Why creativity is important to well-being

 

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Creativity helps me find meaning in my life.

Experiencing the ice at the lake got me thinking about how I get insights into my life when I apply my creativity. I think the greatest gift is that I learn about myself in ways that were not obvious to me before. The act of creating reveals a truth in my life. The art is a by-product of a creative process through which personal meaning and purpose are revealed.

Creativity helps us connect to our emotions.

 

The patterns forming in the ice as we were jumping on the floating dock brought up feelings for me. Becoming aware of what I am feeling is the starting point of my creative process. I think the feelings here were joy, wonder and curiosity. These are all feelings associated with states of creativity. There was also a feeling of freedom and connectedness.

I was spontaneous with my family and I did not worry about the product or the outcome. Freedom is an essential mindset allowing creativity to flourish. We were just exploring the possibilities and watching the art unfold mostly by chance. Placing the love letters down on the dock while we were in process seemed natural. This was love at play.

Sometimes the freedom to be playful is lost in our adult lives. It’s very liberating artistically to challenge this belief and replace it with a thinking habit that is more supportive of creative process. It takes courage to let go of the fear that holds us back as creative spirits. We are conditioned by our culture to fear judgement and isolation. As adults we learn quickly to shut down our uniqueness. We learn to conform to feel acceptance and belonging.

Creative process in our culture remains a mystery.

There’s a real need today to demystify creative process  in the mind of the public. More importantly, there is a need to make creativity more accessible. Moments of creativity aren’t always extraordinary. Creativity happens in the most ordinary moments of our lives like taking a walk around a lake with your family.

Self-expression takes on many forms. However, when we think of creativity, we tend to think of the great masters of art and their works. But some of the most influential conceptual artists of the 20th century, such as Joseph Beuys  really challenged this notion. He suggested that every person is an artist. Being open to our creative being is important because we  experience  deep personal fulfillment when we create. It’s a very powerful and healing state of being which is not just for those involved in the exclusive world of  Fine Art.

To be creative is to be vulnerable.

I think what was interesting to me about the ice on the lake was how beautiful and natural it was despite its fragility. Self-expression takes courage and an openness to being vulnerable. I face this challenge every time I bring out my love letters and create public installations with them. I battle the judgmental voices in my head that try to sabotage  my process. I’ve learned to be aware of them and to just carry on because I create with complete conviction that this is what I must do. It is what heals my life and makes me a better person. I am finding, more and more, that my message of love through creativity is resonating with others.  Many people have this deep-seated need to discover their creativity because they feel a void, or an emptiness in their lives. But they don’t allow themselves to go further with this desire because they are afraid of being judged. They ignore the call of  their inner  “why” that is yearning to manifest itself through creative expression.

Our broken parts make us more beautiful human beings.

I remembered  through this creative experience that our broken parts make us more beautiful just like the patterns created in the broken ice were beautiful to my family. We are all broken in one place or another. Contrary to popular belief, life does not come without suffering. We all have wounds to heal, bumps and scars to attend. I certainly know this from personal experience.  We live in a culture that would like us to pretend that our emotional and spiritual self is made of Teflon. Creativity is a vehicle of exploration into the long-lost world of our fragile and vulnerable self.

Above all, the creative process of this installation made me feel more connected. I felt more connected to myself in that I was in state of heightened consciousness and awareness in the moment. I also felt greater connection to my family as we were creating something fun together.  And of course I was connecting to the natural environment around me which is essential to well-being. When I experience this level of connectedness and personal awareness, I  am tapping into universal consciousness which is the source of all meaning in my life.  Creativity is ultimately how I get there. It is how I understand and make sense of the events unfolding in my life.

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