Singing and sewing

The second Creating Wellbeing session at Mind in Haringey was full of sun, song and sewing.

Today was an unexpected treat, I would definitely visit again.

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What a lovely session! I really enjoyed sewing for the first time since I was a child, and the singing and reiki were wonderful.

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People came to share their creative hobby; sing and sew; have a massage; try out reiki and relaxation; as well as meet new people and share a safe space together.

Really had a brilliant day, so friendly and relaxing. I loved making the purse, will definitely come again.

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If you’d like to come to the next one, email admind@mih.org.uk or call 02083402474 – we’d love to have you along!

She did it!

A huge THANK YOU to Bridget ‘The Brave’ Morkane who ran the London Marathon for Creating Wellbeing yesterday. It was an incredible feat and she finished with a smile in under 4 hours!

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The Creating Wellbeing troups were there to support her at mile 19, 25 and of course the finish line.

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Thank you to everyone who sponsored her; she has raised a welcome £85 so far for future sessions at The Create Place in Bethnal Green, London. With your support we can pay for the venue and materials for one session in July.

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Since these sessions started in August last year they have been incredibly popular, proving there is a great need for this holistic approach to mental health. Sessions bring people together from all over London to find creative ways of improving their well-being. Participants find them enjoyable, creative, inspiring and a ‘respite from life’. Participants have said there’s “Nothing like this in London” and that they can “relax and address issues.”

If you’d like to sponsor her and help these sessions to continue then email : creatingwellbeing2012@gmail.com for details.

A heartfelt thanks for Bridget for helping Creating Wellbeing to continue.

Your space

Creating Wellbeing is not just about sessions. This site is a place for people to share what they do to promote well-being. Here’s a snapshot of shares from the previous website:

Anonymous and Miscellaneous
“Today I walked into a lunchtime organ recital at a church in Bristol. The sound was so incredible it put my thoughts to shame and they shut up for 10 whole minutes. Bliss.”

“Yesterday I put my bicycle saddle at a slightly different height to usual. I saw the world from a whole new perspective. And I could still touch the pedals!”

Christmas Curry Challenge (Anon)

I could have spent the weekend crafting. I could have spent the weekend meditating. I could have spent the weekend deciding… It turns out I was to spend it facing up to the biggest bee in my wellbeing bonnet, when on Friday night I received an SMS from Red Letter Days :

‘Enjoy your Indian Cookery Course tomorrow!’

A Christmas present from my Dad which I had forgotten was booked. Thanks Dad! Thank you for many reasons.

curry

What’s your food heaven and food hell? Simply cooking anything is my kitchen nightmare. Why? Because I am in recovery from an eating disorder; which makes cooking and public eating somewhat of a challenge.

How and when this illness developed is subject of expensive and potentially unhelpful therapy sessions. All you need to know here is that it is still hanging around. A bit like an annoying fly in your room on a hot summer’s night. You try to sleep ignoring it. You can’t. You get up to swot it. A sweaty fight later you think it’s gone. You settle back down to sleep. Peace at last. Until you hear the faint buzzing again. Ignore it, fight it, short-lived peace and then acceptance (hopefully).

I was in an ‘ignore it’ phase until I got that message. It was time to fight it.

And do you know what? It wasn’t so bad after all! The world didn’t end when I sautéed some onions and I learnt to make a pretty good curry. I even held (and enjoyed) a good conversation over dinner with strangers. Whilst meditating and crafting could have nourished my mind and soul; before all that, what I actually needed was to nourish my body.

“A little goes a long way,” Asta shares…
I have been making these owl cushions as presents. Sewing makes me relaxed and I love giving hand made presents; a little goes a long way. People appreciate hand made gifts and I feel proud when I give the finished product 🙂

owl

Out of my head (Jeanie B)

have a vast array of projects going on – small DIY jobs, larger escapades that will bring in buckets of cash, beautiful sewing and embroidery one offs that people will swoon over, oh and a pile of Xmas stock to sell at up coming fairs – all in my head.

My head is so stuffed full of projects yet I find it hard to engage with other people’s crafting ideas without uploading them to my mental‘to do list’ adding to the crush. And the guilt – I’ve bought all the materials, why don’t I get going?

What might it be like to download these creative ventures into existence? It might ease the (very real) tension I get in my head, tension that can lead to duvet days and the sense of being overwhelmed. It takes just in one action to begin the momentum …

So step one – I emptied the Lloyd Loom chest I bought at a vintage fair months ago and took it into the garden, it’s a sunny day, birds are tweeting I’m feeling good.

I opened the tin of pink paint I borrowed from a friend weeks ago for this very project and began the transformation of the decidedly shitty brown bathroom chest into the flaming pink flamingo object it has always been in my head.

The chest is in the garden, first coat drying as I write this post which is the domino consequence of emptying and painting the trunk –because writing this post is another thing that’s been rattling around my head since I met Katie for coffee a couple of weeks ago.

