Art Therapy

Two days in a row this week I was feeling wildly out of sorts: trapped and self-absorbed and generally bad. Was the heat to blame? Lack of exercise? I couldn't quite figure it out, so I did my own personal art therapy. I sat down with my sketchbook yesterday morning and doodled the things that were troubling me, labeled them with the feeling I had about each, and then in a stroke of insight realised I could also write down how to make them better. So I did and this is what I came up with:


I posted the drawing  on Facebook. Making them public meant I acted on my own advice. Plus I got some lovely and encouraging comments from friends. (Thank you!)

By this afternoon, I have followed my own advice for each of the problems. That's what all those nice green checkmarks are about. Some happened by magic - my shoulder doesn't hurt at all today, even though I just took one Advil yesterday. Marketing my workshop has had a boost from friends reposting it on Facebook. Others were only a bit of work that yielded good results: I cleared out my closet and made a big pile for the flea market; organised playlists for my workshops; spent a lot of yen to buy a new computer to replace my old one. At lunch in an air conditioned restaurant today, I think I decided on the song for this year's World Hoop Day dance and the choreography is already moving along.

I hardest one to tackle was my body image problem. So I challenged myself and bought a bikini for our beach hoop outing this weekend. Then I put it on and levelled up the discomfort to take this picture:


I may be a little wobbly here and there, but if this was a photo of a friend I wouldn't ever consider this a fat body. Why do I call myself fat? I'm mean and unfair and obviously not my own friend. This will continue to be a struggle, but at least I have proof now and a new beach outfit to boot.

And in addition to resolving or making progress on all of my minor life problems, I've had a couple of pleasant surprises in the last 24 hours, ranging from a delicious meal at a restaurant that was ready to close for the evening to being contacted by an old work colleague. And I've been selected for that thing I auditioned for last week.

There is power in naming your troubles, putting them out into the world and acting on them. I feel a lot better now. 


Heya, be careful with your shoulder. I don't want to sound like I know anything about medicine let alone about your own situation. But I do think that exercising with injury can be really risky. If you are carrying some chronic shoulder pain you might have a tear or other injury that exercise could exacerbate. I know how much you love hooping because I watch your blog. But I wonder if there might be other things you can do while participating in hooping community - even if not hooping - ab or lower body exercises alongside some more gentle stretches for your shoulder so as it does not become stiff. Then do some strength training down the track when the pain is less. Good luck & kind regards John

Not fat. Really good photo. :)

You clear out your closet so frequently I am surprised you have anything left.

I have quite a few clutter areas of shame that I need to address. But I just can't get to them.

And that body is so not fat. Where on earth is this body dysmorphism coming from?

Yup.. I am sure you would take care of your self. I almost didn't post my message because there's nothing worse than telling 4 people you've had a headache for 3 days and getting 5 different cures.

We have a gym at our work. I never thought of myself as a gym person but I have been going quite religiously since I started a couple of years ago.

In our gym they do fitness programs every three months and part of that includes 'do you have any injuries?', let alone how to stretch etc to avoid new ones, and I think they can setup rehabilitation type programs depending on the nature of the issues.

I am not sure if they would have a similar 'personalised' setup such as that in Japanese gyms but it could offer a sounding board for setting up a program for you.

I think the main thing is that the people doing the fitness appraisal actually approach it from the POV of where you want to get to and what motivates you.

Okay .. back to annoying mum mode .. and also you should be really careful of yourself and your shoulder and get checked out by a physio :-)

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  • John B: Yup.. I am sure you would take care of your read more
  • Kristen: I am trying not to re-injure or stress it - read more
  • You clear out your closet so frequently I am surprised read more
  • Jonathan Waller: Not fat. Really good photo. :) read more
  • John B: Heya, be careful with your shoulder. I don't want to read more