I thought I'd take a moment to share WHY I've begun my monthly 'Craft Nights'. A few of you have wondered, I know! Well, the idea for it has actually been incubating for about 7 years. The tipping point came because of a particular book, which led to another book, and then another book....and another.....
Connecting the Dots
But we'll take it slow. One at a time. Today I'll share the one that started the chain reaction. It's called, The Creativity Cure: How To Build Happiness With Your Own Two Hands, by Carrie and Alton Barron, an incredibly brilliant husband and wife duo. To say it had a profound affect on me is an understatement. You see, it solved a mental mystery I'd been mulling over. It connected a lot of dots!
A Mental Note
Over the past several years I've watched people's responses during my Art Parties, Sip n Paints and Team Building with Art workshops. I kept making notes-to-self on the particular kind of joy that would always seem to slowly bubble up inside the participants. While they were engrossed in their creations, I'd see a shift take place. I always wondered WHY. I'd see this same scenario time after time. They'd arrive, somewhat harried from their day, then upon leaving, their eyes were glistening with life! Yes, there was some wine, and yes, I'm an incredibly awesome teacher, but I KNEW it had to be more that THAT!
The Creativity Cure answered my query with this simple but profound revelation. Here it is. Creative action is essential to increasing our levels of JOY and our sense of well being. That was it! Drop the mic!
The urge to produce some THING using our minds and hands is fundamental to who we are as humans! It connects and grounds us to our inner selves. It gifts us with a deep satisfaction of accomplishment.
The Nut House
But here's the problem! Most of the time in our technology driven, crazy-paced roller coaster, that we call L-I-F-E, we routinely neglect this need. We are apparently 'just too busy' ......so we spend an hour or so scrolling through Facebook. And we desperately 'need to unwind'.....so we binge watch Netflix. Then, afterwards, we wonder why we still feel depleted, vaguely unsatisfied and are still generally clueless about what we should do to scratch the incessantly ambiguous itch.
In The Creative Cure, the Barrons' lay it all out on the table with attention-grabbing jaw-dropping scientific evidence. Simply put into my own extremely non-scientific words, the message is as follows:
Humans must create in order to 'feel right.'
Transformative Super Powers
The creative process has a transformative power over us, bringing insight, clarity, satisfaction and meaning to everyday life. It isn't important WHAT we create, but rather, that we MUST create. Whether it's macramé, gardening, woodworking, building, sewing, knitting, carving, jewelry making, refinishing furniture, latch-hooking, leather tooling.....etc! It's really inconsequential. Psychological studies show we're just better humans when our hands are engaged in some act of making and doing.
I've often jokingly said my mission was to re-introduce people to their younger, freer, happier, more creative self. Now that I'm fueled with this treasure trove of documented evidence, and the growing pile of articles I've ingested, my mission is laser focused: Help others create their own increased happiness!
So, now you know the WHY of 'Craft Night!' And, you will also know why I'll be writing more about this!
Hope to see you at 'Craft Night' sometime soon!
Sending you lots of creative love,