by Toni Johnstone
OMG! Thanksgiving is OVER! Check. Veteran’s Day, Daylight Savings Time is over. We’re back on regular time. Good grief it’s dark—what happened? Oh yes, fall, winter is on its way Did we forget just how dark it can be in the mornings and afternoons? I almost always do. As I write this it is dark, cloudy, and raining outside. There will be snow in a few weeks, perhaps sooner! Oh, we can look forward to that. Or can we?
As many of you know, the 25th of December many, many years ago was a big pagan holiday celebrating religions. Constantine, a Roman Emperor declared that the people would celebrate the birth of Christ on that day in the hopes that they would behave themselves a little better. It was felt that solidifying things a little might be a considerable social improvement. Even though the birth of Christ is or was in March or was it May? It doesn’t really matter. Then there is Hanukkah the Festival of Lights in December as well, and no doubt there will be a full moon which will add to everyone feeling a little out of sync. There is always the first day of winter, plus Kwanzaa, and Boxing Day in Canada. To all of you reading this you may or may not celebrate any of these holidays, or for all I know, you may celebrate them all. However, whether you do or not you will likely be caught up in the spirit of the various celebrations and parties where there may be a pouring out of love and good spirit. All too often there is more of a pouring out of too much spirit(s) and love becomes something that most of us try to get with, but somehow fall just a little short. Oh, we do try though, don’t we? Don’t give up either.
I have a suggestion. This is definitely a season of change, and since every season is a season of love, let’s look hard at ourselves and try to locate our inner selves, more specifically, our inner child because the child is much of what this season is really about.
Our inner child never disappears entirely and it is a wonderful thing to revisit and nurture it as often as we can especially at this time of year when we need rejuvenating the most. Unless some of us have plans to careen down a snow-laden hill on skis in the bright, winter sunshine on a crisp, beautiful winter’s day at a cozy, winter resort…wake up. Probably most of us are going to continue trudging along, trying to make this THE best holiday season ever because we are supposed to. Who said that? I have no idea, but I am here to tell you that everyone has a lovely, entertaining, peaceful and/or beautiful inner child waiting to be found somewhere in our beings regardless of how difficult it has become to “deck the halls with balls of holly” with the spirit of yesteryear.
Sometimes when we revisit our inner child, we may find issues and feelings that remain unresolved. It takes a lot of effort and energy to suppress who we really are, and also who we were, where we came from, and how we got to where we are today. But, as adults, we believe that it is necessary to suppress much of our joy in order to behave as an adult should. More likely if we relax into it and keep things in perspective, as we were more able to when we were young, then this beautiful holiday season will be exactly that. Beautiful.
Easy? No. When we were very young and began to make simple drawings or scribbles to communicate or to express ourselves, we were as near to perfect as possible and reconnecting with that segment of ourselves can always be a good thing. It is attainable.
If the holiday season does not allow you time to do everything on your most important list, which most likely many of us would like to tear up, then consider taking 15-20 minutes of time to make a special holiday card for yourself or for a loved one. On your way to or from the mall, stop at the dollar store and pick up a box of crayons or markers. When you get home from the madness of the season find a special place where you can be alone for an amount of time. You may find that you will want to stay in this magic spot for longer than planned. That’s okay, too.
Especially at this time this magnificent, wonderful holiday season, you may run into some issues that just won’t leave you in peace. For those times, I can help you, guide you, and make things easier for you. This is the simple, but an extremely effective process of art therapy, or using art as therapy.
While you are at the dollar store pick up a couple of votive candles to get you through the season because I recently read that instead of complaining one should light a candle. Be careful not to burn your house down. I am not responsible for any fires. Goodby for now. I have to go and buy some more candles!
Everywhere you look, there is a miracle or three waiting to manifest them selves in you. Have a blessed December, the month of the eternal child.
Toni Johnstone is a registered art therapist, ATR, author, and a practicing fine artist. Visit the online directory listing in the Body Mind Spirit Guide for more information about art therapy at https://bodymindspiritguide.com/directory/art-as-therapy/ or contact Toni at 248-891-6247 (please leave a message) or at firstname.lastname@example.org Refer to this article or her classified ad for your first appointment discount.