Moving into action often results in more action and as a consequence creates good feelings. So as an introduction to my connecting with Creating Wellbeing, I’ve explored this idea on my blog Make It Up http://tinyurl.com/dyu2vuq

Previous CWB sessions

Creating Wellbeing sessions have been running since August 2012. Here’s a snap shot of what’s been happening:

August 2012: The first CWB at The Create Place. We did tin-can candle-holder making, sock-monkey sewing, Zen brushwork, 3-minute breathing space meditation and massage.
Zen brushwork

September 2012: We planted the seeds of love, and let it Bloom in the natural way…
“I would describe today as calming and colourful. I really enjoyed the creative focus and meeting lots of different people”

We were joined by Sophie, from France, her husband Jude, from India and their son Surya. Creating Wellbeing’s Katie invited them to the session after a friendship had formed 2 years ago in their shop in Kerala, India. Sophie shared with the group how their unique charitable project started. The gist: “With love, and from the heart”. There were gasps, tears, questions and silence while they spoke. If you want to categorise it, their approach to life could be seen as similar to Mindfulness; the principle is living in the present moment. Whether you are experiencing pain or sadness, pleasure or glee; wellbeing comes from living each experience fully in that moment, with no worries about the next or reflection on the last.

Everyone at the session listened to Jude and Sophie with intent and were touched by what they heard. Sophie guided us to make a flower broach and Jude led a meditation. People shared and listened whilst crafting, drinking tea and eating banana bread (a wonderful creation made by one of the group). Discussions about our wellbeing came as naturally as moments of silence.

sofie

October 2012: Helping me, helping you
Normally we are joined by a facilitator who guides discussions as they arise naturally. This week we guided each other; using tools we’ve picked up through our own experiences.

We made letters to spell ‘Creating wellbeing’, we talked about why we had come, we shared experiences and books we find useful, some people tried out massage and reiki, we spent some time being mindful and ate beautifully created blueberry muffins.

cwb 3

November 2012: “Oh, how we laughed…”
This week we kicked off by making a group agreement. Among other things we felt were important to keeping Creating Wellbeing a safe space, we agreed to listen openly to each other without judgement.

We learnt to make textile coasters under the expert guidance of Jeanie B. While we were crafting we played at being celebrities and asked each other questions from The Guardian Q&A. People shared what their super-power would be, who they would invite to a dream dinner party and what their happiest moments were.

After testing our coasters our with Hot Chocolates, tea and cakes we participated in a laughter yoga workshop. From mixing laughter milkshakes to giving directions in jibberish, Sarah-Jane of In Yoga Light had us ‘Ha ha ha’ing and ‘he he he’ing all over The Create Place. We learnt the science behind laughter and how it can be good for the body, mind and soul.

laughter yoga

December 2012: Creating Wellbeing Birmingham style
A crisp, bright December day and the first Creating Well-being in the beautiful setting of Little Heath Barn.
I have wanted to put a CWB session on in my home-town since the idea was born. I was joined by family and friends helping out in all aspects. My mom doing massage, dad doing mindfulness, sister’s partner leading some sketching, friends leading yoga, screen printing and guided psychological discussions.

screen print

January 2013: Create 2013 the way you want with Zeenat
January’s special workshop was led by Zeenat of Embrace coaching.
We kicked off with a relaxing meditation; blowing our thoughts into balloons and leaving our troubles at the door.
Everyone listened and encouraged each other as Zeenat helped us articulate our true desires.

Zeenat_CWB

February 2013: Catching dreams with Waterline Workshops
In essence this was a fantastic ‘two-for one’ afternoon. The Workshop explored what wishes and dreams we had for ourselves by incorporating a writing exercise done in the first half of the session into a crafted dream catcher created in the latter half of the session.

dream catcher

March 2013: Colourful creations with Mimi
Mimi explained that each chakra (energy point) has a colour. There were swirls of paint relating to each chakra colour along the roll of paper.
Then got our hands, sponges, brushes, pens and moved the colours around the paper to our hearts content. Mimi answered questions about colours and chakras throughout the session and before we knew it the whole table was covered in colour.

crayola

colour roll

Support Creating Wellbeing

Brave Creating Wellbeing supporter, Bridget, is running the London Marathon and has kindly chosen to put her fundraising efforts towards future sessions at The Create Place, St Margaret’s House (reg. charity number 211321).

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Three simple ways to support Bridget and contribute to this much-needed project:
1. Send a cheque made payable to St Margarets House Settlement with a note specifying it’s ‘For Creating Wellbeing’ to:

Creating Wellbeing c/o St. Margaret’s House Settlement
21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PL

2. By bank transfer. Please email for bank details: creatingwellbeingcwb@gmail.com

3. By giving cash to Bridget or Katie who will ensure it reaches the desired destination.

Go Bridget go! See you at the finish line. Note: you can still sponsor after the event.

What your money would be going towards:
•£10 would pay for materials for one session; fabrics, paints, card, glue for participants to get creative while promoting their wellbeing.
•£20 would pay for an hour of the Project Coordinator’s time to plan and facilitate sessions, attended by 15 people in London every month.
•£30 would pay for setting up a website where people can find out about sessions and share what they do to promote well-being. The blog has had over 1000 views since it started and this donation would go towards continuing online support for people affected by mental health problems.
•£60 would pay for a holistic therapist time to come to a session for participants to enjoy the benefits of massage or Reiki.
•£100 would pay for a workshop of mindfulness meditation, which has proven benefits to mental health, especially anxiety, depression and eating disorders.
•£300 would enable the group to be joined by a psychologist who would explore issues as they arise naturally within the group, in a constructive and supportive way.