By Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
This activity combines the idea of a Tibetan “prayer flag” and the idea of Guatemalan “worry dolls” (both pictured below). In the process, you paint, create or decorate paper hearts, write out worries, prayers, thoughts or words of focus and fold them prayer style over a string to create a hanging garland.
In an article called, “How to Get Out of Sad Gear,” Deepak Chopra speaks about building wellbeing. He writes, “Working on long-term, emotionally mature happiness is the best way to insulate yourself from downswings in your mood. Sadness comes and goes. Wellbeing can be made to last a lifetime.”
Sleep can often be interrupted by thoughts and worry. Using this expressive arts activity can be a creative way to work on long-term wellbeing by encouraging a process of compassionately observing or letting go of thoughts that interrupt your deep, relaxing sleep.
Ideas for Use
Hang your garland in a special place. Place your garland outside in the Tibetan tradition and let the weather happen. Place your garland near your bed to honor the Guatemalan worry doll tradition. Or place the twine, hearts in a special bag and gift to a friend going through a challenge with instructions to write and glue her own heart garland.
About the Artist: Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm is a Mind/Body Specialist for the Inpatient Integrative Medicine team. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and/or with special ways you are using this activity and how it has influenced your days. She'd also like to hear your ideas and how healing arts have helped you!
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