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The Seed that Grows

Creative outlets give our brain space to explore complex emotions. Many people have a hard time verbalizing in any digestible way how they are feeling - especially around complex emotions like trauma healing. However, with a brush in their hand, those inner truths can spill onto the canvas like a fountain overflowing splashing the cobbled streets of our subconsciousness.

One of the struggles with healing is finding things that bring you joy - and allowing yourself to experience that emotion when it feels, just wrong to do so. The visual of a box to hold all of your secret struggles is a powerful image that many of us turn into a personal practice. Locking away those secret parts of ourselves that feel the intense emotions of sorrow, despair, and grief. Recently I set out on an artistic endeavor to unlock the padlock of my emotional lockbox and use those acute emotions as the fuel for my expression. As I try to balance that yin and yang of joy and sorrow.

A box is a powerful visual - so with that in mind, I decided it was time to fulfill a years-long yearning to have a Free Little Lending Library. I have always loved visiting these around different neighborhoods and the idea of getting to share stories, including some written by yours truly, with the world is always a spark of joy for me.

It is funny how ideas grow like seeds in the earth when you give them just a little bit of sunlight. When they aren't tucked away in the shadows of your mind dormant and stagnate like dry herbs losing their scent with age. Such was the growth of this idea kernel as I embarked on the creative process.

Paris has always been a deep love in my life. So my first germination was to make a love letter to Paris. Adorning my box as an homage to the infamous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. I filled Pinterest boards with images and sketched out ideas of how I could make this come to life. Like any good idea, it sprouted and grew from there.

I wanted to include a quote from Matilda. The very literary figure that my Tilly was named after. This transformed my project into both a symbol of joy and sorrow. A tribute to my Tilly, the loss of whom still stings my heart, and a celebration of the things in life that bring me true joy. It became a morphing living project. A blank canvas to manifest the components of life that make me feel the most alive while paying homage to someone I lost.

To have to consider and create a tangible object that is holding two such conflicting emotions was a form of therapy I had not expected but deeply enjoyed. Having to consider the things in life that truly make me feel alive and happy while not hiding the parts of my life that have brought me face-to-face with sorrow. There is beauty in this duality. It became almost a challenge to rise to - how to include nods to everything and anything that makes life mine. Music, art, literature, films, books, and travel became the sides of the box that I would not hide but share with the world.

While it may not be a personal dream for you to own a Free Little Lending Library I encourage everyone to plant the idea seed of your life box. The components of you that dance across the stage of your subconscious and make your reality feel full and impactful. The act of creating this physical object is a powerful visual reminder of the celebrations and tribulations that truly define our character. Make something so unapologetically you that every inch is a root to the soul of your being.

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