Trailhead Holistic Health Collective is hosting our next Community Night next Wednesday, August 22nd at 5:30 p.m. This one is titled Work of HeART. With the help of Sarah Byers, we are going to be using art to explore our stories and our future goals. We have chosen to use collage as our medium. So, pictures will be ready-made, you just get to mix and match them to create something special for you. As a precursor to this night of creativity, I wanted to share a small tidbit of my story.

I always enjoyed creative endeavors. I had taken a class in pottery, I had tried knitting, drawing, painting, and various other crafts. But they just never felt perfect enough. I would have an idea or an image I wanted to recreate, but it never came close to what I had in mind.

However, while I was in an intensive treatment program or my eating disorder, the art therapy room became my refuge. It was where I could start to process all the different therapies and treatments that I was working on. I started out using only art styles that I was totally in control of – pencils, pens, pastels – and I always finished my but had the same feelings as before. “Not good enough” or frustration because “that isn’t what I wanted.” It took me weeks to let go of the control and let my unconscious take over the process. I started using paints even though they would collide or smear. Paint was a medium that although I could encourage, sometimes it liked to do its own thing too. I accepted the loss control and I released the need for perfection. I can’t say that all the work is beautiful, but I was able to really start to process things that I didn’t even know I had to process. Painting became a primary form self-expression.

I learned that my art doesn’t have to be beautiful, famous, ornate, or particularly moving. It just has to be honest and true to how I am feeling at that exact moment. It is a communication for myself. No one else has to understand it, like it or appreciate it. Sometimes I hesitate to call my work ‘art’ – it is just a form of communication from my heart.