Mask Painting to Express Feelings – Wendy’s Mask

After posting pictures of one of my  mask workshops mask-painting-to-express-feelings Wendy Holcombe commented that she wished she could paint a mask (my words, not hers).  So I sent her a mask form that I use in my Therapeutic Creative Expression Workshops.

Take a look at Wendy’s post on CreateToHeal!  She painted the outside and collaged the inside.  Then take a listen to what she says about her experience and her mask.

Read her last post to really understand  Wendy Holcombe’s life. She’s remarkabe.

P.S.  You can do this exercise without an actual mask form or paint.  There’s a free tutorial and a “processing exercise” on the Tutorial page.  You’ll have to scroll down . . . it’s there.

And let me know what you did.  I’ll share it (with or without your name) to inspire others to try Therapeutic Creative Expression!

Happiness Research & Wendy

Happy Thoughts by Wendy Holcomb

For a young woman with a myriad of health issues Wendy Holcomb is one of the most spunky, positive people I’ve encountered on the blog-o-sphere. In her own words:

I have a few chronic illnesses that are a part of my life: Meniere’s Disease (this has caused severe hearing loss), Gluten Intolerance, Fructose Malabsorption, chronic migraines, Hypothyroidism, Hypoglycemia, chronic pelvic pain, Bi-Polar II Disorder and chronic hip trouble. However, I’m determined to
find a way to live an active, useful, and happy life!

How does Wendy remain so positive?  What makes us happy?  What makes us unhappy?  All the psychology research FINALLY being done on happiness (instead of despair, decay and decadence) appears to have common threads.

University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky finds that  “. . .practicing acts of kindness both random (let that harried mom go ahead of you in the checkout line) and systematic (bring Sunday supper to an elderly neighbor) triggers a cascade of positive [neurochemical] effects—it makes you feel generous and capable, gives you a greater sense of connection with others and wins you smiles, approval and reciprocated kindness—all happiness boosters.”

Psychologist Martin Seligman provides the acronym PERMA to summarize Positive Psychology’s correlational findings: Humans seem happiest when they have

  1. Pleasure (tasty foods, warm baths, etc.)
  2. Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity)
  3. Relationships (social ties have turned out to be extremely reliable indicator of happiness)
  4. Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger)
  5. Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals).

There is also a growing body of evidence that correlates “contentment” with just three things:

  • A sense of belonging (a community, faith group, family)
  • The ability to contribute artistically (self-expression in any form)
  • Service (to others).
Personally I will take the 3.  For me it seems that the 3 encompass just about everything else. 

What do you think?

Check out Wendy’s blogs:

CreatetoHeal    PicnicWithAnts   WendyCooks (gluten free recipes)

Mr Notgoodenuf Shows His Face

Mr Notgoodenuf

Bloodshot eyes, green nose

Don’t let him step on your toes 

It hurts, heaven knows

On the tutorial page (which I will be redoing to make it more “user friendly”) there is an exercise on drawing your own inner critic.  Here’s a fantabulous picture that Wendy Holcomb drew of her inner critic, Mr Notgoodenuf, which I “stole” from her blog . . .CreateToHeal

Wendy has Meniere’s Disease (among many other things) and is having major surgery to help her vertigo GO. It’s on December 1st.  She had the same surgery on her other ear and it helped so keep your toes crossed.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for

a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

Read about Meniere’s Disease, Wendy and her upcoming surgery on

Picnic with Ants.

P.S. To Wendy:  Don’t do Mr Goodenough in!  He might be there to help you but he’s just been doing it in the wrong way.  Talk to him and let him know how he can be helpful and maybe he’ll change his name!  I see it happening every day!  Anyone that colorful has potential.