection of what I’m grateful for and then creating a wordle about it has been really helpful.  This practice has been a fun way to help me put things into perspective, slow things down a bit, and creates a reminder about simplicity related to my life, relationships, and to work on not taking things for granted. There is a lot to be thankful for.

I’m hoping to take this practice as something I can incorporate into my art-making, perhaps through art journaling or perhaps some kind of 365 project.   I’ll keep you posted on what develops…

Trauma Stewardship, Gratitude, and Wordle Making

June 24, 2011

One of my gratitude wordles

Earlier this month I attended a workshop with trauma worker and author of Trauma Stewardship, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky who spent the day speaking to a group of local agencies and offering important considerations related to self-care and well being when exposed to and involved with trauma work.  This all day training based on Lipsky’s book was excellent and provided a lot of nurturing, mindful, and practical reflections and tools that will be very helpful connected to the trauma work I do with children, women, and families.

I really enjoyed Lipsky’s content that focused on gratitude as a way to create and maintain a sense of balance in our personal lives and work.  She writes, “locating something to be thankful for at all times is an essential part of trauma stewardship” and that this mindfulness practice can help reframe our experience of often overwhelming, challenging, and difficult work.  “Remind yourself that while the offering may seem endless, so is what we have to be grateful for; it just might be less obvious and take a more creative approach to find it” (pp. 223, van DerNoot Lipsky, 2009).

One of the many takeaways from that day that I have started to incorporate into my daily practice included Lipsky’s suggestion to set “gratitude alarms” on our mobile phone to go off three times a day to help provide a sensory reminder and alert to take time throughout our busy daily activities to reflect on thankfulness. I have set my iPhone for morning, afternoon, and evening gratitude alarms, which has been a rewarding experience. When the alarms go off and I am often in the middle of something, I am forced to go to my phone, recognize the alarm’s intention, and in that moment take time to simply reflect on what I am grateful for.  I must say it really has helped make my gratitude awareness stronger and create additional balance in my day to day life.

To support this process, I use the “notes” app on my phone to type in whatever thankfulness comes to mind and then save these reflections as an on-going mobile Gratitude e-List.  Throughout this week I have started to take words from my list to create Gratitude Wordles as a creative and fun way to express and visually focus on my gratitude words.  I have also been experimenting with the app Word Clouder for creating mobile gratitude word clouds on the go!

References:  Trauma stewardship: An everyday guide to caring for self while caring for others.

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