Stories

Creating Light photo adventures & inspiring stories.
 

Getting Messy

{ Portrait 45 }

I sat there on my mat with a piece of clay in my hands. Cool, but increasingly warming to my touch. My eyes closed and my mind focused on the malleable surface between my fingers. Pushing and kneading the earthen contours.

Exploring. Playing. Creating.

Like a kid again. 

Until, a tightness crept in. A presence of a voice within, constructing the end game and seeking comparison in the aim of perfection. And in turn, I found myself trying to smooth all the rough edges with an obsessive sense of judgement. Finding faults, and cracks everywhere. 

This exercise, a part of Tiffany's yoga + art therapy workshop, illuminates what happens within so many creative and human endeavours. It stops being about the joy, and the wonder and the experience.

And the simple act of creating for creation's sake. Living for living's sake. Just...being.

Instead, it starts to mirror our deeper fears, and the pressure that comes with trying to achieve perfection, or our definitions "success". 

Tiffany painting

Tiffany is an art therapist and yoga & mindfulness teacher who beautifully weaves together these two arts to create a unique healing practice that brings out the playfulness, curiosity and presence in those she teaches and works with. 

Tiffany_creating art

I asked her why she does the work that she does...

"Because everybody hurts. 

Because everybody has to face challenges in their life. Because life gets messy and the practices of yoga, mindfulness & art therapy have all helped to navigate & process difficult thoughts and feelings about challenging experiences in my life. More importantly they’ve helped me to build supportive coping practices for whenever life throws me another curve ball in the future...Which it will, because life is full of curve balls."  

"Life is full of a lot of light, joy and beauty...And sometimes you have to allow yourself to “get messy” to realize that."  

paint on hands

Tiffany finds that a great deal of the joy in her life comes from connecting with others.  And she is grateful for all of the people she's met through her work & the lessons that they have taught her. As a yoga teacher, an art therapist and a human-being, Tiffany's intention is to always to help others with whatever it is they are experiencing in their life, and to help them feel a little less alone in that experience.  

"Some of us release stress by moving our bodies, some of us gain self awareness by creating an energy scribble with a crayon, some us cope with stress by sitting still, and some of us just need to feel that we are seen and heard by another human being."

"The beauty of yoga and art therapy is that they are both supportive mindfulness-based practices that help a person to simply noticing how they are right now. From that place a person can move forward and I just simply do my best to create a safe space to hold each persons experience & process." 

Tiffany portrait

She also talks about how she connects with her well-being and her practice of self-care...

"When life gets really messy it becomes very difficult for me to practice self-care. My tendency is to keep busy by helping others in the midst of my stressful situations and this leads to me burning out. I tend to become very good at “doing” and I have felt in the past an incredible amount of guilt around making self-care a priority. This is something I’ve learned about myself over the years and something I continue to work on. For me it always comes back to setting appropriate boundaries, this includes honouring your need for self care. 

black and white paintbrush
artwork
Tiffany_yoga pose with paint brush

I think the greatest joy in my life comes from connecting with my family and close friends. Just being in their company is what makes my heart truly smile. I’ve learned that every moment is precious with those you love so I just try to soak up every moment that I can with them. This might include watching silly television shows, or cooking a yummy meal together, or walking my dog, or having a laugh attack that makes my belly hurt, or sipping a coffee in silence."

"Being with those I love & adore is the best thing for my soul."

Tiffany portrait

Tiffany is a gorgeous human being inside and out. And I was so glad to have seen her magic at work that day on the mat at 889 yoga surrounded in a sea of art supplies. I am truly inspired by her courage to take some of the hardest experiences of her life and transform them into a way to help heal and bring the joy of creating to others. She is something truly special

Tiffany Merritt | Art Therapist & Yoga Teacher

Music by ~ Odessa - I will be there

{ A big grateful thank you to 889 Yoga for letting us use their beautiful studio for our photoshoot. }

 
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