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Healing Through Creative Practice
Trust the process. Your life is your art.
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The ability to look deeply is at the heart of creativity. Being in relationship with all parts of the living world, including our cells, thoughts, emotions, and visions, opens our connection to the Source and its inexhaustible offerings. I've come to this wisdom in my mid-twenties after going through one of the massive transformations in my life. I was in the midst of a divorce, with no job, living in my baby brother's room, and my whole reality collapsing before my eyes. I remember holding so much fear in my body, especially about abandonment. I thought that I'd never love or be loved again. I thought about not being good or beautiful enough and wondered if I could trust again. I lived in my head, processing and over analyzing every situation and every interaction I could have handled differently. I used to tell myself that if I acted another way, I wouldn't be where I was. I would feel wanted. But this identity fracture was one of the best things that happened to me.
In a naturally magical manner, after weeks of grieving, crying, and doubting myself - my energy shifted. This version of me was tiring, and I realized that I had to start living in the present to heal the past. More importantly, I needed to bring the overwhelming energy I invested in dissecting of my experiences back to my body. Without my creative practice, I wouldn't have been where I am now; embodied and imperfectly human. My writing practice empowered me to see another way. It helped me realize that life isn't about proving our worth to anyone but realizing it ourselves.
Who you are is enough. Not because of what anyone else says. And not because of how you look, how incredibly you perform at your job, or how many people approve of you. You are worthy because that's how you’ve been created.
To receive the gift of connection to the unseen, we must be fully present in all our processes by bringing ourselves to them slowly and intentionally.
Those days, I also learned that there was sacredness in my tears; I was emptying myself of unrealistic expectations, assumptions, and judgments, and my body was gently guiding the release of the crushing demands I'd put on myself. My grief was embodied in tears and told me that it didn't need transforming. It's fluid, it has no shape, and it never ends. It doesn't go away. It changes with time and changes us from the inside out. My grief wanted anchors; it wanted to be seen and safe to express. This was when my work of identity reconstruction began, deepened by my journaling practice that allowed for my intuition, visions, and words to strengthen and make coherent my inner life. Committing to a daily practice of writing allowed me to tap into the wider consciousness and to approach the visions and the imaginal worlds with ease and awe. I could access universal symbols, visions, and dreams, allowing my psyche to move beyond the limiting constraints and one-sided attitude of the ego. I became forgiving and understanding in ways I've never experienced before. The union between my body and spirit led to spontaneous activation of synchronicity in the dynamic, energetic field, furthering my healing and transformation. I only needed to trust the cycles, soften into the unknown, and commit to daily creative practice.
That looked like journaling every day and drawing mandalas. This embodied creative commitment opened up a world I realized I was always connected to: the realms of seeing beyond the ordinary, the spiritual imagination encircling the soul of the world that I couldn’t access before because I had a habit of giving my power over to others.
I relied on others for validation and self worth hoping to belong and be loved. Because anytime I saw a vision, had a sacred dream, or an eccentric idea, whenever I actually had an opinion that questioned the reality of others, I was not taken seriously. And somewhere along the way, without guidance, without mentors, I learned to think that others know me more than I know myself. I had no reference or context for the visions coming to me, and believed others when they took no notice of my gifts and invalidated my reality.
But it was my curiosity that led me. It was my journaling practice that set me free. It was my connection to the spirit that enchanted me. My persistence emboldened me. My friends uplifted me. My intuition empowered me. My deep love for myself healed me.
Your gifts are your experiences, the wisdom you’ve acquired, and your unique way of seeing the world. If you don’t honor these gifts by sharing them with others, you risk the heartache that comes from not liberating the work that can be medicine for yourself and the world.
What wants my attention today is very similar to what wanted my attention then; A profound trust in my sacred sight and creative practice. As I slowly locate myself in the world again and learn what I have to give, I am being asked to remember a slower, more liberating, expressive self. I return to my curiosity to see what it might mean to belong and give in a more nourishing way, more grounded and something more fitting, and true and more me. How can I drink more deeply from my internal wells and return to my creativity in these ways I’m already shaping?
Our capacity to weave the invisible into something tangible is found in relationships, especially in the practice of them. And what a blessing is to continually be made and unmade over and over again. To deepen the relationship with the land, our bodies, hands, creative tools, imagination, dreams, and each other is the force that fuses elemental magic with our feral wisdom so that new reality can open its doors to us.
Tend to your life like an artwork.
Surrender enough to feel.
Develop a practice that is nurturing.
Unshackle yourself from your belief systems.
Live in integrity.
The artist doesn’t come up with new ideas; she listens. She notices. She trusts the cycles of life. She creates a sacred space that allows for the opening of channels so that what is received becomes the most beautiful source of healing for her, the art, and those who become touched by its light.
Healing through a creative practice can be a powerful tool to help us process emotions, cope with stress, and improve our mental well-being.
Here are five steps to help you start healing through a creative practice:
Choose a creative outlet: Select a creative practice that you enjoy and that resonates with you. This can be anything from painting, drawing, writing, music, or dance. It’s important to choose a practice that feels accessible and comfortable to you.
Set up a safe space: Create a space that is calming and supportive. This could be a dedicated room or just a corner of a room where you feel comfortable and inspired. Make sure the space has good lighting, and set up any necessary tools or materials in advance.
Begin with intention: Set an intention for your creative practice. This can be as simple as “I want to feel more relaxed” or “I want to express my emotions through art.” Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to let go of any stress or negative thoughts.
Create freely: Let go of any expectations or judgments and allow yourself to create freely. Allow the process to be more important than the outcome. This is not about creating a masterpiece, but rather about using the creative process as a tool for healing.
Reflect and integrate: After you have finished creating, take a few moments to reflect on the experience. Notice any emotions that came up during the process and reflect on how you feel now. You may want to write in a journal, meditate, or simply sit quietly and reflect. Allow yourself to integrate the experience into your daily life and notice any positive changes that occur.
By following these steps, you can use a creative practice to help you heal, process emotions, and improve your overall well-being. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to use a creative practice for healing, so allow yourself to experiment and find what works best for you.
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