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A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

If your life basket spilled out upon the ground, what would it say about your passions and your life? What do you see in this picture? Could you pick out the person from a group by looking at this picture? If you had to create a life picnic moment, what would be in your basket? IMG_0721

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Do You Know What I Know?

December is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month for Creative Tidal Wave. I have been asked why I chose to feature this and my reason for doing so this particular month. There are many reasons, both personal and business wise. I found during the holidays often folks show their best side but will quickly in the shadows turn and unleash upon victims. It is difficult for emotional abusers, narcissists, and bully types to maintain their “charming” disposition during the holidays without a means of releasing their torment to regain their balance. Also, I wanted people to start a new year with new awareness in hopes to start identifying and getting help for family and friends who might be victims. Abusers need to be identified as well so they, too, can seek help.

Do you know what I know? Well, I do know some ways you can stop the chaos in your head from being a victim of emotional abuse. First though, please seek professional help from a counselor or a life coach. The process towards healing can move faster with professional help.

When the inner voices of your tormentor/abuser play in your head, take a moment to rethink. You are now aware that the things they said to you were to control you and to take your inner power away from you. You know you are not those terrible things. Rewrite the words into a positive. “You are so ugly, no one will ever marry you,” to “I am beautiful both inside and out with a heart full of love and compassion. I will find the person of my dreams someday.” The power of positive thinking is magical.

You did not ask to be abused. This person came into your life by no fault of your own. Now you can chose to move on and consider this a learning experience on how to recognize the words which cause pain. We cannot chose our parents, coworkers, bosses, and family members. Sometimes our friends and significant others change after they have gained our trust. It is okay to walk away. Hard it maybe, but necessary to gain your life and health  back. Change your path’s course. Be brave and take a hike to freedom. 

After you dismiss the abusers from your life, I know it is hard, set boundaries. They will try to win you back over. DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR CHARMING WAYS! You do not need to travel back down their path, rarely do they change.

It’s YOU time!! Rediscover old hobbies. Take time to rediscover you. Emotional abusers instill fear as a means of control. Go out and face your fears, try something new. Healing comes the more time you focus on rebuilding your self esteem and empower yourself. Trying new things! Let out old emotions and illogical fears embedded in your mind by the abuser via the arts. Dance out your anger! Paint out your frustrations! Write a poem about the empowered you. Write a book. Sing songs of happiness and write some about your sadness. Hey, you may have a hit in the making. Country music is full of them. And, Taylor Swift has made a fortunate each time she breaks up with a guy. You just never know so give it a try.

The most important thing is to move forward. Leave the abuser behind you. If you struggle with leaving, get help. Don’t walk on eggs shells any longer. Chose to run in grassy fields free from the torment. Look for local hotlines to call if you need help. Ask friends and other family members to help out. Tell your doctor. Seek help.

If you know someone who is being abused emotional and verbally, please step in to help.

This is part three in a four part series on Emotional Abuse Awareness, the Silent Killer of souls.

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Word Party

Was always a huge fan of word walls as a student. Despite what some might think there are times, mostly in school, I was at a loss for words. Word walls helped me to collect my thoughts to focus on the topic. I still use word walls. Now they say more about my feelings and direction I wish to focus on as I move forward. I metal mess cube sits upon my desk. It is filled with an assortment of magnetic words. I collect them. When I get stuck or hit a road block in thinking I start moving my words around the cube. One side might be negatives while another reflects my current state of mind yet another side filled with aspiring dreams and emotions I want to experience. There are endless possibilities of sorting through the words. It also frees my mind of actually stating the words I feel. Sometimes it is hard to say the words. It is so much easier to pick and chose them to create a visual which reflects that which I cannot admit or say out loud. There is power in the words, even unspoken onesword wall.

What would your word wall say about your thoughts?

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A Gallery Listing

Collecting words & images for my vision board

Collecting words & images for my vision board (Photo credit: deb roby)

Time to revisit some thoughts and ideas. Ever heard of vision boards or dream boards? They are often described as visual representations of your dreams and desires. Some have inspirational quotes and symbolic representations of things, plans or aspirations in a collage manner. Some see them as a focus point when it comes to the law of attraction. The definition is broad but I think you get the idea of what one is if you have never heard of such before.

In my home office I have several vision boards. When going through a transformation you often are awaken to some issues you might not have been aware of before. Just the other day I wandered in the office in one of those awakening modes to see my boards truly did not reflect me but the desires others had implanted in my brain for years. The visuals represented what I could do for them but not where my heart flowed. Another board was all about my family with one key component missing, me. Down went the boards and all the visuals. The sayings and quotes found a nice keep box; though not reflective of the inner me, the items reflected a time period and many positives I wish to remember. A smash book will be created down the road for these goodies. Spent some time thinking about me. What do I desire? What makes me happy? What do I see me doing in a year… in 3 years… in 5 years? Gathered some visual clippings, a few quotes, and some items in a box. The new boards are a work in progress right now.

To create a reality based on the law of attraction and some wise advice with a twist from a dear friend, I created “shingles” to hang by my visuals. The old saying about “hanging out your shingle” to note your business is what I applied. Often heard the more shingles you had the better you were. So I created a shingle for every title I will claim over the new three years, and a few distant future ones. One distant shingle I wish to hang by my name is “Appalachian Trail Through Walker.” Lofty goal but one I hope to see happen. Another is “Donna Duff, Expressive Arts Therapist.” A current work in progress via alternative routes but a reality in the near future. I believe seeing my name with the title makes the reality believe able.  A picture of my former skinny self is also on a board. The shingle reads the size I will be hopefully sooner than later. So, not all shingles are professionally related, just facts I will claim.

