I am thinking a lot about art + healing.
My first experience with art as healing happened spontaneously 19 years ago in college. I was experiencing growing anxiety and depression. I was afraid I was losing my mind.
One of the things that soothed me at that time became a daily ritual. I would put Fleetwood Mac's Tusk on my record player, take out a small set of acrylic paints, and apply deep, rich colors to the back of my bedroom door. Purple, magenta, turquoise, green, yellow...
I wasn't trying to create anything in particular. I was seeking solace in the simple act of using my hands--dipping the brush in paint, putting the paint on the door, crying when I felt like it, and dropping into a few moments of peace as I watched the color flow onto the wood.
This process got me through that year. It gave me a place to put my fear and anxiety. A way to feel a sense of connection to myself and containment around my process.
This experience opened me to my intuition and the process of allowing a deeper vision to flow through me. When the year ended, I realized my painting looked (loosely) like a brightly colored butterfly spreading her wings across the door. She offered me a sense of hope and gave me the courage to eventually seek help.
"Every human is an artist.
The dream of your life is to make beautiful art."
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Many of us were taught our creativity should look a certain way rather than flow through us as an expression of our deepest selves. Creating art as healing does not focus on technique or product. Art as healing focuses on connecting with ourselves and engaging our innate creativity as medicine.
We can throw out everything dismissive we were taught about ourselves in relation to creativity and art. We can allow our process of creating to hold value.
Creating art as healing allows space for the deep, quiet parts of ourselves to come through—intuition, wisdom of our body, whispers of our heart, inner knowing, connection to the collective consciousness.
Art as healing can happen through singing, gardening, cooking, parenting, teaching, dancing, loving, working, and leading. It can come through praying, playing, organizing, counseling, priestessing, protesting, drawing, sculpting, and more.
Art as healing is a simple and powerful act. We can allow this healing to open us to new ways of seeing, feeling, knowing, and being. Remembering that the possibilities of our creative nature are endless.