Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Creating a Vision – and a Vision Board – for Your Life

by Elizabeth Venart

As children, we naturally express ourselves through art, stories, and building imaginary worlds. We enjoy the process of creating.  We are all born creative beings and our lives are outward manifestations of that innate creativity. We create our lives one moment, one decision, one day at a time. When we desire change, we are acknowledging our creative potential, our power to envision and move towards a new reality. Rather than write down a checklist of tasks we think will bring about the change, why not play our way there? Through visualization, we can access our deepest desires and dreams for the future. 

A Vision Board makes the dreams more concrete, engages our playful spirit, and is usually a lot more fun than a list of “to do” items, “shoulds”, or “should nots.”  A vision board is a collection of pictures, words, and images representing all that you desire in your ideal future—from specific things like a car, vacation, and massage to symbolic images like a calm lake for serenity and a picture of two people laughing for a healthy relationship. To create your vision board, gather old magazines, scissors, posterboard, and glue—then rip out words, pictures, and images that appeal to you. The focus of your board can be very specific (my ideal relationship or my dream job) or more general (my ideal life in five years). As you place your words and images on the board, be sure to include a photo of yourself. Then, write the statement, “I deserve all this and better,” and sign and date this fabulous blueprint for your future. Hang it at eye level where you will see it daily, and you will find that your life begins to move closer to the vision you have created. To track all the miracles as they unfold, you may want to keep a journal or write positive observations and dates on the back of the board itself.  With a clear, creative vision in front of you, it is much easier to recognize evidence of the positive changes unfolding. Dream big, have fun, embrace your creative potential!

To learn more, read this article that explains the reason vision boards really do work and provides more details for how to create one [Insert link to:]

Creative Ways to Play with Movement: Creating Your Own Movement Gallery

By Brittiney George, BS, CRS, CEIM

A fun way to explore movement is to create your own Grab bag of Movement.  Start by creating a list of all of the movements or activities that you enjoy doing, add in a few activities you would like to try, and maybe even some movements you have to do but tend to avoid (I put yardwork or cleaning in this category).  Think of this list as your grab bag of activities, a way to playfully move every day.   Once you have your list, now it is time to let your creative energy flow. It can be as simple as cutting up your lists into individual slips of paper, popping them in a bag, and choosing a new slip of paper/activity each day to try.  Another option is using paint pens or markers to put your activity names on glass beads, stones, wood, whatever object you would like and choose one daily.  If you are drawn to images and color adding both to your activity ideas can help to bring energy and life to what might feel like routine movement.  You can add color, fancy fonts, or doodles around the words on your list before you cut them up or pick images you love and paste them to cardboard and make movement card decks.  Use any medium you want that makes it fun for you.  The options are endless.  Think of what inspires you, and use that energy to create your own personal Grab Bag of Movement.  Enjoy!

Using Creativity to Effectively Manage a Crisis

by Katie K. May

“We are all broken and wounded in this world.  Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.”
~Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt

Everyone has a creative side and you don’t need to be a skilled artist to engage in the arts.  There are many ways to be creative including drawing, writing, playing an instrument, dancing, designing fashion, woodworking, knitting, cooking, coloring and painting.  Using art as an outlet helps you to put your emotional energy into creativity rather than getting stuck in difficult emotions.

In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), “Creative Outlet” is a skill that is taught to help participants manage a difficult situation or intense feeling.  DBT is a skills-based approach designed to help its participants abstain from self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, act less impulsively and improve their emotions and relationships.  For individuals who struggle with safety issues like suicidal thoughts and self-harm, DBT is the recommended treatment.

DBT is about being mindful of the balance between extremes.  In the case of using Creative Outlet, this is a crisis survival skill meant to be planned and temporary.  This means it is important to mindfully take a break from the situation that is triggering extreme emotions and use your creative outlet  to cope with distress and express difficult feelings in a healthy way.

Taking a break when you are overwhelmed with emotion will help you regroup and decompress so that you can be more effective when you approach the problem. To maintain balance, it is essential that you return to and deal with the crisis once you feel more in control of your emotions.  Trying to avoid a difficult situation forever may make it worse or create more long-term problems.  

The Creative Outlet skill is part of the Distress Tolerance module in DBT.  DBT includes four different modules including Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness.  Beginning this September, Licensed Therapist, Katie K. May will offer a DBT Skills Group for High School Teens and a DBT Skills Group for young adults, ages 18 through 24.  See here [insert link to: