Add a little Popcorn to your life

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”-Thomas Merton

Last week, I participated in Julia Cameron’s Artist Way Workshop. The book and workshop focuses on reconnecting you with the creative part of you within. Art isn’t reserved only for the Picasso’s, Michaelangelos, Banksys, and Beyonces. We are all artists. The fuel behind this is allowing space for the divine (higher power, universal energy, God, or whatever suits you ) to work through you. As the saying goes “Let go and Let God.”

As I had mentioned in a previous blog post, I began this journey with 10 years ago but never finished the 12 week program at home. I vow to start tomorrow at home on my own. (It’s one of my 40 things to do before I am 40).

The process includes readings, homework exercises, reflections , but two other vital features: artist dates and morning pages. An artist date is simply taking yourself on a date. It could be a movie, restaurant you want to try , buying fun quirky stuff at the £ store. Anything . So many times we wait for someone else to go with us, instead of following our hearts desire. Do it !

Morning pages are three handwritten freestyle journal like entries that you engage in first thing in the morning. You are trying to catch your unconscious. Through releasing the excess dust in our minds, it allows room for creativity to manifest.

All of these practices are great and I highly encourage everyone to try it. Numerous times I nudge my clients to partake in the program, particularly artist dates. But one aspect of the retreat I found enjoyable was not in the book. It is called “popcorn.”

During the workshop, after you work on reflecting on an exercise you have to process with a stranger. Numerous exercises, and each time a different stranger. After almost every interaction, you give “popcorn.” Popcorn takes the form of handwritten exchanges which include listing positive attributes about a person’s character, wishes for them, words of encouragement. They are quite touching and what is amazing is they are from strangers!

What’s so intriguing is these partnerings generally lasted from 10-20 minutes in groups of 2-4, and you share some deep hidden aspects about yourself even your partner may not know. Those in your group are witnesses to your revelation, and hand you a tangible gift to remember. It’s like souvenirs and bows for you to go or this creative self within.

These popcorn were so special, I swore I wanted to keep them. Initially I held them in an envelope from a recent birthday card. Instead I chose the perfect tin to place them in. The tin says “make your own magic.” It’s going to be placed somewhere special in my home .

Why don’t we do this more often? With the advent of the internet, social media, and texts, we share our kind words to others electronically. But there is something special when something is handwritten. It’s nostalgic and something you can tangibly cherish.

So if you fancy making someone’s day, think of giving them popcorn. Perhaps it’s for a co-worker, friend, yoga instructor, or partner. It will be valued, and maybe even replicated. Popcorn, just like acts of kindness, is addicting. It’s light, fun, and you can never have just one!

“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”-Salvador Dali

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