Recovery through art – My flower arranging & self-expression

crocus planting

There comes a time in life when we all need to find a way to recover from whatever is ailing us. Whether it be an acute or chronic illness or injury, excess stress, or other types of mental anguish. It’s good to combine a variety of methods to ease or remedy these challenges. Yes, some of us see doctors or therapists, take medication, practice therapy skills, eat properly, and exercise, but do you take some time to express yourself artistically?

I recently wrote about therapeutic writing in my blog. A number of people commented on that blog post identifying with what I wrote.  I also mentioned that I love to dance to music. Actually, I love all types of arts, though I haven’t always thought myself talented in all realms.

Field of flowersSince I was a child, I loved planting flowers. My mom and I would order flowers each year from the Dutch Gardens catalog. When the bulbs arrived, we pulled out our gardening gloves and trowels and planted away. In the Spring and Summer, the flowers would bloom and we’d be so happy.

I have also always loved cut flowers, but until recently, didn’t do them any justice. Throughout the years my dear husband often came home with his arm behind his back and surprised me with a glorious bouquet. But to his dismay, he’d later see them sloppily shoved into a vase with little effort given.  It’s true. I literally cut off the ends, picked the wrong sized vase, and shoved them in with no care. 1-2-3. Voila! I valued them, but thought myself incapable of arranging them artistically.

About three years ago I decided to finally do some justice to the floral gifts I received. I took a class in flower arranging at my local adult school. It was a pleasure from the start when I saw several friendly women my age and a huge bucket full of flowers, some I’d seen, and some I hadn’t. Over the course of five classes the teacher gave us tips, but more encouraged us to take the time to really think about the arrangements and approach them in our own ways. We spent 1.5 hours total each class per arrangement. It definitely disciplined me to stop and think, experiment, create, and have fun!

My first arrangement

My first arrangement is what I call my “Zany arrangement”. See how proud I was? The teacher even complimented my creativity. It made me feel so good and motivated. And of course hubby was quite impressed, as well!

Over the course of the class, different flowers were used, and I became even more creative.

Since I took the class, my husband has been so happy and impressed with my improvement in flower arranging, that he’s doubled the frequency of buying me flowers. Am I not a lucky lady?

Since my class, I spend probably 30 times the amount of effort carefully designing my floral expressions. With more and more practice I think I’ve made a great deal of progress.

Flower arranging added to my writing has definitely improved my life. It has helped improve my confidence, after having lost some of it over the years. It has also slowed me down and improved my concentration, after years of my mind spinning out of control, and racing from anxiety and stress.

In what ways do you express yourself artistically? Do you find that it relieves stress and pain in any way? I hope that everyone reading this will continue to pursue their artistic interest(s) and perhaps give yet another one a try, too. Remember that you may find yourself better at doing things than you think. Give new artistic pursuits the proper time and concentration they deserve.





16 thoughts on “Recovery through art – My flower arranging & self-expression

  1. Kim Britton April 7, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    I really enjoy reading your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 8, 2017 / 1:12 am

      Thanks, Kim! Did you read the music-related one that preceded it? That was about grandma and grandpop’s house.


  2. ramblingsofruin April 8, 2017 / 5:42 am

    I love this post.

    Expressing myself creatively has always brought me relief, even in my darkest times. I write a lot, draw (not well but I enjoy it) and also love to dance (again – not well but hey… it’s exercise 😜).

    Your flowers are beautiful 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 8, 2017 / 12:37 pm

      Thank you so much, ramblingsofruin, for you sweet comment about my flower arranging post. I’m happy to read that you find multiple ways to express yourself creatively too. I can’t really dance as well as I’d like anymore, but I can “feel” it as wonderful in coordination with the music.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. realdeets April 8, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    Expression through creativity is the best. This was beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 8, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      Thanks, realdeets. Creativity is what keeps people feeling especially alive, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. migrainesfromhell April 8, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Love this post too! I usually do lots of crafty things but I don’t feel like doing them at all. I thought it was medicine making me “numb”. My doc said that the craft stuff is more of a manic thing for me. I don’t know if i believe her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 8, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      I feel like I’m perfectly stable now, but I’m still having so much fun creating all sorts of new things. I hope you find that point of stability when you can enjoy your crafts. Some people with bipolar disorder, like me, think they only have creativity when hypomanic or manic. That obviously need not be the case.

      Once I stopped mourning the loss of my mood elevations I was then free.


      • migrainesfromhell April 8, 2017 / 6:50 pm

        ty 🙂 You write so well! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight April 8, 2017 / 7:01 pm

        You’re so nice, migrainesfromhell!


      • migrainesfromhell April 8, 2017 / 7:21 pm

        Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight September 18, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      Thank you so much! I get so much joy from that hobby. It’s odd how I have abandoned some hobbies over the years and picked up new ones. I certainly hope you will never stop writing and drawing.


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