Creativity & Healing
Social distancing does not have to limit our creativity. Are you dancing in the living room? Playing the ukulele in bed? Singing in the shower? Penning poetry by the window? Perhaps this time apart has offered you an opportunity to express yourself. What are you longing to say in this moment? So much is being revealed to us, some of it very painful and some of it amazing, including the profound unity we share with people across the globe.
We have created an online gallery, the SWC Creative Commons, a new Group on Facebook. I invite each of you to share your inspiration, joy, grief, honesty and healing as we bear witness to and participate in this global event. You may upload an image and/or audio, video, text – whatever you would like. Just go to this site and ask to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/swc.creative.commons/
I was inspired to host this Creative Commons for our school as creativity is life-saving. It can give joyful purpose amidst challenge, an opportunity to pause and reflect, a pathway into that inner realm where we are timeless beings, spacious beings, connected to the very Source of Life from which creativity flows. Right now, like you, I am working from home, and unable to see my community in the ways I enjoy. So instead I am writing daily, singing, drawing and doing beadwork. I have posted one of my poems in the Creative Commons along with this invitation.
Why is creativity healing? Below are some of my personal thoughts. In addition, there has been much research done to show the benefits of creative expression. Our Art Therapy program utilizes the research done specifically on the ways in which art heals.
I believe a creative practice of any kind is an invitation to be in deeper presence with ourselves. If we give our attention fully to the act of drawing, singing, dancing, journaling, painting, making music, sculpting, weaving, filming, writing, acting, etc. it is like being in the presence of a profound love. In the act of creating we weave our body/mind/spirit seamlessly together. We enter an expansive interiority moving beyond ordinary limitations into an open-ended flow. The daily act of fulfilling tasks is lifted. Through the act of creating, we can soar.
This is why creative expression is vital to healing. It engages with but also transforms mundane reality. In this shift, we move beyond present pain or isolation to experience connection. We connect with the materials we are using as we engage with our creative intelligence and the languages of gesture, color, line, shape, melody, rhythm, tempo, metaphor, symbol. We align ourselves with the lineage of that expressive form and those who have inspired us. Liberation from suffering can be experienced if only for the moment in which the creative process is being embraced. We go beyond ourselves to find ourselves.
It is not just the act of the creative process but also the result of creative expression that can be transformative. The art and writing that has emerged from prisons, hospitals, refugee camps, detention centers, concentration camps and other environments in which human beings are restrained and constrained are evidence of the power of the arts. When we create from the place of seeking to express our truth – and not of impressing ourselves or others – we are free to stumble, err, discover and express the resilience of the human spirit.