I marvel at what people can create. Just looking at paintings, drawings and sculptures reveals the diversity of talent in our world. Even people who are not artists create beautiful things every day. I enjoy crochet and knitting so I took a look at some of the creations shown on Tumblr and was astounded. I have friends who create the most spectacular cakes and baking creations, friends who take scrap booking to a new level, and I am by no means unique with the collection of people I know.
Years ago a school friend and I attended weekly classes to learn about stamping on cards, plate painting, decoupage and various other things. My friend’s mother joined in and the three of us had ‘play dates’ sharing our art supplies and creating some wonderful things. I always felt that their creations were so much better than mine. But looking back I also created some wonderful pieces of art and sadly, I have no idea how they were done. Once we had children, we stopped attending the classes and our play dates dried up.
We became parents and we stopped playing. Many of us have forgotten what it is to play and to have fun. Having children of my own I see how much fun they have while painting. I habitually resist their painting at home because the tidying up rests with me and I find it most unpleasant. Perhaps this is one of the lessons I still need to learn and sometime soon I will embrace their painting and to dive in too.
This weekend I am attending a women’s retreat. I keep telling myself my primary reason for going is to escape my children but to be honest, it’s more than that. It’s allowing myself to invest in me. I think it is a key part of my recovery and I hope to make it an annual occasion. The weekend includes expression through art and through dance and as I have mentioned in previous posts, self-expression really necessary for me.
I find music to be such an interesting form of expression. There are songs that are so joyful and others so full of pain that you can hear the suffering in the words. How blessed are the artists who can express emotions through such a medium.
About a year ago I was going to a coach and I remember telling her how much joy I get from creating crochet blankets. I made one for a friend for her birthday a few years ago and she told me that it was the best present she had every received. I love the creative aspect of planning the pattern, colours and border. What I didn’t tell my coach in so many words is that I enjoyed the blankets much more than work. Because at work I had no control over the goal and I was not able to be creative in my work. My work goals were extrinsic in that it was more for others, while creating a blanket is done for its own sake, an intrinsic purpose. Research shows that intrinsic goals make us happier.
It is true that I am undergoing a transformation from the stressed and unhappy person I was last year, to a fulfilled, peaceful person who is comfortable speaking her truth. Big change is happening in my body, in my life and my career. I choose to focus on what works for me and I unburden myself of the shackles of obligation to others. My journey has included a multitude of aspects including healing practices, diet change, exercise change, rest and meditation, focus on self-care, medication and supplements but most importantly, Creativity.
You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. We are all born with creative talents which are sadly dormant in many of us. I’d encourage you to find some time to play or create in the next week. Express yourself in some way and note how it makes you feel. I have found that in writing, I am healing myself. It is in expressing my long-suppressed thoughts and ideas that I feel free.