Using Creativity to Overcome Depression

IMG_0435 Its been a hard week. There has been a transition of the seasons from summer to fall and the school work is starting to pile up. Yesterday depression hit me especially hard. I felt like I couldn’t get up and get out of bed that morning. Being at work that day and feeling really depressed was tough. For those of you that know me I was diagnosed with depression back in 2006 after a major bout with it. Since then I have only had one other major bout in 2009 and have been recovering ever since.  Living with depression isn’t easy. Some people don’t understand you just can snap out of it. It’s more than just the blues. It’s like a thick heavy bleak and dark weight that darkens all your days. Depression robs people of their drive, their passion and sometimes their will to live. Some find it hard to hold down a job or even get out of bed. By the grace of God I am able to hold down a part time job and go to school part time. This doesn’t come with out its frustrations and battles though. I often don’t feel like going to work or working on my school work. I’ve often had to hand some assignments in late or I go a week without picking up my guitar and practicing it (I’m in music school) Most teachers are very understanding of my situation and I haven’t really failed many classes (I failed chapel worship team of all classes!) LIfe is lived one day at a time and one moment at a time. I’ve got to remember this if I want to get through this semester. The above picture is of some art I made today. It’s a picture of my sister that I mounted on pretty paper. Last year for Christmas I gave her a scrap book with many pages of pictures of her that I decorated. So this page is an addition to her scrap book. I feel that creativity has a major impact on depression. Julia Cameron says “The next time you are depressed, I ask you to experiment: Make something, anything– a cake, curtains, a poem…and see if your mood lifts.” This has been happening to me as I focus my attention on making a scrap book page for my sister. Creativity heals. I plan to be taking small steps each day to create even just small simple things. All the best and happy creating!

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Aching to Create and to Express Myself

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It has been quite a busy and full summer. I played shows around the city (Vancouver) and went to China for 3 weeks. You could say on the outside I’ve lived a fulfilling summer. There is still more. MORE. More waiting for me to tap into and live.

Life can get so cluttered sometimes. Its hard to just stop and to listen. Listen to the inspiration all around. Often I experience this yearning to create, this longing and this pull. The pull is strong and its almost an urge. I long to inspire, to become and to flourish. I long to be the woman I was created to be. With this urge and desire come a resistance. I resist picking up my guitar and writing a song, going to the easel and painting etc. It’s this resistance that we must face. We need to take a deep breath and show up at the page, the studio, the piano etc.

can’t begin to explain the feeling I feel when I’m in the zone creating. Its exhilarating! We must all surpass the force that stops us from moving forward in creativity. Happy creating everyone!

Why I Love to Travel and How I Believe it Can Make You More Creative

This summer I will be heading over to China to volunteer at an orphanage just south of Bejing. After the the the 2 weeks at the orphanage I will be spending sometime doing solo traveling in Bejing. I plan to travel around the city and plan to do a day or overnight excursion to the Great Wall. I have been planning this trip for 2 years now. Finally it is coming to pass. My flight has been booked for the 25th of July. I go for 20 days until the middle of August. I am fast looking forward to this trip.

       I am a girl who loves travel and I love adventure. I often find myself daydreaming about setting off on a plane to an exciting destination. I have been on 2 major trips in my life time I went to Australia in 2005 and England in 2010. I believe it is good and wonderful to have a healthy curiosity about the world in which we live in. At 28 years of age I am ready to taste and see more of the world. I believe this China trip is a gateway into that. Here are some reasons why I love travel and how I feel it can make you more creative;

1. You get to go to a new place you’ve never been before, you get out of your comfort zone and meet cool and interesting people

2. You do things you normally wouldn’t do at home – I went bungee jumping in Australia

3 Meeting people- You meet so many cool and interesting people and make life long memories that you’ll never forget – When I was on the Isle of Wight in England I met a French guy name Anthony. I hardly knew french and he hardly new English yet we bonded over sightseeing, taking random buses and wine on the beach. I was charmed when he gave me kisses on the cheek when we parted ways. I’ll never forget the adventure of that day.

4. You get experiences in which to write stories and songs about and scenes in your mind to draw, paint and sketch, travel makes the mind sharper and your senses more alive

5. You have an adventure of a lifetime and make memories and stories that you can pass on to your friends, family, children and everyone you meet

 

      There are many more reasons to travel than the ones I have listed above. I’m not sure at the moment what the future will hold for me. I plan to strike out and do more solo travel. I am aware that I could meet someone and get married at some point. In that case I would love my future partner to share my love of travel. I would love for us to travel and see the world together. I can’t deny the passion that I have to travel. I know fate has a way of bringing the right people into your life at the right moment. So whether the future holds solo travel or traveling with a special someone we’ll see.

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Myself with Anthony the French guy I met (on my right) and the people we met from Poland – awesome memory!

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                                 A beautiful field of daisies on the Isle of Wight in England

Celebrate Your Past Creative Successes

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The reason people give up and get frustrated sometimes is because we are focusing on what we don’t have and how far we have yet to go in life. We don’t take the time to look a what we HAVE done. It’s a rainy day here in North Vancouver and I have been feeling discouraged. Discouraged that I’m not the accomplished flourishing musician I want to be and discouraged that I’m low on money and not able to go to dance class this week. Yes dear friends I have my down days. And if we are all honest let’s admit that we all have our down days especially when it comes to living a creative life. So writing this post is a way that I can overcome the dampness and discouragement that I am feeling right now. I want to invite you to try this exercise with me.  Get a pen and a piece of paper and write the numbers 1 to 10. List your past creative accomplishments. If you are not pursuing something creative in your life then just list any accomplishment. It doesn’t have to to be big. It can be something as simple as “I washed the dishes today.” Here’s my list to remind me how far I’ve come. I can remember these moments and when a dark day creeps up on me I can remember the good times.

Kara’s  Creative Accomplishments;

1. My CD release show at the Leaping Calf Cafe- 50-60 people in attendance a great night of music and celebration of me releasing my EP “Free Child.”

2 My Art and Music show at the Toast Collective-Several Friends and Family showed up. I got to hang up all my paintings and play music. Felt I was inspiring and up lifting people with my art.

3.Busking on the street in North Vancouver and Vancouver and overcoming my fear of getting out there.

4. Being a part of the North Shore Art Crawl and having an art show in my apartment.

5. Turning part of my apartment into an art studio

6. Getting this website up and running and my dance journey website as well.

7. completing almost 2 years of music school

8. playing several music shows around the Vancouver area

9.  Writing songs and getting them recorded and produced and releasing an EP.

10. attending art classes at Emily Carr.

How about you? Make your creative accomplishment list. Maybe its a list of smaller things. Sometimes the small everyday actions that can mean a lot more than the bigger milestones.

Here’s example of some small actions that I am happy I did in the past week

1 washing my dishes

2 getting up and listening to some inspirational teaching while doing exercise

3 buying myself a tu tu and a night dress to turn into a ballet costume

4 visiting my grandma and having her make my dance costume

5 cleaning my hamster’s cage

6. Visiting with my friend Jessica and her daughter

7. Writing these lists

8. practicing my guitar last night

9. buying my neighbour some flowers

10. working on my blogs.

I wish you a day and week of happy creating and remember to celebrate the small things and your progress. Don’t look at how far you have to go and get discouraged. Look at how far you’ve come!