When we find ourselves feeling listless, dull, and purposeless, with everything shaded in muddy colors and no bright spark to kindle our enthusiasm for life, it’s time to return to the center of ourselves and call upon our creative natures to reclaim a sense of direction and vitality. In this way, creativity can be a profound medicine.
In her wonderful book, Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity, Julia Cameron talks about creativity as a kind of medicine that can provide meaningful affirmation for our lives. She says this:
“Practicing our creativity is healing. Not because we are sick but because we are essentially well. As we express our intrinsic nature, which is beautiful and specific, particular and original, we experience a healing transformation less in ourselves than in our relationship to the world. We are not at fault. We are not powerless. We are very large, and in expressing this truth, healing occurs. What is healed is the rift between our spiritual stature and our mistaken perception of ourselves as flawed.
“Creativity is medicine. It is not dangerous or egotistical. It is life-affirming and essential. The more we use it, the more steadily and readily and easily we use it. The more we ground it and regularly access it, the better off we are. The ‘healthier’ we are. Humor and acceptance enter the picture. Far more than self-scrutiny and self-correction, self-expression may be the key to a much more synthesized and and effective sense of self.”
-Julia Cameron, Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity (p. 58)
So how do we get from that listless place to making art as medicine? Here are some ideas:
- Tune into whatever inspires you as you move through your day—an image, a color, a quote—whatever resonates within you to kindle that creative spark.
- Consider the materials you might like to work with. Sometimes changing them up a bit will be just the thing you need to do to get going.
- Carve out time to work during the course of a day—maybe even small increments. Schedule this into your calendar, just as you would for any errands, or lunch with a friend.
Kathy and I are always here, ready to empower your creative career and process at artcoachingforyou.com. Let us know what we can do!