Saturday, July 14, 2012

Safe Haven

Creativity has become, now more than ever before, my “safe haven.”  When life feels like it’s whirling out of control around me or within me, I find refuge in a creative activity, surrounded by its centering, grounding, calming and often enlightening effects.
When I was under a great deal of work pressure, finding a rare moment to get lost in the process of an art project would always provide welcome relief from stress.  In the midst of fighting my health battle, focusing on the act of creating offered a respite and provided a sense of moving forward rather than remaining stagnant in my troubles.  Even at times when I was too weak or ill to be active at a normal level, I was able to sit quietly, designing images and handcrafting my notecards. 
My treatment (fortunately, only periodic maintenance now) entails a long day at our local hospital, and I often bring along a small case with pencil, scissors and patterned papers, so I can trace and cut designs to occupy my time and my thoughts when unaccompanied.  I’ve learned it’s best to work on simpler shapes under the effects of medication!  On one occasion, I was working on my sewing themed designs, and I remember how meditative it was to quietly wrap thread around paper spools. 

A completed version of my "Spool of Thread" notecard

On another occasion, the RN who leads monthly healing arts classes at the hospital kindly brought me a basket of art supplies when my treatment happened to be scheduled on the same day as the class.  The nurses caring for me that day noticed how my blood pressure came down as soon as I began painting.  (I have a bit of a medical phobia, especially a fear of needles, so all the poking and prodding during tests and treatments typically elevates my otherwise low blood pressure!)

"Seeking Peace" started during a treatment at the hospital & finished at home

As I continue along my journey of physical and emotional healing, I’m expanding my creative “safe haven” to include art journaling and healing arts as tools for further exploration, insight and growth.  I’ll share more of this personal work in upcoming posts. 
I hope you, too, have experienced the powerfully healing, soothing and regenerating effects of creativity.  May its "safe haven" be a place where we can spend time when we need a retreat from the busyness of life, a stressful situation, an illness, fear or grief, but also, a place to visit regularly, simply for the sake of inspiration and enjoyment.   
How has creativity been a "safe haven" for you?