My journey towards ‘artistry in daily living’, breathing creativity into as many moments in my day as possible, flourished not in an easy time of life, but actually through a bout of post-natal depression. It was during this difficult time that I discovered the power of creative action. It helped me to pave the way out of a very dark place, forward, onward and upward.
The topic of Post Natal Depression, in fact depression full stop, is a subject which fascinates me and if I can help one person to walk a little taller, and take their baby steps each day through this dark night of the soul by sharing my story of despair and recovery, then it is worth talking about. Don’t you think?
Next Sunday, I’ll share my story, but after that, Sundays will be dedicated to creative practice for which I am so grateful. Creative practice literally gave me back my life.
Specifically, each week will be about how YOU can jump in to the creative fire and build your stack of timber so tall that your inner fire will burn and sparkle. Helping others to fire up their creative spark is my life’s work and passion. I have found my mojo and my destiny. Whether it be adding a drop of creative fuel to parenting, or daily life, or getting past hump day at work, or having fun with your friends, I am inspired by the opportunity to create wonderful things, including memories, for others. For you especially, my dear readers …
But today, I wanted to share with you a little book Ned and I have been reading. It’s called Bear’s Magic Pencil by Anthony Browne and Friends. (You may know Anthony Browne. He is the best selling author of the My Dad and My Mum books. Good stuff really.) This story was written by Anthony in conjunction with the winners of a writing competition for 8-10 year old children run by The Sun newspaper in the UK. Best of all, the royalties from this book are given to the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.
The story is about a bear who goes walking in the forest, taking along his magic pencil. The beauty is in the magic pencil. No matter who or what confronts the bear, the bear has the power, through the magic pencil, to alter and change the scenario for a better outcome. For instance, a snake comes slithering along towards the bear so bear draws a pogo stick and bounces right over the snake. (Love this- pogo- fantastic outcome) A whale invites him for a swim so he draws a pair of boardshorts and pops right in, swimming to the other side of the lake and hopping out again. He draws a bandage over the broken sky to help polar bears return to their icy home and sketches an entire crowd of endangered animals to boost their numbers again. I love this magic pencil. It is so clever.
I like to think that our creativity is kind of like that magic pencil. We all have the power to draw new scenarios and rewrite history and plan for a brilliant life too. We have our own pencil in the form of our imagination and minds. Too many people squander their most powerful tool, breaking off the tip of the pencil at a young age and never sharpening it again (all you need is a pencil sharpener). Other people leave the pencil to rot whilst they lounge on the couch like a sloth. Others have forgotten they ever owned a magic pencil yet it sits up high in the kitchen cupboard, dusty and sad.
The magic pencil is my best friend. I use it to write out my future goals and plans in really specific detail at least once or twice a year, and use the magic pencil to tick off the goals as I reach them. With every tick, I’m one step closer to my big goal. I also use my magic pencil to draw up the most outlandish life adventures and hopes and wishes that I can. My magic pencil, together with my action, has the power to push me there, or at least somewhere near there, or perhaps far beyond there. Who knows, but it is part of the magic pencil adventure.
Yesterday, I heard a snippet of a program on the ABC radio talking to some quite famous musicians. They were talking about their lives now, and how sometimes they have to stop and pinch themselves when they realise they are LIVING the very things that they wrote with their magic pencil. Literally anything can happen…. and usually does. If you are game to pick it up and draw.
Where is your magic pencil? Is it in your hand? Is it by your side at all times? If it is, your adventures will grow even bigger. If it isn’t, go and find it now.
On what adventures has your magic pencil taken you?