Soul- Sweet Art Activity # 2
Who is the real me? The angry me or the smiling me?
As we start this art project I want you to know that I am not a certified Art Therapist, I am a certified Life Coach. I do know that these types of activities are a fabulous and fun way to deepen your self-awareness, possibly discover what moves you and what keeps you stuck. The activities will always include a reminder of your value.
What we will do is:
Gently explore our inner world – possibly stirring up the stuff we don’t look at very often
Stimulate our creative juices
Relax and quiet our minds
This project is a throw-back to our childhood. We are going to make some paper dolls as we answer 3 questions; questions about who we are and why are we like this.
For this activity, we are going to ask ourselves 3 questions.
- What about me is positive and just bubbles out?
- What about me is a positive result of the messages/wounding I received?
- What are the negative characteristics about me that have come from these messages/wounding?
BEGINNING THOUGHTS –
WHO IS THE REAL ME?
No one is the exact person they could have been. We all have had situations and people in life that have wounded us. Here I am talking about wounds to the core of who were could have been and who we became. Some of those wounds came from physical situations and others through words spoken to us and words never said aloud but their meaning was implied.
I see it like this; something is said to us or done to us that was less than it should have been. It is during those times that we try to make sense of it and we create/ receive a message along with the circumstances. This message is what haunts us for the rest of our lives. Our bodies heal from the hurt inflicted if that is what it was or our minds don’t recall daily the words or circumstances they were said in. But we do hear the message that we picked up on a daily basis and it has discolored who we are.
Example: A father says to his daughter, “Your smarts are wasted on a girl. You should have been born a boy.” (This happened to me) Now I don’t think about that statement every day, it actually only comes up when I use it for an example but the messages that I received that day have impacted my life on a daily basis.
I received these messages
- I am not good enough the way I was.
- Females are worth less than males.
- I could never please my dad.
- I must try even harder to prove my worth.
These messages have resulted in my developing characteristics and personality qualities that are not in the long run benefiting my life. Some examples of those types of characteristics are:
I take things too personally.
I need to control things.
I live with just general shame.
I doubt people really care about me.
You get the idea.
Those qualities I was not born with and my life would be happier without them.
WHO IS THE REAL ME? LET’S GET STARTED
Construction paper or scrap-booking paper
A few pieces of loose sheets of paper
Mixed media pad (or a thick piece of paper to use as the background of your piece)
Marker, pens, or pencils in assorted colors
NOTE: I suggest a Mixed Media Pad because it does handle different mediums quite well – glue, markers, and paint. Also having a pad that you keep your Soul-Sweet Art Activities will become like a journal for you.
STEP ONE: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
You will need your loose sheets of paper, a pencil, and scissors.
- Fold your paper in half longways (your paper size needs to fit your background-size)
- Keep it folded and draw the outline of a female on one half.
Be sure to include your hairstyle, no need for details of any kind.
This is just a silhouette, hands, fingers, ears are optional.
I would encourage the dress silhouette like is found on restroom doors. If you don’t wear dresses imagine it as your superhero cape flowing behind you. You will need the room to write on.
Keep the shape between the legs and feet uncut.
Cut your doll out and unfold her.
You now have your stencil for your project.
Don’t compare your doll to mine in the sense of good or bad, your art is YOUR art.
STEP TWO: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
You will need your doll silhouette, construction or scrap-booking paper, scissors, pencil, and marker.
- You will trace your doll on one of the sheets of paper. (on the back of the paper with a pattern on it)
- Cut the doll out. If you are skilled with scissors you might be able to cut more than one sheet of paper at a time. I can do about 3 before I lose control.
- However you do it, you will need 8 paper dolls.
- Mark them (on the back if you have scrap-booking paper) with the numbers 1 – 8.
STEP THREE: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
You will need the paper dolls 1, 3, 5, 7 and pen, markers, or pencils
- On doll #1 write – What good traits just flow out of me?
- On doll #3 write – What positive attributes do I have as a result of my past?
- On doll # 5 write – What are the negative qualities that show up in me as a result of the painful messages from the past?
- On doll #7 write – Who would I like to be?
STEP FOUR: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
You will need paper dolls 2, 4, 6, 8 and pen, markers, or pencils
- On doll #2 answer the question on doll #1. What good traits just flow out of me?
Use single words or short phrases. Think about who you were, what you were like when you were young. What are things about you that show up consistently without thought?
Ideas to get you going –
Like to try new things
Love to laugh
- On doll #4, answer the question on doll # 3. What positive attributes do I have as a result of my past?
These are ways you are learned to respond to your past and the messages it taught you that benefit your life.
Here are some ideas to jump-start your list.
Good with $
Sees the big picture
- On doll #6, answer the question on doll #5. What are the negative qualities that show up in me as a result of the painful messages from the past?
This will be a little harder because you have believed that these qualities are just the way you are. You thought you were born this way. You may not be able to see all these at the first go around.
This list is a little tougher, be gentle with yourself –
Take things personally
Easily shut down
Need to be right
- On doll #8, answer the question on doll #7. Who would I like to be?
Somethings on my list are;
STEP FIVE: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
You will need the mixed media pad (or its substitute), glue stick, tape, and paper dolls.
- Glue doll 8 in the center on a page in your pad.
- Title your page Who am I? picture
- Lay 7 on top of 8 and with a small piece of tape, tape her right hand to the paper.
- Lay 5 on top of 7 and tape her right hand to the paper
- Lay 3 on top of 5 and tape her right hand to the paper
- Lay 1 on top of 3 and tape her right hand to the paper
- Open up all these dolls, laying them to the right of the glued down doll
- Lay 6 on top of 8 and tape her left hand
- Place 4 on top of 6 and tape her left hand to the paper
- Place 3 on top of 4 and tape her left hand to the paper
- Place 1 on top of 3 and tape her left hand to the paper
- Open up these dolls by laying them to the left of the glued down doll.
- Close 7 on top of 8
- Close 6 on top of 7
- Close 5 on top of 6
- Close 4 on top of 5
- Close 3 on top of 4
- Close 2 on top of 3
- Close 1 on top of 2
- You should end up with a stack of paper dolls that alternately open up.
STEP SIX: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
In this step you can add any details you would like, to the dolls themselves or to the background. Be sure you date the page, the future you will be glad you did!
STEP SEVEN: WHO IS THE REAL ME?
Now is the time to reflect on what your dolls have revealed about yourself.
DOLLS 1 & 2
Isn’t it great to identify and claim those positive qualities that are part of the original you?
DOLLS 3 & 4
You can in part be thankful for your past when you see how you have grown and learned from it in a positive way.
DOLLS 5 & 6
These answers give you an idea of where you can give yourself grace by:
Not claiming those negative behaviors and attitudes are YOU.
Realizing that they are learned behaviors and attitudes, thus they can be replaced with new, beneficial ones.
When you catch yourself in the middle of the B/A remind yourself that even if it doesn’t feel like it you are in charge of who you are and who you become.
Change/ growth is a process, it may look something like this:
“Of course that is who I am, that is just part of me.”
“Hmm, so there is a possibility that I was born (critical, fearful, and angry)?”
“Well, I’ll consider that this behavior could be a result of a message I received from the past.”
“OK, so what would it be like if I wasn’t angry all the time? What would it take for that to change?”
DOLLS 7 & 8
Dream big here! What kind of person would you like to be known for? What characteristics would love to display? What qualities do you see in others that you wish you had?
This is part of my personal list, I would like to be;
Unafraid of what others think of me
I hope you had fun!
I have several resources that pair with this activity nicely.
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