Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
I was drawn to write this blog by two things that happened within a week, and I felt like it was important to talk about it.
Firstly, one of my lovely clients on my Creative Mastermind program had to go into hospital for major surgery. She had some hefty healing to do, and we had missed her on the group calls for two weeks. When she finally felt well enough to return to the calls, she said something profound, ‘I don’t want to do anything in my business, I just want to paint’.
It struck a chord in me, and my advice was clear, if that is what your body and mind is telling you to do, listen.
What happened next was to me! I had experienced a couple of stressful days, overloaded with work for The Art Bank and just not enough time to get everything done. It was Thursday and I had to take my son to college, shop, make food for my retreats, write 3 newsletters and this blog! I was under pressure for time and feeling anxious. My response to this was to go and paint a mural in the Van Gogh bedroom! My mind and body forced me to take a time out and do what I love.
The universe was obviously sending me a message and the content for a blog!
I have written two articles in the last 8 months for major publications on the healing power of creativity, so it was now time to share this with my network as well.
Here are the main reasons that both myself and my client had automatically defaulted to our creativity to heal ourselves mentally and physically.
Most creatives are intuitive, in fact, some paint and write intuitively. We are in tune with ourselves, nature, universal energy, and we know what is good for us. This is often why we are pulled back to creativity when we are going through life doing something we weren’t meant for. That was definitely the case for me. Yet we often ignore that pull to achieve mundane life tasks. Creative writing, colouring, journaling, painting, sculpting…need I go on, have healing properties and listening to the pull is the first step. If you are in recovery from anything, be it injury, surgery, addictions, even a cold and you feel the pull to be creative.
Colour has therapeutic properties and is a very individual experience. I start my program using mandalas and colour to help you make sense of emotions and experiences. Just the act of spending time creating a mandala or picking up an art journal and colouring in can have a hugely positive impact on your healing. Colouring improves your brain function, improves your sleep, helps you to focus, reduces stress and anxiety and improves motor functions. Journaling or writing about how you feel can also have powerful benefits such as improving your memory and keeping it sharp, boosting your immune function, improving your mood, and reducing stress and helping you to strengthen your emotional functions. Colouring and writing about how you feel is a powerful healing concoction, when you are out of sorts instead of picking up the pills, reach for your art journal and do both! One of my clients has been working with this idea for over a year now and has combined art and journaling in her amazing new range of art journals and stationery. Please check her out, Carolyn Carlin Studios, she is incredible at helping with your well-being through these mediums.
Many people fear painting or drawing in case they ‘make a mess’.
Well, I am giving you permission to do just that.
There are no mistakes or messes in art, just exploration. Even Picasso said ‘it took me four years to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child’. We could learn a lot from children, they don’t stress about creating a masterpiece, they just paint what they feel in the colours that make them happy. So, go and paint like a child. Don’t think that all of us who have a degree in art & design can always draw or paint something amazing, I have many pieces that I threw in the bin when I was younger, now I keep everything, even the mistakes because there may be a square inch of beauty that inspires me to create something else. Colour, shape, form, and style are derived from experimentation and mistakes. You didn’t walk the first time you tried, no, you fell, again and again. Then you held onto the furniture and eventually you managed it. Just go create whatever you feel and notice how the healing occurs. How calm you feel, how lost in the moment you are and lean into it all. Notice the colours that make you happy and use them, but also notice the colours that you don’t like and then check your life for those colours, if they are present, they could be causing you stress. Plan to replace them.
Somebody somewhere once said that everybody is creative, and to a certain extent there is truth in that statement because 98% of children are creative. Unfortunately, our ‘Victorian’ schooling system tends to squeeze the creativity out of us and send out confused academics into the world thinking that there is nothing else. So, not everyone is creative, they can be if they want to be, but it will take work and most people don’t want to invest the time. Maybe if we can learn to focus more on the healing power of creativity and encourage it more in our lives then we can change this. I am all for changing the world!
Forget physician, heal thyself, I say creative heal thyself and make time in your life for colour, for words, for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. Something that could well leave you feeling a whole lot better.
I am going to leave you with another quote from the great Picasso and some affirmations for your journal.
‘The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls’. Pablo Picasso
I am responsible for how I feel
I can manage my emotions in healthy and positive ways
I choose to heal myself using creativity
I know how to heal myself intuitively