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When did you realize that stimming could be harnessed for creative means?

From the files...

An iPhone and earphones sitting on an open book.
A question from Lindsay in Toronto, Ontario to Iris Xie in Davis, California.

Hi Lindsay,

I love this question so much!

For me, I realized that stimming could be used through three different means, one through music, another through water, and the third through reading lovely turns of phrase in writing.

For me, what they have in common is the ability to be immersed in my senses fully, and to validate and contemplate that I am a person with needs, desires, feelings and the want to create and interpret the world around me in order to better communicate with others.

With music, I have some specific musicians and songs that I can get lost to, whether it is through the emotion transferred, the weight of the rhythm, or the intent of the piece. Playing them on repeat, sometimes a single song for up to 100 times in a row, helps draw out and validate aspects of my interiority that allows me to feel rested and validated, in both my need for discovery and play. I took this as far as being a music writer as well, in trying to figure out how do you describe a composition and how it moves through your bodymind.

Similarly, water is important for my well-being. Whether it is because I'm swimming in the pool, feeling the cold sting of the ocean as it soothes my hypermobile ankles, or just the way water looks glimmering in the sun. When I interact with water, I redirect how I feel towards those sensory moments, and allow myself to grow into the direction that feels as free and cool as the water.

Additionally, rereading beautiful turns of phrase makes my heart race and I murmur over the rhythm in my head that activates as I read words. It helps unlock what I struggle to say, and makes me feel just as free to pursue the galaxy of connections I have inside of me, while also connecting me to what I care about, both emotionally and intellectually.

Most importantly, reading is a sensory experience for me, as I can feel how my bodymind responds with delight and joy to the distinct experience of taking in one's words and perspectives.

With these three as avenues for stimming, I focus less on my perpetual anxiety over the most mundane aspects of doomsday, and remember that there is a lot of joy in being exactly who we are and what we find endearing to us. And that we can choose to enjoy it as many times as we like, and to make more of it and remix and create, and to share that with others.

It's a pure form of play, which is necessary for my creativity. I would want to encourage everyone to stim as much as they like, because your joy is so important for you and this world.



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