Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year's Vision art project

For this week's art project, we focused on creating a vision for what we want to accomplish in 2013.  To get our creative juices flowing and to break through any limitations we impose on ourselves, we used a couple of exercises from the book, Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.

NOTE:  This is not conference-endorsed literature.

I find New Year's resolutions to be very restrictive.  I often resolve NOT to do something.  Last year, I resolved NOT to eat sugar.  One year, I resolved NOT to spend more than $50 a month on-line shopping.  I have nothing against these sorts of resolutions.  But for 2013, I want to move past what NOT to do and move towards bigger dreams.  In some programs, they refer to these positive actions as "top lines" or "outer circle" behaviors.  So this week's exercise was about thinking big in envisioning a life-changing 2013.

The exercises I used from Wreck This Journal (and yes, I bought multiple copies to protect copyright) included:

  • rub this page with dirt
  • scribble this page wildly, violently, with reckless abandon
  • poke holes in this page using a pencil
  • tear strips out of this page - Rip it up!

I also came up with my own "Wreck This Journal" type of exercise.  I printed out a very simple mandala:

And provided the instructions to:  "Intentionally color outside the lines."

Interestingly enough, that latter exercise, coloring outside the lines, was impossible for at least one member of our group.

But these exercises helped me to break through expectations and other people's rules to help me to envision what I want for myself.  I hope it did the same for the other members of the group.

Finally, I provided a table to write out some visions.

Not only was there space to commit to some actions to take towards our specific visions in 2013, but also space to acknowledge steps we already took in 2012 towards that vision.  That column, acknowledging progress we've already made, was very powerful for me and I filled that column up the most.

If you'd like to break through some of your own limitations, I highly recommend Wreck This Journal, though again, it is NOT specific to 12-step nor endorsed by any 12-step program.

WARNING:  Although there are four different appearing covers with the same title, "Wreck This Journal," they all contain the same material.  So if you purchase this item, select the cover you like best.  But unless you want to repeat all of the same exercises, do NOT order all four, as the content is identical in each.

What are YOUR visions for 2013?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Step 5 Activity: Votive Candles

Step 5:  Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

December 21st, being the shortest day and longest night of the year, seemed the perfect day to do some candle art with our group.  During our shares, we opened up about our own dark sides and what brings us hope and light when things get the toughest in our recovery.

Multiple sponsors have suggested that I light candles during various points of my step work.  During my 5th step, where I admitted to God "the exact nature of my wrongs," I read my 4th step out loud to a candle. For this reason, candles have held importance to me throughout my recovery.

Supplies needed:

-clear glass votives with candles
-tissue paper

I was able to purchase the votives at a bulk rate.  I washed the outside of the glass votives before setting up for the group, as I didn't want any potential greasy residue to impeded the glue from adhering to the glass.

We then ripped the tissue paper into small pieces and adhered the pieces with the glue to the glass.  This created something of a stained glass effect.

We also used glitter glue, which you can see at the top edge of the votive on the left.  though once the candle is lit, the glitter only appears in silhouette, so it didn't quite have the effect I was hoping for.  I think the candles are lovely without the glitter glue.  We also had stickers left over from our God Box project, which some people stuck on their votives, as well.  But again, the stickers mostly appear as silhouettes of blocked light when the candle is lit.

Here is how the candles appear when lit.  I definitely feel a much more personal relationship with these votives than with just an ordinary candle.  For me, this personal touch helps to bring me closer to my Higher Power while reading my 5th step.