Do something creative, everyday. This is my favorite remedy to life’s doldrums. It has the power to snap you out of it like woah.
What do I mean by this? I’m not asking you to paint oil pastels everyday (although if that’s your jam, hat tip) I’m saying, do something creative.
Play with crayons.
Dance in your kitchen.
Take a photograph.
When I was 22, I was a year removed from the sudden death of my father, which happened 10 weeks before I graduated college. At 22 I was living at home, supporting my family, working in a national park, and submerged in my grief. A fortuitous conversation with some friends a few nights before my 23rd birthday inspired me to challenge myself to take one Polaroid photo a day, for a year.
I decided to take one photo a day of a moment where I felt present. I defined present as: content to be where I was, in that moment. Eventually I developed a shorthand definition: Polaroid Moment.
The task was daunting, expensive, and invigorating. Suddenly, my life had meaning, if only for 8 seconds a day while I shot and developed my photo. I had concrete proof that my life had some beauty, connection, meaning to it.
The first 3 months my images centered around nature, my family, and me relaxing on the couch. Sometimes, regularly back then, the couch was exactly where I wanted to be. Over the year, my perspective shifted. I started seeing my life through a more animated and engaged lens. I became a more active participant in my days, and the grief and depression started to ease. I was changing my life experience, one photo at a time.
The cumulative effect was electric. My emotional and mental state completely shifted. I was photographing the life that a year before had seemed so distant. At the end of my project, I was living a renewed life I already seamlessly stepped into.
Yes I still missed my dad. Desperately at times. But after a year focusing on what was here, I was able to pull myself out of the grief and depression, and honor him with the vibrant life I started living again.
A year is a long time. If I had known how challenging it was going to be, I’m not sure I would have had the guts to commit to it and see it through. I’m so glad I didn’t know what I was getting into.
I’ve used this project a few times with coaching clients and it’s been profound. Choosing your perspective everyday and therefore what you give power to and highlight, has an impact. It refocuses your energy so you’re seeing more of what you want to see, which could be beauty, gratitude or love. In the same way that complainers and Negative Nancey’s seem to always see the worst in a day, this process helps you see the best.
I believe we are in control of how we view our lives, and the stories we create.
That’s why I’m offering a month long Find Your Daily Yes, for free. It’s a month long photography and coaching experience based on this process. I believe daily creative action has the power to change your life. I love working people to unlock their creativity, and re-frame the story of their life by focusing in on each day.
The program will contain weekly themes and daily prompts. There will also be 4 drop in coaching calls, where you can talk about your process with your project, or anything else in your life you’d like a bit of Ellen Coaching Magic around. Curious for more details? This page has the details.
We start October 1st, and spaces are limited and going fast, so if you’re ready to unlock your creativity and re-frame your life, sign up here. I am seriously looking forward to October, and not just because the Giants are looking so hot!
Here’s the thing – this is not just for people who are overcoming mild depression or grief. It’s for anyone (and everyone!) who wants to inject some creativity, play, and personal expression into their days. If you want a bit more focus and fun, and an amazing community of like-minded folks, you should really grab your spot now.
Questions? Comments? Wild enthusiasm? Holla below.
I’m Ellen! A Career & Life Coach + Decision Making Expert. You want me on your team. I’m dedicated to helping you uncork your awesome, ditch options overwhelm and get out of your own way to have the life you really want and deserve! Curious how I can impact your life? Schedule a free superhero session with me here.