Thursday, April 1, 2010

Craft as Therapy

Have you ever used your love of handcrafts, art, painting, sewing, or knitting as a distraction from a life problem? Sometimes I think that craft keeps me sane. When I am nervous, sitting down to rhythmically knit a simple scarf ratchets down my blood pressure and uplifts my mood! When I am missing my kids, who have done exactly what they were supposed to do---grow up and fly the coop---I put my maternal energy into a large, complicated project like a huge patchwork quilt top. It gives me something fun to do and that is therapeutic.

As a teacher of art and craft, I often hear conversations floating around my studio that have nothing to do with the task at hand. It seems that when women gather to be creative, our hearts open up and we speak our truth. We bounce ideas off of one another. We vent a little confusion about how folks behave, or misbehave. Sometimes we cry because we trust that we will be comforted. If I think of therapy as talking to a caring person who helps me understand my concerns and devise new ways to seek happiness, then I would say that being involved in a craft community is absolutely therapeutic! It is also helpful to be creative and quietly alone, as it helps me to be present with my thoughts. Concentrating on the creation in my hands, in the present moment, the problems of the world disappear as I valiantly work to get my patchwork seams to match properly.

Do you find your creative life to be healing, hopeful, and a part of your coping skills? I would love to hear about it!

1 comment:

janebean said...

Hi Georgianne, I work with mums of young children. They come to my classes for 'me time' and their children are looked after in a creche in the same children's centre we work in. I don't like to pry, but I think a few of them are single parents, but even if they are not on their own, with husbands working long hours or away from home, they are often on their own most of the time with demanding children. One of these lovely ladies said the other week that she was absolutely loving stitching her projects. She put the children to bed, sat on her bed watching her favourite programme on iplayer and stitched.....creating a beautiful quilt for her son or cushions for her daughters, not cooking or cleaning but creating in a moment of time that can be measured. She made my day and ticked all my learning outcomes for the course! It's also one reason that I stitch and create. It is such therapy....x