Are you guys yogis yet?
We have made it to week 4 of Peace Month. This week the topic is creativity.
This week we will discover how creative expression leads to more peacefulness.
Much of coping involves participating so fully in skill that it allows us to forget about time. The meditative qualities of yoga and mindfulness - which we have discussed in the weeks prior - absorb attention. Creative expression does something similar, providing a mental vacation from the hectic stress and to-do lists of life.
It is important to remember that creativity is not for “some” people who have lots of free time on their hands. Creativity is an often-neglected way of life, especially in this busy, technological day-in-age. But it is for everyone. And creativity can be expressed in many different ways. It happens through writing and painting and building and cooking and gardening, etc. It includes creative thinking, speaking, and development.
It includes seeking creative solutions where you have felt stuck. If you have been struggling with lack of fulfillment or disconnectedness, it may be important to flex your creativity muscle and see what comes from it.
At our core, in our innocence, we know this – Almost all of us can point to participating in some form of creative expression as children, be it sidewalk chalk, drawing, sandcastle building, or making up games with the neighborhood kids. Somewhere along the way, however, creating began to feel like an expendable part of life, deemed as unproductive or for other people.
Creativity is an important tool available to everyone for expression of their thoughts and feelings. Passion and pain are released into the world through creative expression. It’s It reminds us that thoughts and feelings are both individual and communal. Individual thoughts and feelings are uniquely worthy of expression and everyone as a right to theirs. And as what is internal is expressed externally, shared community can happen, “me too” can happen.
Creativity brings purpose to pain and offers defusion from overwhelming emotions. Defusion means that there is space between yourself and the pain/circumstances represented in the creative outlet. Meaning, we pour our emotions, passions, and stories into the work of art and then can see it, observe it, experience it with the senses.
There is one more thing to consider. I share this with my clients often when participating as a group in various forms of creative expression: It's important to recognize the blocks that emerge as we create. Creativity – like most of our waking life - is ripe with opportunities for the inner critic to arise. Notice this inner critic and then send it on it’s way. Likely, as you produce something through creative expression, the same inner critic who pops up in your meditation, relationships, work, and prayer, will make itself known. It’s important to be able to recognize this voice and to also know it has no productive place in an authentic and meaningful life.
My hope is that as you have been reading this post today, your mind is wondering to some form of creativity that you enjoy, or that you used to enjoy and it has been left behind by the go-go-go of life. This week’s challenge is to carve out any amount of time available to you to express yourself creatively. Additionally, make attempts this week to see things you might already be doing as creative expression – cooking, gardening, running a business, whatever it may be. Would love to hear about your week of creative expression!