A love letter to those who know struggle and have survived some shit.
We see you. You're not alone.
Created by a Survivor for Survivors
It all began with falling off my horse and waking up admitted into a hospital room with no recollection of what happened. "Frontal Lobe Traumatic Brain Injury," the doctor said. I didn't know the date or who was president. I thought that was the scariest thing I'd have to survive. Five years later I find myself surviving a new trauma, adding PTSD on top of my previous brain injury. Living with PTSD is dark and lonely. Every day you fight an ingrained fear. You didn't ask for it. It just happened.
Surviving isn't the hard part, it's every day that comes after. How do you live with an invisible injury?
Daring 2 Pursue
I have this dream of working with artists to create pieces, whether, it's t-shirts, coffee mugs, paintings, or whatever it may be, to tell the story of traumatic brain injury. Not from the perspective of doctors and health professionals. From the perspective of survivors. No one knows what it's like to survive a brain injury, except for the survivor. There are good and bad days. There are days when you need humor to fight the battle. There are days when you need to cry. There are days when you need words of encouragement and strength. There are days when you just need someone, anyone, to be there for you. There are days when the world is too noisy and you have to shut it out. So many different days. I want to help tell it all. How do I make this happen?
It's not just professional athletes and soldiers who are at risk from traumatic brain injury. More than 1.7 million people a year sustain a traumatic brain injury, and about 50,000 of them die each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There are both emotional and financial costs from these injuries. Anne Wojcicki
On the journey to discover how to tell the story of traumatic brain injury, I began connecting with survivors of the invisible. There are all types of trauma the body can survive. Violent physical assaults, emotional or financial abuse, and illnesses like fibromyalgia or lupus. Not all injuries, illnesses, or disabilities are visible to the eye. There are a lot of invisible survivors out there.
When you carry around the weight of an invisible injury and illness, you have to find some way to deal with the toll it takes on your life. One thing I have found in common with my fellow invisible survivors is art. Creativity does not judge you. There are no right or wrong ways to be creative. Exploring creativity opens you up to the idea of hope and possibility, despite the stress and limitations life has placed on you.
- Coloring, has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring about more mindfulness.
- Like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment.
- These activities can help tremendously with individuals with PTSD, anxiety, and stress issues, as they calm down our amygdala. This is the part of the brain that controls our fight or flight response.
Coloring has quite honestly saved my life. The idea behind Zen Brain Design is to inspire anyone and everyone to explore creativity. This is a creative idea that I allowed myself to say yes to. There are many things I can't do anymore. This creative idea isn't one of them.
Zen Brain is a creative studio passionate about brain health and supporting survivors of the invisible. Talking about heart health is easy. Talking about brain health (mental health) is not so easy.
What if it that changed?
How many lives would we save?
It's time to talk about brain health and end the stigma.
Creativity can help us talk about brain health and end the stigma. We believe happy brains make happy people. So let's treat our brain like our heart. We only get one brain. It's a pretty important organ.
- In art, science, and business, creativity is the engine that drives progress. People who can think creatively and flexibly frequently have the best outcomes.
- Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain. Different regions of the brain are recruited for the creative process. More importantly regions of your brain work together as a team when engaged in creative activities.
- Happy brains make happy people. Doing things that are fun and enjoyable improves our overall well-being. Think of creative activities. like coloring, as an act of self love.
Our story at Zen Brain Design is just beginning. To get started we are creating an online coloring gallery. We hope our coloring gallery inspires anyone, who needs to find a little peace within the storm, to grab colored pencils, crayons, or paint, and experience the sheer delight of letting color transform you to another place.
Partnering with artists to offer unique coloring experiences is our goal. We envision a gallery filled with individual artists' collections. If you are an artist who loves to design coloring pages, we will happily feature your collection.
We want survivors of the invisible to know they are not alone. They have a community of loving colorists cheering them on. This is why we've created a little thing called the Invisible Fund.
Profits from Zen Brain Design are stashed into the Invisible Fund. With your help, four times a year, we will choose an organization that supports survivors. We want to live in a world where people can receive the medical treatment and therapy they need to heal. Will you help us?
Zen Brain Design was born out of the online community found at Daring 2 Pursue. Join us!