Great Idea for Art Therapy New Year Activity!

Thanks to Pam Kirst for posting about the new year. This quote was in the conversation she posted. You can read her whole post at this link:

The idea involves letting go of the old and making room for the new. Here is the direct description that you can modify lifted from her blog post:

Well, it takes just a little bit of preparation. I go through the Christmas boxes and find one about shoe box size, and I paint it black, so it looks kind of like a coffin. It’s the box where all the bad stuff goes to die! Then, during the party, at about 11:15, I pass around paper and pens. I tell everyone to find a quiet spot where no one can peer over their shoulders, and to write down anything and everything from the past year they’d like to forget or get rid of or just flat out wish had never happened. They fold those up tight, and we put them in the black box. I always save some kind of pretty, flammable ribbon–some years, I’ll tie it up with a bright red ribbon and bow–or maybe silver, if I’ve gotten lots of glitzy wrapping. Then, no matter what the weather, I drag everyone outside to the driveway, and I make a little speech about letting go of all the things we regret or are sad or angry about from the last year. Then we ceremoniously douse the black box with lighter fluid and throw a match on it,and we stand around and watch the bad parts from the old year burn to ashes.

So this is a great idea for a New Year’s Party to both let go of the old year and ring in the new year with positive affirmations. To modify it for a group or individual art therapy directive, I might have the patient(S) make both boxes. I would invite the person or people to write down anything from 2014 that they have been carrying around and feels heavy and that they want to let go of and clean out their house for new things, to borrow from Rumi’s poem The Guesthouse. I might even read the poem to them. Then to write down their affirmations or dreams for the new year and make some kind of container for it.

Well there is nothing like Carpe Diem. I interrupt this post to say that I just tried out a version of this idea and it was transformative. Both I and my patient wrote down things to let go of and read them and put them in a box I already have. She picked a box for her Affirmations/Goals/Dreams. We both wrote down things for the new year and shared and inspired each other. Then she started painting her box. After the first part, she felt a relief and letting go and after the second part, she felt “good”. I did too.

I will collect people’s old stuff in my black box and burn it all somewhere, not the box! And people who want to can make a box for their dreams for the new year, or do a Vision Board instead and actually make a collage with their dreams for new year in the collage.

There are all sorts of ways to be creative and ring out the old and ring in the new; I really love this one so thank you to Pam and Loolie!!! I will post photos of my black box soon…