Friday, September 27, 2013
About a year ago, I was in one of my bouts of anxiety and depression. Not severe enough to warrant pharmaceuticals, and yet persistent enough to stifle me from doing the things I know I should have been doing. I became "conscious" enough for a moment to make a decision. CHOOSE A DIFFERENT RESPONSE. Do something differently. I had a large stack of magazines and I told myself, look through them, and each time you find the word "love," cut it out. Admittedly, its a lot easier to find the word "LOVE" when you look through "Oprah" magazine or even "Vanity Fair" than you will looking through "GQ" but its there. I ended up with quite a collection. Then I asked myself, "now what?" So I went back through all of the magazines and cut out pictures of flowers, balloons, candles, hearts, and other words like "happy" and "joy." Then I found a piece of poster board, grabbed some glue and set to work just putting it all out there. I worked non stop for a few hours and ended up with something that I was pretty proud of, as far as exercises in avoiding frustration go. I even had it framed. I kept the box of cut outs that were left and a few months later, I repeated the exercise. It became cathartic as well as allowing my mind to be semi-focused on a task that allowed the creativity in me to come to the surface. And thats the important part. I needed to get out of my cycle of inner monologue and be able to really hear the whispers of my own creative impulses. Its helped me quite a bit since then. And it doesn't hurt to realize that all you need to do is LOOK for "love" to find it. The last of these projects I did featured none other than Oprah Winfrey herself, along with her mantra "Live your best life." Its worth repeating.