by Sharon O’Donnell

I had just started counselling sessions to help me deal with PTSD.

A friend had just passed away of brain cancer too young. I was a mum to four boys under the age of five. I was struggling.

On my way to work everyday, I would pass a huge barn like studio called Rainforest Pottery in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. The sign out front changed from “Closed for the Winter” to “Spring Session Sign Up NOW!” I had always gravitated to pottery stalls at markets and such, buying a mug here and there, throughout my travels. Even though I couldn’t financially afford these classes, I could not afford not to do something for myself. I needed three hours a week to take care of me. Little did I know, I had just found my solace, my passion and myself again.

With clay and being a maker, you need to be present, in the moment and not looping on those old nagging thoughts that rarely leave your mind. You have to feel the clay and read and react to what the clay is doing underneath your touch. If I sit at my wheel and try to make a perfect bowl or mug and I am full of anxiety and my thoughts are far from where I am in the present, everything I touch will fight against me. So I listen to what the clay is telling me, and then I breathe and centre myself. I come to the wheel for my solace, its a place where all of life’s stresses can be left at the door. The clay doesn’t expect anything from me, other than to be present and to create.

Find Sharon on Facebook at Kokora Designs and on Instagram at sharonodonnellceramics.

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