“You must cultivate activities that you love. You must discover work that you do, not for its utility, but for itself, whether it succeeds or not, whether you are praised for it or not, whether you are loved and rewarded for it or not, whether people know about it and are grateful to you for it or not. How many activities can you count in your life that you engage in simply because they delight you and grip your soul? Find them out, cultivate them, for they are your passport to freedom and to love.” ― Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love
Is there something that you do where you completely lose yourself? A place where you can find your peace and where time can pass so quickly before you even notice? This is called your flow. Where you are simply taken. I have always been creative, always drawn, coloured or painted, as a child I would attend art classes where I felt completely lost in the creating of things. I had a passion to learn and spent hours perfecting my drawings of Garfield and Odie…. (Yes, I am old enough!) I found my flow. This love of colour has never left me even in the darkest days of addiction, depression or anxiety. I would use art to nurture that little, blond haired child within and express myself through visual imagery, which had symbolic meaning.
8 years ago was the darkest part of my life, struggling with the death of my dad and the subsequent struggles afterwards, I found myself hopeless. In the darkest part of my life, I failed to see what a wonderful life I had and desperately sought a way out of such pain. ‘If I just drove my car into this bridge, It would all stop’. Thankfully it was a passing thought. I told someone I trusted and was catapulted into a time where life HAD to change.
The way I was dealing (or not dealing) with things HAD to change. It wasn’t working. It started with being signed off work. So what did I do? for 3 months I did very little but create, find my flow and gave myself time to heal. After those 3 months I started on my personal development journey. I started to look at healthy & unhealthy triangles within my life, boundaries, values and words such as congruence! I realised that I had woke up! I was so deep into the rabbit hole that I hardly recognised the person I had become.
But what a wonderful journey back to health, I call it emotional sobriety. Creativity has always played a part in my life and now in my recovery. I have held creative workshops where people, like me, just want the opportunity to create, to lose themselves. It is my ‘go to’ therapy. For me I need to express myself and make my mark. In my home I have surrounded myself with my own artwork. I’ve added colour to each room as a sign of gratitude for the colour I have in my life today.
In visualisation they ask you to imagine the video of your life in black and white, then shrink this image and replace the image with a full colour film the life you want in colour. Today I have full colour in my life today. Each day I wake up I grab my creativity and get cracking on the day. Some days I forget where Ive left my colours and need to search deep for them to find my flow, but I find it. I surround myself with people who bring colour into my life and I hope I bring colour to there’s.
Today I cultivate activities that delight me and grip my soul and my aim in becoming a wellbeing coach is to help others to find the activities that delight them too!
Find your flow! There is no going back!