Morning Discovery

October 29, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, Doodleaday Challenge, inner muse, poetry

#DoodleADay challenge Day 29

#DoodleADay challenge at ArtTherapist.ca day 29

 

A few words about this morning’s doodle:

Rock froms mountain, and there she appears

resting quietly, gently reminding me of her presence

She was not expected

always welcome

waking

 

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

 

Breaking Out of Old Patterns

October 27, 2014 in art journaling, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge

 #DoodleADay Challenge Day 27

 

#DoodleADay Challenge day 27

 

After doodling for 27 days repeated patterns emerge in many of my doodles. Each time I doodle I have opportunity to observe them. Not just in my symbology of images, shapes and visual metaphors used, but also in the way that I approach the doodle.    I notice where I lean toward a certain style and my comfort level and have opportunity to shift this by trying new things.
Even when judgement mind steps in, the swiftness of the doodle allows me to bypass any blocks that might otherwise slows down and take me in a different direction.
If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Self-Exploration via the Doodle

October 20, 2014 in art journaling, art therapy, creative tools, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge, expressive arts, inner wisdom

Day  20 #DoodleADay Challenge:

#DoodleADay challenge Day 20

Let’s talk about our doodles shall we? As I have mentioned before doodles can be fun, mindful, releasing, self-expressive, meditative, relaxing, and focusing.  Doodles can also be a passageway into self-exploration if you are willing to go that route.  After 20 days of doodling you will have enough doodles done to be able to begin to recognize any repeated themes, symbols, or styles which may be unique to you.  One quick way to do this is to give each doodle a title: look at your doodle and write the first title that comes to mind, it can be one word or a sentence, just don’t labour over it too much, it is meant to be as spontaneous a response as your doodle was.

If you want to go deeper with your doodle, (and yes it is possible) by focusing on the self-expression part of your doodle,  free write about your doodle either right after making it or you can start now and write about each doodle you have done so far. Write whatever comes to mind, describing what you  see figuratively in the doodle and or what it reminds you of.  After writing non-stop this way without worrying about grammar or spelling,  you can  then reflect on any metaphors or symbolism you notice in your written response.

  • What meaning does this have for you at this point in time of your life?
  • What message(s) is your subconscious trying to convey?
  • What is the overall feeling of your doodles?

Don’t worry if you don’t like the message, the best ones are the ones we don’t like because they urge us to grow and embrace change.  In the same vein, don’t worry if you can’t see anything profound, it is just a doodle after all and the process itself has so many benefits.

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Remember to Play

October 19, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge, inner wisdom, mindfulness

 

Day 19 #DoodleADay Challenge:

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that in order to give something our time it has to be “important” and have greater meaning, in the eyes’ of others. The original intention of just connecting with one’s own creativity may become lost when we begin to compare what we do to what or how others “do it”.

If one subscribes to the thought that creating or “just” playing around with making a doodle, drawing, or other creative playful endeavour has no value, then what motivation is there? But what are we without play, without our creativity? We can become robots, out of touch with our emotions and disconnected from what it means to be human. Playing reminds us of this: that our creativity is worth more than the products it produces. Our creativity links us with our one-of-a-kindness. Always remember to make space for play regularly. Another task easily met by the profound-in-its-simplness doodle.

 

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 19  Play Play Play!

 

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Expressive Doodling Day 10

October 10, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge, inner wisdom

Here’s My #DoodleADay for today:

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 10 at ArtTherapist.ca unfinished

 
 

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 10 at ArtTherapist.ca  Completed

 
 

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 10 at ArtTherapist.ca close-up<
 
 
#DoodleADay Challenge Day 10 at ArtTherapist.ca  close-up 2

 
 
#DoodleADay Challenge Day 10 at ArtTherapist.ca Close-up 3
 
 
#DoodleADay Challenge Day 10 at ArtTherapist.ca  Close-up 4
 
 
Why join this doodle a day challenge? You can read my post on 10 reasons to doodle here if you need some motivation.

