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Mindfully Creating and Pain Management

Medical staff members walked into my hospital room following a recent surgery to find an unusual site! A patient lying at about 25 degree incline, bed strewn with w

ater color palettes, brushes and paint brushes with my EzHold adapters. I like to refer to this as my organized chaos, which would become a profound part of my pain management, re-direction of attention and gratitude practice.

Prior to entering the hospital, I selected several of my favorite Altenew Stamps for watercoloring. I stamped and heat embossed a stack of cards in preparation for this hospital visit. I created a selection of items to watercolor while recovering from surgery, as I have found adaptive water coloring techniques to become a central part of mindfulness "reset".

Learning to watch the colors flow, blending and creating something new and unique has helped me learn several key mindfulness techniques. For example, learning to take pleasure in the creative process, enjoy the flow of the water and being fully present in the moment have helped me learn to apply mindfulness principles to my creative endeavors.


I have found creative ventures to have a wonderful secondary benefit in helping relieve tension and stress. Moreover, being fully present in the creative process and focusing on the specific steps such as the choosing my base colors,

combining various artistic mediums, including my paint palettes, water color brush pens, sprays and watercolor pencils, to create detailed images helps to direct my focus on something other than my pain. Please note, this does not only apply to the acute pain from my surgical procedure, but rather is something, I have incorporated in my toolbox of pain management techniques.

I have found creative distractions to be essential part of my pain management process. I am not be able to escape the challenges created by various disorders or take a much needed vacation from my body, however, I am able to temporarily escape my body while deeply focused on the creative endeavors. Better yet, my cards become part of my gratitude practice, as I frequently use my cards to thank those who work so hard to assist and/or care for me. I was able to use the cards created to thank the nursing and supporting medical staff for their assistance.

I must admit, it has been a journey to learn to work with watercolors. Especially, learning to accept mistakes as part of the beauty of the process. Often, mistakes occur, however, I have learned to continue on with the project at hand. More often than not, I can still create something beautiful and unique.

As it happens, while mostly lying down, using my hospital bedside tray table as an easel and using medication dispensing cups for water, I created one of my favorite water colored flowers. Note, the lighting in the hospital room did not truly show the depth of the colors nor the shimmer of the metallic paints. I took the best pictures possible with the lighting available.

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