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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

Creative Spirit Blog September 16, 2023 Art the Antidote

A New Rhythm Mixed Media

Art is your wound turned into light.” George Braque

Heartbreaking events have been front and center in the lives of many of my friends lately. None of us are immune to loss or the failing events of the body and soul. We have all experienced them. Some are more tragic than others and we each find our own way of coping with them. Art can be the antidote. This was evident during the pandemic. If we were not creating, we would try to enjoy someone else’s creative efforts by reading, listening to music, or watching TV.

When life throws us a curve ball our first reaction is to deal with the immediate situation, but after our initial reaction wears off and immediate needs met, it is often difficult to see a way forward. There can be a long state of inertia. It takes courage and work to move forward.

Experts suggest doing little things to care for ourselves; like taking a short walk, listening to music, and getting out of our cocoon and finding something that peeks our interest. Human connection can do wonders for our spirit. Making a list of things that would interest us if we felt better is helpful to jog our memory back to better times. Then we must pick one and start.

Don’t you just hate that advice? But it does work! We don’t always need to reason with our emotions or make a case for doing something. Anything is better than inertia. If the start feels overwhelming, we just need to break the activity down into small pieces.

Vincent van Gogh said,Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

Then we need to reward ourselves for the little win.

When we engage in the creative process, we are increasing our insight, decreasing our stress, healing our trauma, increasing our cognitive function, and memory. We also might improve our interpersonal relationships and achieve a sense of self-fulfillment. It’s a win, win list!

When we are being creative or tackling something that interests us it allows us to enter a “flow state,” or that feeling we get when we’re in the “zone” and lose the sense of ourselves and of time. Making art or being creative in some other way helps us be more present and activates a variety of networks in our body. We relax, we focus, and we ultimately find pleasure.

Even if the outcome is not what we visually expected, we have done something which was good for us emotionally and mentally. Creating and experiencing art has amazing therapeutic effects. Creativity is an inherent part of all of us. We should never worry about failure. It’s going to happen. It’s part of the process. But that’s ok: We must go ahead and take chances and we might just find that what we feel is a failure isn’t really a failure at all. It might be the thing that inspires us to have bigger and better ideas.

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” WM Lewis

Let art or any creative process help us endure and process the painful events in our lives. Let it reflect our gratitude for that which has been beautiful and meaningful to us.

1 Comment

Sep 22, 2023

What wisdom! Going thru a difficult time it is sich a relief to be able to tturn to art or something tot rake your mind off what you are going thru. I turned to art, with lessons from at your class and it has saved me. You do not have to be Van Gough tp feel good about what you are doing. Learning and creating and meeting with others in a class to so refreshing, It is such a relief to leave your troubles behind for awhile. Thank you for being there and bring this great class into my life.

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