The same wise person made a comment when I was talking about my bucket list. “Why so negative? You are talking about things you want to do before you die. Why can’t it be a positive list name?” Being of an artistic nature, the title changed to gallery list. I view a visual of all the wonders, such as I say of the art I see in galleries, of the things I desire. I do believe a gala celebration of the opening of my personal gallery is in order once it is completed for this stage of the game. Why not? I cannot think of a better reason to celebrate a visual collection of wonders than to throw myself a personal little party. To my gallery of life show!! What is listed in your life gallery?


Without words

Puzzling words, Soul Collage

Puzzling words, Soul Collage

If a picture paints a thousand words, so why can’t I paint you? The words will never show the you I’ve come to know,  the opening lyrics from a popular song sung by Bread back in the 70’s. Though words can say many things the true meaning may not be expressed. Working with the deaf I found that signing can paint a 1,000 words. The emotions, body language and the flow say so much more than mere words. Learning to sign was often confusing because it is a language of the self. No two people sign the same. Guess that is true of the hearing if you have a New Yorker and a South Georgia Southern Belle in the same room together, those two do not sound the same. Hearing people sometimes do not speak in the way the message was intended. It can shew the meaning. With the deaf, you know exactly the emotion behind the message. I appreciated their free flow of emotion during conversations because I was never confused about their intent.

Did you know that there are over 48 different meanings to the word, “run?” You can run for office. Run your hose. Run to the store. I think you get the idea. In sign language there are 48 different signs unless you are using Signed Exact English. I could speak the sentence in the same tone every time and the context my shew the meaning of which “run” I was using if the listener wasn’t familiar with the situation. In sign the body language and expression make if very clear which one I was using. Just got to love ASL!

If you are not familiar with Soul Collage, please investigate. It is a wonderful process of allowing the mind to grab pictures to paint thoughts. My experience with Soul Collage has opened a new world of understanding of my inner thoughts. I cruise magazines and the internet with no real intention other than grabbing imagines of interest at that moment. They come together on a card in what ever fashion seems to work. Afterwards I look to see what story my collection has to tell. Often I am very surprised because I go at it with a blank slate. The one featured came about one day after my ASL assessment. I was having a very frustrating moment with my signing. The deaf could understand me fine but the ASL evaluators who were hearing had issues. Have decided that hearing folks should not evaluate other hearing during assessments of ASL. The deaf were surprised at my score. No doubt my inner most emotions were at play when this Soul Collage was created.

Explore sign language. Babies as young as 5 months can learn to sign. It will reduce a lot of frustrations. Also, explore Soul Collage. You will be surprised how the pictures will communicate your inner thoughts you could not put into words. This too will reduce frustrations.


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What’s on your board?

Visual board of me

Visual board of me

If you were to create a visual board that captured you, what would be on your board? This is one I created. My loves are all there from castles to the beach, carving pumpkins to nutcrackers, dreaming in the clouds to journaling. I love to take the path less trod and sit by the campfire roasting marshmallows. The lotus blossom is special to me. Out of the muck and mire something beautiful blooms.

Pull out the magazines or pull the images from the computer to develop an ” inner me” board. Try it with your kids, you might be surprised what you didn’t know about them. Just a fun way to collect visuals that represent you. Would love to see what you have created so please share!!

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Hand-made with Love

The lines aren’t crisp. The contain contains iconic symbols only known between the creator and the receiver. It is unique. Personal and no doubt hand-made with love. Nothing more romantic or precious than receiving something a loved one has created specifically for you. Knowing that it was never a random grab from the local store, it was well thought out and planned specifically for you. Each pen stroke, touch of glue or thread every single concept the creator was so

Love note

Love note

in tune and engrossed in the thoughts of you that it manifested into a gift. A touch of love for you never to be repeated. A moment taken from a busy day to spend dwelling on you as it was birthed from the heart and escaped to be shaped by loving hands.

Make someone’s Valentine’s Day. Take time to make something for that someone special. You do not have to be an artist. Be creative. Cook a favorite meal with a creative twist. Write a poem. Have their favorite music playing. Creating a special atmosphere counts as well.

Start a new tradition. Hand-made with love!!

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Welcome to the first day of an incredible new year, 2013! This can be a year of change if you just believe. Really, it is true. If you go at life with a positive mindset, even though in reality you know there will be some bumps and potholes, things will seem not so taxing.

To help you begin the year off with a new outlook, let’s try something. You will need some paper and pencils (colored ones if you are a big artsy in soul). Fold your paper in half. Fold it once again in half. Unfold. You should see 4 boxes via the fold lines. In the middle of one of those boxes write a word that focuses on a negatives from 2013. Draw a box around the word. Do this for the other three sections. I feel sure you can come up with 4 things you wish never to repeat for 2013. Now that you are finished, turn the paper over. On the back side fill the page with positive words. Go ahead and make them fancy or use doodles as well. Make it a fun display of all sorts of wonderous, magnificent, awesome, positive thoughts and visuals.

You have now boxed up your troubles and filled a much bigger space with words you can focus on if by some weird chance such a negative tries to escape their boxes. Keep this in a place where you can get your hands on it when you need to release some positive into your life. I challenge you to try this. It would be a great inspirational activity for your kids as well.

To an incredibly positive and year full of wonderful discovery!! Catch the Creative Tidal Wave!!


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