The #DoodleADay challenge:  (for more details see my first post Doodle a Day Challenge)

Everyday for the month of October, I will make a doodle and you are invited to join me.  It can be as simple as black ink on white paper or white ink on black or coloured paper or you can do a line doodle and colour it in. It’s up to you. Work on it as little or as much as you want, but make sure you finish each doodle.

An optional part of the doodle challenge:

For those of you who would like to use the doodles for self exploration you can take it a step further by free writing about your doodle after making it. Describe what you  see and then reflect on any metaphors or symbols you notice on your written response.

Follow the Challenge and Share your #DoodleADay Journey!

I will be posting my doodle each day on the ArtTherapist.ca blog and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to join in, you can share a link of your doodle from your blog or Facebook page over at https://www.facebook.com/arttherapist.ca or post it on  Twitter tagging @drawingselfout with #DoodleADay or Instagram with  #DoodleADay and tag @petreaadamidis

 Looking forward to sharing doodles with you!

10 Reasons to Doodle

October 6, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge, inner wisdom, mindfulness, self-care

 

Doodle A Day Challenge Day 6

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 6 at ArtTherapist.ca

As the #DoodleADay challenge continues you may be wondering to yourself “Why doodle?”

In case you are still undecided about whether to join in with this doodling challenge, or perhaps you are needing some motivation to keep it up, here are a few reasons I have compiled off the top of my head:

10 reasons to doodle:

  1. It’s quick.
  2. It can be spontaneous; no planning necessary.
  3. Minimal materials needed; just use a pen or pencil and whatever paper is in front of you.
  4. Since doodles are spontaneous, it’s a great opportunity to connect with your intuition and “see” what’s on your mind.
  5. You can do it while doing other things like during meetings, in class and so on. Which means it’s easy to fit some creative time in during your day.
  6. It can be used as a meditative practice.
  7. It’s a great way to release tension after a long day.
  8. Doodling can help you process information a different way, visualizing your ideas.
  9. From a self-exploration perspective. I believe doodles are a an easy and fairly quick way to access “unconscious” material and inner wisdom. The spontaneous nature of doodles tend to bypass censors and thus are more likely to access unconscious material since you are just doodling after all.
  10. It’s fun for heaven’s sake!

If you’re not convinced. Why not give it a try? Do a doodle a day for a week (and continue for the month of October if you like).  If you want to test out the extended benefits of doodling that I mention in number 4 and  9, then after each doodle take some time to free write: basically writing what comes to mind when you look at your doodle without worrying about grammar or spelling and not censoring what you write. Or tell a story about your doodle and see if there are any messages from this that serve you.

#DoodleADay Challenge Collage Week1 at ArtTherapist.ca

The #DoodleADay challenge:  

Everyday for the month of October, I will make a doodle and you are invited to join me.  It can be as simple as black ink on white paper or white ink on black or coloured paper or you can do a line doodle and colour it in. It’s up to you. Work on it as little or as much as you want, but make sure you finish each doodle.

An optional part of the doodle challenge:

For those of you who would like to use the doodles for self exploration you can take it a step further by free writing about your doodle after making it. Describe what you  see and then reflect on any metaphors or symbols you notice on your written response.

Follow the Challenge and Share your #DoodleADay Journey!

I will be posting my doodle each day on the ArtTherapist.ca blog and sharing it on Facebook Twitter and Instagram. If you would like to join in, you can share a link of your doodle from your blog or Facebook page over at https://www.facebook.com/arttherapist.ca or post it on  Twitter tagging @drawingselfout with #DoodleADay or Instagram with  #DoodleADay and tag @petreaadamidis

 Looking forward to sharing doodles with you!

Getting Past Creative Road Blocks

August 17, 2014 in creative tools, creativity, inner critic, inner muse, inner wisdom, self-care, Self-Love

IMG_5163

 

These past weeks my family and I have been doing a lot of cycling together. While not unusual for me to cycle a lot – I began cycling again as an adult in my late twenties I tend to stick to my comfort zone in the way that I ride. For example, my kids and my husband have a knack for cycling hands free. I’d watch enviously and wish that I could, not believing I could. I even told myself that perhaps it was a “guy thing” the way they could balance themselves so well on the bike without holding on to the handlebars (like how there are certain yoga poses I can hold that they struggle with). But I wanted to be able to do be hands free in the same way with the same ease that they had.

