kids hanging from tree branch courtesy of Big Stock Photo
Gina Quarles : Time for a Field Trip
Healing Through Creativity
Time for a Field Trip!
By Gina Quarles
Many times I revisit my childhood. I often think of the creative play we used to engage in. Oh, we did it all! We draped sheets across our front porch and put on plays. My poor family! We built forts and imagined we were all out in the woods. We played fairies and dress up. We put on nightgowns and sang like we were on a show with banana in hand as my microphone. We played house with our dolls outside and fed them mud pies and rock soup. It was so real to us at the time. One time, I actually climbed on top of my roof with trash can lids believing I could fly. Where were my parents? Don't ask. Not good. I know. But it was fun even when I hit the grass below. Where did all of this creativity and the use of our imagination go?
Kids can be our largest source to unleashing more of our creativity. They come up with all sorts of ideas. I watch my three-year-old make her animals talk to one another and wonder where do these funny stories and conversations she is playing out come from? What made her think of that? She runs around the yard screaming, "I am a super hero!" Yes, she is. She is because she has that gift we have all unknowingly let go dormant, our creativity. It is our spontaneous sense of creativity that has been taking long nap. It is time to wake it up! So, how do we get that back? I know as adults, we still have creativity within us. But, it is a more censored type unfortunately. We worry so much of what others think. It is only natural in today's society.
We have to watch how we use our words for fear of offending people. We continually have to be politically correct or we will be verbally attacked. All of the limitations subconsciously can stifle our gift of creativity. So it is our job to keep our creativity alive, while following our adult rules. Sigh, I know it limits us. But, it cannot stop us unless we let it. So, I encourage you to take a little walk back down memory lane and revisit your childhood. Do you want to go back to the family unit? Was it happy or sad? Either is fine. Both make for wonderful writing pieces as they apply to many that we share our lives with.
Do you want to remember the fun times only? The choice is yours. When you revisit the child in you, you tend to find where your dreams were birthed. I began to remember being in school and pretending or daydreaming that I was the teacher. Funny how years later, that is what I went to school for. In remembering parts of your childhood, you have a ready-to-go story right before you. You can call it fiction if you prefer, to keep it private, Or you can do a non-fiction piece. Whatever makes you more comfortable. But let that story out!
My point being, if you are out of fresh ideas to write about, start there. You can change the story a bit to create it into how you want it to all play out. Maybe it was a story without an end and you can find some closure in it now? Maybe it was a sad story that can now have a happy ending? The possibilities are endless. It can be very healing when you do this. Especially do write and relish in it for awhile if it was a a happy story. Give yourself that present. Most readers love stories that share hope, inspirations and or joy. If you can engage your audience with something we all crave as individuals you are there. As you write, you are writing a story for others to enjoy, why not write to heal yourself at the same time? A win-win situation for both the reader and the author.
Writing is such a powerful tool. We need to realize the power of the words we use along with the story line. As you create your story, write it as if you were writing to yourself and how you would want to feel while reading it. That is just a little bit of personal advice I can share with you from my experience. Those particular pieces, are the very ones that are quickly published. Whenever I have done this, those writings have been some of my very best pieces and I am most proud of. When you write from your heart, you audience can feel you passion and emotions. You want your readers to want to know more and you will end up wanting to feel that way as well. So you keep on writing and writing. Reading is a healthy escape from reality after all. Bring a joyous message for all and you have done your job well.
At times and with age, my memory does not always give me the whole story. That is when it is time to pull out the old family photos. One of my favorite things to do is to look at pictures of myself as a young girl and I am immediately transported to that time. I even soon remember the texture of the shirt and or clothing I was wearing in the photo. Photographs are powerful in themselves as well. Look at your expression in the picture. What were you looking at? Was it the camera and where you smiling? Or were you looking in another direction engaged in something else? What does it feel like? What were you focused on at the time? Use the tools that are readily available to you.
When I look at old photos of myself as a little girl, many emotions come flooding though. When you compare the them to the present years later, my thoughts often wonder to, "Gina if you only knew" If only knew what dreams would come true and all that I would be today. I can pat myself on the back realizing even back then of what a survivor I was and am today. I can also accept the not-so- happy aspects of my life with a more mature perspective. Some healing can take place.This makes me feel good. I can love that little girl and feel empathy for her and her disappointments she has had to endure. But, I also know and am proud of that little girl for the life she has created for herself today. There is not a better feeling in the world. I am not finished either. There is still much to accomplish.
But, I ask you all to bring your stories to life whether you label them fiction or nonfiction. It will make an impact on someone's life and it may spark a positive change in them. My job is most rewarding when I have shared a personal experience. It is that moment when you can get on that other person's level. There is a connection going on and it is what we what we were created for. The connection, encouragement and helping one another to continually grow.
So, go visit the little and younger you, whether in your memory or in old photos. You will find it to be an adventure you will want to keep revisiting. I know I do. I often wonder how the heck did I pull that one off??? I know now. But, go look within and begin writing it down. It will come pouring out of you and you wont want to stop. Give yourself permission to go be a kid again and go pull out your pencil box, tablet, make a sack lunch and go have a picnic with you. I promise it will be the best field trip ever. •
© 2013 Gina Quarles. All rights reserved.
Gina Quarles is a mom, wife and a creative soul who is passionate about the art of writing. She's currently recovering from a near-death auto accident and working on a book, which is an outlet for her healing. She encourages others along the way through kindness and hope. More »