Most of us are having a really tough time right now. At the same time, beautiful things are happening all around us.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when my business came to a complete halt, I had my own version of a three-year-old temper tantrum. It wasn’t pretty, but emotions are natural. It’s ok to be angry, sad, frustrated and scared. Staying stuck in our negative emotions can cause problems.
After doing the work of getting it all out of my system, I was able to look up and ask “Where’s the gift, the beauty?” “What’s the next right thing in front of me?”
Highlighting the Good
The good is out there; it always has been and it always will be, we just need to search for it. Turn off the noise and purposely notice the calm. Breathe slowly and deeply. Be still so you can see the light around you.
Let me encourage you to make a paradigm shift. Start by intentionally noticing the little things such as the giggle of a child, a cute puppy held by someone in your Zoom call, the taste of your favorite food, the smell of your morning coffee, or the feel of the cool air on your face. These little things are surrounding us every day and they can be magical if you look a new lens.
Sometimes we are so engulfed in the negativity and darkness, that we can easily miss the beauty. It requires effort on our part to see past the negative, to go in search of good, positive things. When we do make the effort, it’s worth it. Regularly discovering or noticing moments of beauty and light can bring thankfulness, lead to a healthier mindset, increase our resilience, and improve our ability to cope.
Shining Light on Priorities
My personal experience with social-distancing during this time of COVID has forced me to slow down and take a look at my priorities. It has forced me to pivot and change how I look at my life and my business. To look closely at my relationships and see a deeper value in those who I find precious.
It goes against my nature to slow down, but because of it, I’ve been able to shift my concept of success and how I practice art therapy. I began to offer art therapy virtually, something I never thought I would do because I thought it would be too impersonal. But by doing art therapy with clients through telehealth, I’ve come to realize that one of my gifts is to connect well with clients even online. This works.
I’ve also created online groups that I would have never thought of before. These groups have fostered new ways for me to develop community with others who are also looking to find light in this darkness. How have you developed community? Has it been intentional or organic? Either way is okay as everyone is going to carve a different path, to whack their way through the weeds of darkness to find their own light.
Art in Community Brings Hope
Making art in community with others is what’s helping me and it could help you, too. I invite you to join one of our Creative Break groups or start one of your own. Simply gather friends together on your favorite online platform and make art together. Remember, it’s not about the final art product, it’s about community. Your community of friends and family can become your light in the darkness. You can make a difference for each other.
“I love the Creative Art Break group! I have participated for 10 months and in this time, I have uncovered a new layer of my soul. I have tapped an inner wisdom that provides creative healing and release during challenging times of transition, grief, and complexity. I learned about various mediums, techniques and expressions and have made lasting friends. Our community of creators provide wise insight about each other’s artwork, and we provide encouragement, support and the promise that through art and community there is always hope. The antidote to isolation is this community of creation.”
– Mary G., Creative Break Participant
– Lisa Lounsbury, MA, LMFT, ATR-BC, Executive Director of Art Lab Rx, LLC