Throughout my creative work journey, I have used words in many ways to express myself and to give others a platform to express themselves too. So it is only right, that the way I try to express the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on, is also through the written word and creative means of poetry and creative prose.
This post explores the powerful tool writing can be and the therapeutic, emotional outlet it can provide. I share ways in which I have used it to deal with many of life’s experiences, good and bad, along this journey through life.
Using Creative Activities with Young People as they navigate through life
I want to share one of my favourite projects with young people, that I planned, organised, managed and facilitated, was called PAYP – which stood for ‘Positive Actions for Young People’. It was funded by The Big Lottery Fund to provide a broad range of activities to help divert young people from taking part in criminal activity.
So some of the young people on the project were referred by Youth Offending Service, special education services when children have been taken out of mainstream school because of bad behaviour, identified as ‘at risk offending’ etc.
We contracted in a local artist DJ Moyma, I’m gladly still in touch with and he is still available for music workshops (Click on his name to go to his website in a new window). He delivered music-based sessions each day for five days, which included learning how to use vinyl turntables, mixing, scratching and writing lyrics for music.
At the end of the five days, we had a sharing for parents and friends to attend where the young people performed their own songs they had written or displayed their mixing and scratching skills on the decks. Seeing all their parents smiling faces and their feelings of achievement and accomplishment were heartwarming! They all took home a CD with all their tracks on too. Obviously the practical side of the workshops was left to the professional, but of course, I had a go at ‘trying’ to be ‘DJ Hels Bells’!
Away from my project management role, I got to also use my creative writing skills with the participants when it came to the part of the timetable where they wrote their own song lyrics. My approach was more from a poetry background than specifically song lyrics.
However, being talented in this area meant we could split into smaller groups between me & Moyma to work with the young people on a more intimate level, as 1-2-1’s worked better for this part of the project where they were sharing emotional expressions. It had some of them feeling vulnerable and transparent, yet others were confident and outspoken – but seeing all of their journeys was rewarding.
THE THERAPEUTIC POWER OF WRITING:
Remembering this project gave me a great idea… to write a poem or song to express my feelings about an emotional event in my life recently. That is my whole experience of growing my hair over a three-year period, to then cut off 12 inches of hair to donate to the charity ‘The Little Princess Trust’ who provide children with natural wigs after they have lost their hair due to cancer treatment or other illness.
The outcome below is my creative twist on ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ theme tune. A song/rap of someone sharing their physical journey with you of moving house. I felt it a fitting song for sharing not only my physical hair journey with you – every step of the way from growing it, to cutting it off! Yet, also my emotional journey during the actual charity hair cut experience too – as it really was like an emotional rollercoaster ride!
This creative twist on ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ theme tune is a great example of me using Creative Writing as a means of expression – my ‘Writing Therapy’!
My Creative Twist on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Theme Tune – by Helen’s Journey:
Now, this is a story all about how,
My hair-life got flipped-turned upside down,
And I’d like to take a minute,
Just sit right there,
I’ll tell you how I became the Princess of having short hair!
In Birmingham UK born and raised,
Growing hair has been where I’ve spent most of my days.
Chillin’ out growing’, hair styles’ all cool
And studying hair-care like a subject at school.
When a couple of hair knots who were up to no good,
Started making tangles in my hair’s neighborhood.
I got in one untangle fight and my comb got scared,
It said “You’re getting a tangle teaser to take control of the hair”
I whistled for a hair appointment and when it came near,
I couldn’t stop staring at my long hair in the mirror.
If anything I could say that this length was rare,
But I thought “Nah, forget it” – “Let’s donate this hair!”
Took me three years to grow it not seven or eight,
and off it got chopped singing “Bye hair see ya later!”
I looked at the short crop, It was finally there.
So to sit on my throne as Princess of short hair.
THE POWERFUL TOOL THAT IS THE WRITTEN WORD & HOW IT CAN BE USED FOR GOOD CAUSES AND POSITIVE OUTCOMES!
In a previous blog post, I wrote about the therapeutic power of writing and how to use the written word as a way to deal with feelings, situations and as a release of emotional tension/turmoil. I’d love more people to discover writing as this constructive method of dealing with emotions and different situations in life and how they make them feel. So I encourage you to click on the title below and read my previous blog post all about it: “The powerful tool that the written word can be and how it can be used for good.”
Here are some other blog posts of mine where I have used creative writing, especially poetry, to talk about different life experiences and work through feelings and emotions (click blog titles to open post in a new window to give it a read):
- Poem I wrote for Baby Loss Awareness called: You will always be my favourite ‘What If’
- Poem I wrote for when I felt wrongly judged & to encourage others to pay attention to have we treat others. It is called: Never Judge a Book by its Cover!
- Poem I wrote for my Grandad in his last few hours of life, giving my blessing for him to let go. It is called: End of Life Poem, navigating through loss.
- Poem I wrote when struggling on Mother’s day being single, childless and being an angel Mom – to encourage other women to know the strength that lies in being a woman no matter what our relationship status or child status is. It is called: WE ARE WOMEN!
I hope you have enjoyed how I used poetic and rhyming song lyrics to talk about this experience of donating 12 inches of my hair to charity, to change a poorly child’s life and self-image. I also wrote a blog post just before I had my hair cut off (click the title below to read it in a new window):
ENJOY READING HELEN’S JOURNEY POSTS AND POEMS?
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