Folding your way to self-love

Origami connects to a world of zen mindfulness, and can be romantic

I met up in a coffee shop on the Danforth with Sherri Lawson, a peer-coach at George Brown College’s Peerconnect who uses origami as a coaching tool with students. I got so busy talking about my entire life story, and folding up pieces of paper, and showing Lawson the super-hopping origami frogs that I learned to make in elementary school, that I just plain forgot to do the interview.

Which tells you something about the power of origami.

Origami the art of folding paper, originated in Japan. But it connects to a whole world of zen mindfulness.

A few weeks later, I asked Lawson how she got into origami and her story is filled with romance and mysticism, “the first origami model was given to me by a fortune teller.”

“A year after that I met my boyfriend who had been making origami since he was a kid and he had a stash of it in a box,” she said. “On one of our first dates he made me a swan. It was very romantic.”

Now single, Lawson said origami is useful whatever your relationship status is.

“It’s an opportunity for self-love too in that we’re focused on ourselves in those moments rather than what someone else is doing on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat.”

As I demonstrated my ability to make super-powered hopping frogs and peered closely at diagrams to make paper hearts and paper cups, I felt like I was really learning something. There’s something powerful about making something with your own hands that takes you out of overthinking and into the physical world.

“We are so technology focused these days that stepping away from the rectangular and square devices to create something in two or 3D with our hands and eyes, is something special,” said Lawson.

Peace and Fold Origami is a regular activity at Peerconnect where they choose a different theme each month. February’s theme is love and friendship and they have a selection of origami heart designs for students to make.

Peace and Fold is held at St. Jamesis at St James is Tuesdays 11AM – 230PM in SJA B121 and on Wednesdays 12PM – 2pm SJE First Floor Lobby.

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Folding your way to self-love