So I pretended to try: I took one hand off of the handle, while of course hanging on with the other hand.  What if I lose my balance whispered my scared thoughts.  What if I crash?  What if I fall down? What if…….? And as the “what ifs” piled up, I lost the courage to really try.

Perhaps here is the other problem, the notion of “trying” instead of just doing.  All too often I have noticed myself and others get caught in the “try” trap.  Trying implies that there is a chance it may not happen. Trying means you are thinking about it instead of doing it.  I will try to fit in more time for myself, I will try to work on my painting. I will try to try and do something . . . 

Then on our way back after a long ride my youngest said to me “try riding with in hands mommy” and without thinking I let go of the handle bar and lo and behold I was able to ride steadily without holding on.

Let’s take a look at what had to happen for this to take place:

  • I ignored that voice inside that said I couldn’t do it
  • I acted before I could think too much about it
  • I gave up the notion of “trying” and just did it.
  • I took a chance.
  • I listened to the voice inside that said “you can do it!”

The next day when we were out riding again. I tried and had some difficulty doing it because my mind kept telling me I was going to fall.  So the other thing that holds us back is our patterns.  We often behave in habitual ways.  Daily routines of brushing teeth, showering etc. come easy to most of us because we have established these as daily routines.  Taking care of our physical selves in these ways is somehow a given.  Taking care of our emotional selves sometimes is not something as ingrained in us. It is a habit we must establish first.

Having a sustainable creative practice doesn’t just happen.  We need to do several things to make it happen.  We need to break old patterns or ways of doing things to make room for new ways. Here’s how:

1. Retrain our brain against the “I’can’ts” and “what ifs”.  To do this we must find reasons or ourselves as to why creative practice is important. You may find it helpful to make a list of your important and motivating reasons. For me this includes:

  • for release of stress
  • for inner expression
  • for connection with my creative side (which enhances the other things I do).
  • for peace of mind.

2.  Establish a set routine.

  • Sometimes it helps to schedule this in after or before other parts of your day that are already set routines.
  • Build it in to your day in a predictable way.

3. Make sure it is realistic.

  • There is no sense in scheduling something in that you know you can’t do or sustain.
  • It’s better to have some creative time once a week than not at all.
  • It’s better to create a little bit every day rather than not at all because you schedule too much or too big of a chunk of time in one day.

4.  Stick to the plan (doing not trying).

  • Set reminders on your phone or computer if need be.
  • Let others know of your “appointment” with your creative self so that you wont be interrupted or the time won’t be allotted for something else.

5.  Repeat from number 1 when needed.

 

So now that you have read this, it’s time to implement it.  Don’t wait, just act now.

 

If you need some support getting your creative practice going, join me online or in person for Art Journaling or Intuitive Painting.  Click below to find out more!

 21 secrets SpringVJJ 300squarePWYM2014Toronto

Affirmations for Self

June 2, 2014 in art therapy, creative tools, inner critic, inner wisdom, inspiration, self-care, Self-Love

 

 

photo[8]

 

The other day I was talking with a social worker friend and colleague about affirmations and how useful they can be. It may sound kind of hokey or cliche but they actually can work. It’s not just about focusing on the positive but rather it’s about replacing scripts that don’t serve you. When you hear that inner critic berate you for a mistake or question a decision or judge an interaction negatively, affirmations can help you focus on the messages you need to hear to move forward and offer your best to the world.

One of the things that affirmations do well is bring out your best. They do this by counteracting messages that hold you back with messages that encourage you to believe in yourself. Make no mistake, affirmations can be very powerful when used correctly.

How to use affirmations that make a difference:

First and foremost make your own! Affirmations really work best when they are written specifically for you in response to common discouraging messages or scripts you may tell yourself.

