Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Altered Books for Personal Change

Altered Book by Sooz Weissberg

Altered books are a symbol for change.  A book for one purpose is altered and used for another purpose.  In its simplest form, an altered book is a book that is recycled.  The first Altered book probably were created in the eleventh century, Italian monks recycled old vellum manuscripts by scraping off the ink and adding new text and illustrations.

Creating an altered book is a very unique experience.  As part of balancing our mind, body, and spirit we realize and understand that our lives are in constant alteration.  As a creativity coach I have worked with clients using altered books as a liberating way to express and reflect on personal experiences, strengths, and talents.  It is a healing process of self-expression, understanding and resilience.

What I like most about altered books is that you don’t have to be a visual artist and there are NO rules.  However, I would suggest you use caution showing your altered book to a serious librarian.  In altering a book, you can paint, draw, tear pages, collage, glitter, stamp, tape, punch holes, write, paste, and use stickers.  Really you can do whatever suites your fancy.

I ask clients to focus on a goal, challenge, or experience that they want to work on.  Examples include:  pursuing a career in the arts, starting a new business, graceful aging, menopause, meaningful retirement, stress reduction, losing weight, smoking cessation, creating wellness, and being more creative.  I love it when clients find a book title that correlates with what they are working on….it is like magic!

As clients begin to work on their altered book they use their left and right brain to play with all sorts of possibilities, ideas and solutions, goals and plans.  What’s cool is as they alter their book, their lives also begin to change.  Nifty uh?

After you select your goal, the next step is creating a new habit of making time for your book.  You may wish to set aside ten minutes a day or an hour during the week-end.  This is your soul work and so making the time is vital for self-discovery.

The next step is hunting and gathering and as women we are really good at that!  You want to use supplies that delight you.  Basic supplies include:  scissors, pencils, rulers, glue, markers, and pictures.  You can also consider paints, pastels, chalks, fabric, tissue paper, card stock, ribbon, brads, hole puncher, rubber stamps, tape, beads, buttons, and dried flowers.  Basically, if it can be attached to the page you’re good to go.

In order to alter your book and add new materials you will need to remove pages though out the book.  You can rip out as many or as few pages you like.  I like to think of ripping out of pages as the removal of habits that no longer serve us.   

Next, open your book and glue several pages together to create a sturdy surface for your page.  Use two pages to increase your canvas size.  I like to paint both pages the same color and then use a hair dryer to decrease drying time.  Once your pages are ready it’s time to create layers using pictures, tissue paper, makers, glitter, etc.  You can add all sorts of elements to your book like pockets, windows and folded pages.  Don’t forget the cover!  You are re-writing your story so give your book a unique title like Lisa, the Creative Entrepreneur or Rebecca’s Stress Free Life.  Don’t be afraid to create the story you want to live.   

I am a creativity coach that uses holistic approaches, creativity and play to help women reach their goals.  For more information about my coaching programs visit www.kimbalivesay.com or contact me at kimba@kimbalivesay.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Art and Life Coaching

Art Work by Sooz Weissberg

I like using art in my life coaching practice.  Using color, words, and images can help clients facilitate self-discovery and move forward in their goals.  I often hear “I’m not an artist”, “I can’t write”, “I’m not creative” and while I can acknowledge those inner thoughts I know that everyone is an artist, can write and is creative.  We all drew like crazy when we were younger….it’s when we older and learn about judgement that we forget what is deep inside of us.  Doing these art coaching activities is just for your exploration and there is no judgement!
We can communicate deeper with ourselves and others through images and color.  A picture really is worth a thousand words!  We live in color.  Marketing professionals understand the language of color and use it to sell you stuff.  If someone says “Jane is a little green around the ears” most of us understand that they are still growing or she is going to throw up.  Ha! 

Here is a very basic list of colors and what they mean.

BLACK  The absence of all color; represents sophistication, mourning, evil, anger, and strength.
BLUE  Represents calm, peace, quiet, truth, wisdom, loyalty, and the spirit.

RED  Represents physical energy, mischief, love, passion, valor, fire, and wrath.
GREEN  Represents healing, learning, growth, life, hope, and brilliance.

ORANGE  Represents energy, endurance, and physical strength.
PURPLE  Represents royalty the inner royalty of each of us and the outer royalty of the divine.

YELLOW  Represents the mind, joy, purity, clarity, and happiness.

I ask clients to keep a coaching journal as they go through the process of creating their plans.  But these coaching journals are not just written words.  To add deeper meaning and connection I ask them to add color and images.  For example, if your goal is to eat healthy foods then an image of fresh fruits, vegetables and the color green can help you connect to your goal.
Goal posters are also a powerful tool in connecting with your goal.  It is a simple project where the client selects images, words, and colors that connect them to their goal and then create a collage on a poster board.  This is a very powerful exercise because it helps the client envision what it is they want.

Another poster is the road block poster.  It’s important to create awareness of what is keeping your form obtaining your goals.  Common road blocks include TV, the internet, Facebook and other social networks, and playing internet games.  These activities are not “bad” but they can steal your time and sabotage your goals.

Another tool that I developed that create self-awareness is Kaleido Journaling.  This type of journal is very much like the coaching journal; however, it works with different issues outside of your coaching goals.  By the way, you can get you free Kaleido Journal by signing up for my mailing list.
Other art projects that I use in life coaching to help clients have insights include:  worry dolls, mask, altered books, dream boards, permission slips, ordinary day, self-portraits, gratitude spiral, mantra art, and the body compass. You can see examples of this work in the Creative Play Art Gallery.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Creative Capers

Would you like to get focused on your creative work?  Maybe you want to write a story or a blog?  Paint the moon?  Sing a song?  Bead a necklace?  Quilt like grandma?  Capture a snip on film?  Something else? 

Here’s a harebrained idea!  Join me for a Creative Caper!  This four week play group helps women play with their creative passions.  In our weekly Capers we will become more aware and explore common creative roadblocks like fear, perfectionism, feeling overwhelmed, not being good enough and habits that keep us from our creative passions.  Shenanigans will include playful but powerful coaching tools, aromatherapy ideas and music to help keep us in the creative flow.

This group includes a super-secret Facebook Club house that is open 24 hours a day and one conference call.  Play Group Starts July 13th