Updated: Aug 16, 2019
How do we even begin to understand the power that creativity has on our mental, physical, and spiritual health? Poets, writers, and artists of all shapes and sizes have tried to answer this question throughout history and most of them return with similar conclusions - that creativity isn't something that we can control. It is who we are.
For many years I have been creatively blocked. Out of the refusal to try anything new from a worn out internal dialogue telling me that I'm not good enough, so why even bother? It is only recently that I have come to see the damage that this has caused in my life, and it is only recently that I have seen what it has cost in other blocked-creatives lives too.
When we are not creative, we are blocked. It is as simple as that. To not create is to sever an innate connection with ourselves that stems from the right hemisphere of our brain, which will eventually throws us off balance. To live in our left-brain the majority of the time can leave us feeling uninspired, like we're living in a stark metallic reality. Our left-brain controls things like logic and reason, and it is extremely useful. The problem is that when we spend too much time with this perception it leaves little things to actually enjoy in life. Listening to music is enough to bring us more into our right-brain and re-establish a relationship with our creative selves.
The world that we live in currently is very highly populated with left-brains activities, foods, and even left-brain people. The side of our personality that protects us, and can also leave us feeling flat and uninspired. Many of us have grown up in a schooling system where the arts are seen as inferior to the academic aspects of the curriculum. Everywhere we turn we are told that it is difficult, time-wasting, and unfulfilling emotionally to even dream of creating a life with art as our main sources of income. To be an artist is seen as a struggle, as something that takes up too much time, and as something to be frightened of. Not once have we been told that by repressing these desires we are holding back an integral part of ourselves and our place in the universe.
To make art (everything is art) is to give a gift back to ourselves and others. Art connects us with the meditative flow of life that comes through painting, singing, dancing, gardening, cooking, cleaning, or any other right-brain activities. It is in these times that we can hear the voices and insights that are unique to each of us.
Throughout life I have been back and forth a hundred plus times on the journey to feeling at peace with myself. Many of the things that have led me there have been challenging, both emotionally and physically, but the one thing that has had the most profound and fastest impact is the moment that I began reconnecting to the creative side of myself. Giving myself the space, kindness, and the tools to expand, and then watching things unfold just as they are meant to without having to do much at all.
What I have realised in this short journey is how many extraordinarily simple acts of kindness we can give ourselves each day. From waking a little earlier and writing in our journal, to taking 10 minutes to meditate and connect with our bodies and nature. In times like these, times of struggle with our mental health, our food, our relationships and our environment, it is vital to feel that essence of beauty that surrounds us at all times in this life. To do this we must spend more time tending to the side of ourselves that can nurture, love, create, sing, feel. The side of us that is free to be sexual, to be angry, to be fearful, to get hurt, and to follow our own internal instincts about what we deem to be right.
To be creative is to sit in that side of ourselves that can really appreciate the simple beauty of the forest, the rain, the fire and the birds. The beauty of people, laughter, pain, relationships and of all the difficulties that we might face.
Sending you love and healing,