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Create something. Anything! Monday September 9, 2013

My local council offers an award winning, exceptional (and free) programme as a new pathway for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It is called Creative Alternatives and at the discretion of one's doctor, therapist or other professional it is possible to be referred for this 'prescription', this medicine. It consists of small workshops scattered about the area that explore different creative activities.

This holistic approach is run by artists and art therapists, all of whom have an intimate understanding of how self-expression and creativity can be hugely therapeutic and soothing; they know it can heal wounds that can't be seen.

I have realised for some years now that when I fail to make time, even just a little time, for creativity, something inside shrivels up and dies. There is something innately spiritual, I feel, in making, planting, growing, baking and creating. So why oh why do I all too often fail to make the time, feeling that there are 'more important' tasks to be accomplished, when actually, creativity keeps me well?

In his energetic and witty book, 'Through the eye of a needle', John-Paul Flintoff (what a delightful mind he has), inspires us to see for ourselves just how much happier creating things can make us.

Whatever you may feel like creating, even if just a hearty, homemade soup, an origami butterfly or a cartoon doodle, the key is not to procrastinate. James Russell Lowell wisely said: "In creating, the only hard thing is to begin; a grass-blade is no easier to make than an oak."

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 8:45am

Love this Suzy. Funnily enough, I'm sending something to Caroline today (that I wrote last night) about valuing creativity. Co-incidence or something in the air?

The Entertrainer Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 9:41am

Therapeutic Poetry:
The open loops of my life’s lines
Seem far more bearable when I take out the time
To create some art and add some rhyme
To this otherwise, monotonous, life of mine.

Arjay Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 11:19am

I'd like to know which local council provides this service please.

Anonymous Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 4:37pm

Good blog, Suzy. My thoughts are that we can add creativity to ANY activity and blend it in. Anything fresh or new touches that creative part of us. This separates the expression of creativity from having something to show others from the effort.
For example, do what we feel compelled to do, but weak it slightly (creatively?). I make task or to do lists. I have about 8 or 9 ways I do these, when one feels overfull, or I need to begin with a "fresh slate" I switch methods. Or I build on it to learn something new, like when I needed to learn PowerPoint. I kept my task list on PPT, and each day or so would experiment with adding something or a feature.
Here are a few other examples: if you are left-handed, eat breakfast with your right hand. Look up an appropriate quote and put it at the head or bottom of a memo. Read through a draft email and put key information in a different font or color. Proofread a document from the bottom to the top; or middle up, then middle down. Move your watch to the other arm. Instead of a "coffee break" take a restful quiet break in a corner where you won't be disturbed. Sidestep or skip around your house. ... hum or sing a personal soundtrack that fits your moods. And on and on.

Anonymous Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 6:52pm

Write, sing, dance. Everyday.

SANDRO RICARDO DA CUNHA MORAES Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 7:32pm

Já dizia o poeta "a ociosidade é a oficina dos maus pensamentos e do diabo". Ocupe-se com atividades prazerosas que você será mais feliz!!!

Suzy Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 9:09pm

Well Mary Blackhurst Hill, I hope very much that we see your post soonly. I love everything you write! I really do. And creativity is so important to our emotional/mental wellbeing I believe. I love the poetry and comments below too. :o)

Suzy Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 9:12pm

Yes Arjay, I live Liverpool and the Council I speak of is Sefton.

learning2float Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 10:51pm

I wish we had that service. The only mental health art workshop I went to was just patronising - I don't need to decorate a paper bag like a toddler, when I can crochet a shawl, spin my own yarn, make my own jewellery and collage with fabric and thread.

Anonymous Mon, Sep 9th 2013 @ 11:00pm

Get Started!

Simple & Powerful...

Christine Tue, Sep 10th 2013 @ 10:58am

Eu li o que você escrever com o aumento do temor. A poesia de sua linguagem é bonita.

Anonymous Wed, Sep 11th 2013 @ 8:46pm

I think you could be teaching the classes, never-mind just attending them! Well done you. I love your title too. I need to learn to 'float' more.

Anonymous Sat, Sep 14th 2013 @ 12:46pm

Thanks for this entry.

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