Are you looking for a way to renew, reignite or refresh yourself for the new decade?
Anoka County Library will offer four Creative Oasis Wellness Workshops from noon to 2 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 23 and April 27 at the Centennial Library. Workshops will also be held on a different day/time at the Crooked Lake Library in Coon Rapids.
“We live in a world that is 0 to 60 all the time. I catch myself doing this all the time. When I wake up in the morning, what is the first thing I do before I roll out of bed? I check my email or check my phone, a pace of constantly going to the next thing,” said workshop facilitator Sarah Ratermann Beahan. “I know when I take a moment to slow down and reflect, look inward in my own head, be in my body and in myself for just a minute, and not in future or past, it alleviates anxiety, it starts to bring me back to this place wherein this moment, things are okay.”
To help people do that and encourage creativity, Ratermann Beahan, of Center City, will lead the free workshops, each with a different theme. January's theme is renewal. Ratermann Beahan has a degree in writing as well as in sociology and community development. For 15 years, she worked with nonprofit organizations that mainly served youth in the at-risk population. She is now a freelance writer, teacher and the writer in residence at Banfill-Locke Center for Arts.
“I am pretty grounded in this belief that creativity is innate to human nature; we are all creative human beings. Simply being alive is an act of being creative. But, often in today's society we divorce ourselves from the act of being creative,” Ratermann Beahan explained. She added that she often hears people say, “I'm not creative,” but then after asking them some questions about what they enjoy doing, she proves otherwise. “Decorating for Christmas, cooking, that's creative. You are creating something,” she said.
Each workshop will explore mindfulness, writing, art and discussion. A favorite activity of Ratermann Beahan is mandala making. A mandala is a circular picture that represents an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing an aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of a guiding principle. The mandala's purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones and to assist with healing.
“The idea is that it is a depiction of where you are in that moment,” she said. “It requires you to tap out of your analytical brain and be right in that intuitive side of yourself, see what colors, textures, patterns emerge.”
Centennial Branch Manager Mary Healy said, “With all of our library programming, we want to connect our community with ideas, information and inspiration. These workshops are designed to do just that. We value the importance of creating a healthier you. There will be a great mixture of activities centered around writing, art, mindfulness to teach participants how to help further their desire to discover more about themselves.”
Ratermann Beahan: “There is all this evidence out there to support the idea that the more creative we are, it actually affects our physical health, mental health and spiritual health. The more healthy we are, the more able we are able to impact the community. It is a ripple effect.”
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com.