Donna Mulholland’s lifelong mantra is: “Do what you love.”
So when she left her job with the provincial government three years ago by choice – something she called “an abrupt leap” – she set out to do just that.
“What I love is to create and to inspire others to be, express and celebrate themselves with creativity, watercolour, art journaling and yoga,” Mulholland said in an email. “I’m especially excited to be offering classes that integrate creativity and yoga.”
Mulholland said she was always singing, dancing and writing stories as a child and teen, but left her creative pursuits behind when she got older. The creative spark was reignited, she said, when she signed up for a watercolour class in 2006.
“I fell in love with it right away, and from there I’ve continued on with painting, art journaling and teaching locally and internationally online.”
Mulholland established Creativity Matters in 2010, teaching classes in watercolour, art journaling, creativity and yoga. Starting Feb. 5 at the Satori Centre for Well-Being on King St., she’ll be teaching a class combining yoga and journaling.
“There is research reporting the mental health benefits of yoga, particularly for improving low mood, reducing stress and dealing with anxiety,” she said. “Journaling is often cited as a therapeutic tool for depression and stress reduction.”
Mulholland said she’s been doing Julia Cameron-style morning pages for years – a practice named after the artist, who suggested a morning routine of handwriting three pages in a journal each day. Now, Mulholland said, the practice is as essential to her morning routine as making coffee and brushing her teeth.
“The best part is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. All you need is a pen and some paper, or your computer.
A commitment and some structure, such as taking a class, can be helpful to get started. Most of us lead such busy lives these days that I think the best options are to sign up for a class, workshop or retreat to explore, play and re-ignite your creative side.”
Mulholland said she’s had up to 40 participants in her online classroom, but limits her local classes from five to 15 participants. Small classes create a warm, relaxed and non-competitive atmosphere, she said, which ensures a good learning environment.
Mulholland said “as hokey as it sounds,” her first yoga class felt like she was coming home to herself. She became intrigued with the relationship and similarities of creativity and yoga and their journeys towards self-discovery and finding one’s inner voice.
“Both practices are transformational. Listening to and expressing your inner voice is what creativity is all about. I see the relationship between yoga and creativity as a two-way street. With both practices, we learn to stretch ourselves to find that place on the edge of our comfort zone where growth and discovery beckon.”
Mulholland’s Yoga and Journaling class will be held at the Satori Centre for Well-Being, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, from Feb. 5–26. The fee for the class is $60, and pre-registration is required. Contact donnamu66@yahoo.
com to register or for more information.