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.
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
Pleasure(tasty foods, warm baths, etc.)
Engagement(or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity)
Relationships (social ties have turned out to be extremely reliable indicator of happiness)
Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger)
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)
Personally I will take the 3. For me it seems that the 3 encompass just about everything else.
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.
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.