Arts and crafts for the soul


Good morning to y’all!

Forgive me if my Southern influence is showing, I just finished a novel set in rural Texas!  I know the Texan drawl is not the same as the one found in the Palmetto State (where I went to school), but “y’all” translates, right?

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about art and about how creating art can be soothing and inspiring.  (Looking at beauty helps, too!)

Have you heard about the adult coloring craze?  If you go to a bookstore these days, you’ll see shelves of sophisticated adult coloring books and cute boxes of colored pencils to go with them.  I even heard on the radio last week that there was a national shortage of colored pencils!

Lots of adults are coloring for stress relief, because the focus it takes to color in between the lines and harmonize shades takes effort.  It allows your mind to only focus on the art, and let the other 101 things you’ve been worrying about float away for a while.

Besides just coloring to give your mind a break from daily stress, I wanted to share some other simple craft ideas that have a little more intention and meaning.

Vision boards

You can make one out of pretty much any supplies you have – paper, a canvas, material or a picture frame.  (Of course, it can be fun to head to the craft store if you’re into that!)

The important thing is that you first decide what you want.

And by that I mean, what do you want for your life?  Here’s where you have to do some thinking with your heart.  Yes, everyone wants money and health (I think), but go beyond that and get specific. Do you dream of going to school?  How about traveling?  Finding true love?  Starting your own business?

Think about your ideal life with no wet blanket reality checks.  Think about the unique things that make you smile and feel uplifted.  Those are the kind of things to put on your board in words, pictures or symbols.  And, yes, you can have more than one board!

After you create the board, you need to put it somewhere you’ll see it everyday.  Each day, take 30 seconds or so to look at it, and wish for your heart’s content.  Psychologist say that if you focus on what you want, your brain will go to work finding it for you.  As in seek and you shall find.

It’s supposed to be very powerful, and so be careful to envision things that are true to your heart and spirit, because there’s a very good chance you’ll find it!

Next up, Prayer Boxes

I just learned about prayer boxes and it sounded so simple and moving and powerful that I wanted to scream it from the rooftops!

Start with a box, jar, canister, whatever!  Each day or week, whenever the spirit moves you, write your prayer to God or the universe and put your paper in the box.  (And, yes, I think it would be really fun and satisfying to decorate the box.)

If it’s a positive prayer or intention, then revel in the fact that you’ve put it out there to the powers that be.

If it’s a plea for help, let the stress go a bit for the same reason.  You’ve asked for help or healing or guidance and put your words into the physical and spiritual world.  Give up the burden for a while and let nature take its course.

Now comes the hardest part…

Trust your heart and the universe to bring you what you need.  Understand that gifts may be unexpected, out of the blue or down right wacky.  It requires you to keep an open mind.  We think we know how the world works, how humans work, etc. But, it seems like there are always forces beyond our control and knowledge out there.  Do your best to hold a little space in your heart for the amazing and impossible to come to you.

At the very best, your openness will draw good things to you.  At the very least, you’ll have a nice little heart oasis to sustain you day in and day out, no matter what happens.

On a personal note, I’ve read a lot about hope and resilience.  People who have these gifts just keeping moving forward in life, no matter what stumbling blocks they have to cross.  It means never giving up on the big picture.  

Yes, things will go wrong.  Yes, there will be days when we might need to curl up in bed and cry. However, it means that after we grieve, heal, release the stress or whatever, we know that we can still keep going.

Here’s wishing you happiness, wildly amazing dreams, and the resilience to believe in the best and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  XOXO!



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