Sometimes, anxiety can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. You wake up with a stomach ache, and an overwhelming feeling of dread. Everything just feels “too much.”
It was on a day like this, when I was suffering with (what I now know) was an anxiety disorder, that I decided to try to lift my mood by repeating the mantra, “I am enough” to myself. I was also trying something new. I had decided to start drawing little cartoons to illustrate my mental health struggles. Because I had noticed that when I was drawing, absorbed in creativity, that was the only time that my head wasn’t busy with anxious overthinking. Creativity calmed my mind.
“I am enough.”
If you say it fast enough it sounds like “I am an oeuf.” Oeuf is French for egg. I grabbed a chalk board we have in the kitchen and spontaneously drew a serene-looking egg who believed that he was enough. Underneath him I wrote,
“I am an oeuf.”
It made me smile. So I got into drawing this little egg character, in various different situations.
And after a lot more doodling, colouring, meditating, chats with friends, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, I eventually overcame that pesky anxiety.
A few years later, Emma and I decided to start our mindful art business, and when we needed a logo it seemed appropriate to me to use the egg. Because I am an oeuf.
You are enough.
We are enough.
So shine like an egg.
And if you want to try using mindfulness and creativity to calm your busy mind today, grab yourself a bundle of free colouring pages and doodling printables by entering your email here.
When Emma and Peggy suddenly lost the jobs they loved, they started a business on a shoestring, to offer mindful art groups, support mental health and tackle social isolation in the Plymouth area.
Mental health services were already overstretched and the pandemic
has made that even worse. Mindful Art Club gives people a way to access help
and support immediately, without a waiting list, and without finances being a
barrier to access.
Emma and I are helping to create a world where peer support, mindfulness, creative activities, and social connection is more easily available in local communities.
If you’ve ever felt stressed, anxious or depressed, we have a free downloadable mindful colouring bundle with zen doodling exercises for you. Just enter your email now to receive our colouring bundle today, and we will write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events in the Plymouth area.
Drawing a mandala doesn’t have to be complicated. Mindful art means drawing without self-judgement. Get in the flow and enjoy being in the moment without putting any expectations onto yourself.
Use our free printable mandala template as a guide. Just place some plain paper over the top and trace the segmented circle image. Then fill in the separate parts with zen doodles, patterns, positive affirmations, things you are good at, or things that you are grateful for. Check out some examples done by people who come to our mindful art groups. The important thing is to have fun with it.
Are you stressed? Anxious? Depressed? This mindful therapeutic gift could be the start of a creative solution for you.
It’s amazing how the simple act of colouring can calm the mind down. I have designed a few mindful art colouring pages around the theme of “I am enough” using a little egg character that I created. His caption is, “I am an oeuf.” (Oeuf is French for egg.) The oeuf character makes me smile. Grab your free colouring pages by signing up to our mailing list, and then we’ll write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events in the Plymouth area, plus videos and mindfulness recordings. (Your details are safe with us, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)
Last week Emma and Peggy held a Mindful Art Club committee meeting with two of their volunteers, (in Peggy’s backyard!) and made a note of all the things we have managed to achieve since our last committee meeting, in January 2020.
We set up weekly Zoom meetings and hosted them throughout the coronavirus lockdown, and beyond.
We held a staff wellbeing session on Zoom for ColebrookSW support services.
Peggy’s counselling course was moved onto Zoom. She continued to attend classes, and gained her Level 3 qualification.
We wrote a Mindful Art Activities eBook, to go on sale next month.
We wrote an 8-week Mindful Art Wellbeing Course, which we will be testing out with a small group during September.
Our volunteer, Lee, has learned to play the tongue drum, providing relaxing sounds at our outdoor mindfulness groups.
We hosted four, small, socially-distant, outdoor, one-day retreats.
After lockdown eased, we started a weekly art group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre, in their beautiful, outside courtyard.
Our loyal clients have continued to support us throughout this pandemic by turning up to our online groups, and outdoor groups, and contributing donations to our running costs.
How to Celebrate When We Can’t Even Have a Party
We are so grateful that we have been able to do all of these things, and keep mindful art club going, despite the global pandemic. On 10th September it will be one year since we held our first mindful art group at The Brook Inn, Plympton. We’d love to hold a big event to celebrate, but we’ll have to be content with a small, outdoor meal to celebrate Mindful Art Club’s first anniversary.
We will be able to celebrate in a virtual way at our online art group on 15th September, and we would like to reward our loyal clients with a small gift, which will be sent out to our mailing list on our ‘birthday’, 10th September.
Get on the list!
Don’t miss out, join our mailing list here, and get free mindful colouring pages, and news about our upcoming free and low-cost events.