snowball effect (snowflake follow-up)

The snowflake craft project was a huge success. Several people gathered around intrigued by the sample. When I asked them to join, they did. The design is so simple that Claudia easily picked it up and started teaching more and more people who wanted to create one.

One of my favorite responses from the evening was when Jodi said, “This was a lot of fun. I never make anything crafty.” Everyone is creative, but not everyone is in touch with their creativity. But if a simple project like this is successful, then maybe the art defense walls created sometime during elementary school will start to crumble. Who knows – maybe people will be inspired to do another creative project, another and then another. Maybe visit a museum, look at a flower differently, or pick up a new album. Then suddenly, your life has changed.

Yesterday I spent the day reading through The New York Times Magazine 7th Annual Year in Ideas. One of my favorite ideas was Ellen Langer’s Mindful Exercise. A group of hotel service workers were told how many calories their work burned and a month later, they found that on average they had lost two pounds. Plus their health had measurably improved. I feel the same way about Tai Chi. Not a lot of actual exercise, but a noticeable difference in my health.

Langer’s Book on Mindfulness had a major impact on my graduate work and I referenced it several times in my thesis project. So her name jumped out of the article. When I visited her web site this morning, I was excited to find her latest book On Becoming An Artist. Wasn’t this just what I was talking about not too long ago?

So I hope that this small craft project might be a start for other people to find their way into art. Art has the power to heal and transform our lives just by sitting down and being present.

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