They need to speak to you. While standard affirmations that you may find may help, they need to be ones that resonate with you. If you are not writing your own, or simply find one that you like, make sure it is one that really feels good not just “looks” good.

Add a visual element to really personalize them (says the art therapist). Symbols can be powerful reminders that cue us to the feeling we wish to have and thought we want to focus on. By taking your affirmation and adding a visual symbol or even just a design around the word or words, it will register in your brain quicker give many of us are strong visual learners.

 

Self Affirmation Project:

 

  • Write down some of the messages or scripts which you’d like to get rid of.

 

  • Write a counter message using positive language (not using “nots”, writing what your strengths are not what they are not). For example if your inner critic says “You’re a looser!” rather than write “I am not a looser” you might write “I am perfect in my imperfections” or “I am worthy”.

 

  • Copy this onto one side of a cue card, use gesso on a playing card or old business card.

 

  • Sit with this affirmation, closing your eyes and repeating it, allowing whatever affirming visuals come to mind, whether its is colours, shapes or symbols.

 

  • Draw or paint your symbol or colour that matches your affirmation on the other side.

 

  • Do one for each negative/inner critic script which you would like to replace.

 

  • Carry this with you wherever you go so that you can access these messages when you need to. Business card size fits perfectly in your wallet.

 

  • Make some extras and spread them around your house, hiding them in boxes or drawers or openly on mirrors that you frequent so that you have daily reminders to focus on your strengths and worthiness!

 

If you need some support getting your creative practice going, join me online or in person for Art Journaling or Intuitive Painting.  Click below to find out more!

 21 secrets SpringVJJ 300squarePWYM2014Toronto

I create therefore I am: The Importance of Creativity

February 8, 2014 in art therapy, creativity, expressive arts, inner muse, inner wisdom

 

 IMG_4026

 

Creativity is at the core of our humanity.

It allows us to express our inner most feelings no mater how scary, seemingly destructive or negative, in safe and satisfying ways. It allows us to celebrate our being both in beauty and so-called “mess”.

 

When we create, we connect with our inner knowing effortlessly. Our expression of self actively captured in the process and symbolically represented  in the end result.  A testimony to the complexity of who we are.

 

The beauty of self-expression through art making is that deeper layers can be expressed than we may consciously be able to express otherwise. The image speaking for us in ways that words have escaped us.

 

The process of expression through art making has a transformative nature. We are not just talking about who we are, what we are experiencing or what we wish to accomplish, but rather through the art we begin the process of change as we reflect simultaneously on our art its meaning, its movement. We see glimpses parts of self both consciously and unconsciously and as a result can begin to assimilate parts that need to be. We can rectify inner conflict through an acceptance of those parts which we may have been struggling with.

 

As an art therapist I witness this on a regular basis, both with my clients, workshop participants, and within my own creative process.  Shift happens.  Sometimes it helps us articulate those feelings about experiences that we’ve had.  Sometimes it is enough to just express it through the art.

 

Whether you art journal, paint, dance, or make music, whatever art form is your choice of expression can take you to this place of creative connection that is at the core of our human-ness.

 

What form of creative expression connects you to Self?

 

Circle of Art

February 7, 2014 in art journaling, Circle of Art Prompt

 

Today and every Friday, I invite you to join me in creating a response to the quotes I post, using the arts: visual arts, photography, music or song, dance (video please!) prose or poetry, it’s your choice.

Seed inside

I will be sharing a quote here weekly and inviting a response from others to the quote in the form of visual art, photography, poetry, dance, music, (video)- whatever art form you would like to express through. You will have the opportunity to share directly on ArtTherapist.ca or through a link up to your blog or site if you have an online presence.  You are welcome to share your links to your responses below on your blog or if you wish, join us over at the Virtual Art Circle and share them there.  If you are not already a part of the Virtual Art Circle on Facebook and would like to be, just follow the link and request to join and I will add you.

To share a link please put a direct link to the post your prompt response is in, all other links will be removed.

Early Bird Registration for the next round of Painting With Your Muse now OPEN!
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