The most valuable lesson I have learned is that the most meaningful journey is the inner journey.

Creativity as Therapy

How to tap into the healing power of your own art

Jean Edelman: This week I want to think about and talk about having a year of creativity. Our mental health is so important and if nothing came from Covid, it’s the fact that we’re talking openly about our mental health. I will share that my parents were very wise, and when I was a teen and struggling, they found me a wonderful counselor to talk to. His name, I still remember it to this day is Mark Caswell. I’ll never forget him. He got me through high school and into my college years.

Seeing a counselor taught me that when I was struggling with something, it was okay to reach out for help. Even today, I have someone that I talk with when life feels too heavy. I’ve talked many times about having a toolbox of self-care to help us along those bumpy roads.

But today, I want to talk specifically about adding some creative activities to our toolbox, because expressing ourselves is the key, and expressing ourselves through art is a wonderful answer. It can be finger paint or oils or watercolor or clay crayons, colored pencils, markers, chalk; if you can think of it, you can create with it. There are also many venues for art therapy. There’s the visual art, there’s music, there’s dance, there’s movement, there’s drama, there’s poetry. There are measured benefits that prove encouraging our self-esteem improves our mood, reduces stress, helps our self-esteem, and increases our self-awareness, which enhances our communication.

And so this art, this art therapy, this art expression, when life has given us trauma; sometimes we have no words and a non-verbal expression can help us bring it out, bring out the hurt, and begin the healing.

The goal, when we’re working in this art form, is to turn off our brain and let our inner essence flow. Our inner self will start to blossom. When we experience this moment of creativity, the world goes away. And when we are there with our colors in that moment, we will feel so free, so limitless. It’s a very addictive feeling, and we’re going to want more. When we’re with our paints and our colors, the chatter of the world goes away and we’re allowing our true self to emerge. When we practice and play with our art, all the life that we have stuffed away deep inside, it is able to come up and out and to heal. No one judges. It is just our self-expression so that we can be the best version of ourselves.

So my action item for this week is find a class or go to a hobby store. Buy some crayons or a coloring book. Something to do after dinner. Set aside some time to play. Let go and just be.

So my word of the week is Art.

The A is for Allow. All that has been pent up. All that has been hidden. All that has been kept quiet. Art allows it to flow. Art allows it to bubble to the top and to heal because we no longer need it.

The R is for Real, true and authentic. This is our soul’s journey in this lifetime, and our soul wants us to be the best version of ourselves. And in order to do that, we need to give it space and the tools to express ourselves so that that inner light, that inner essence can shine.

And the T is for Thrill, excitement. Do you know how fun it is to create something? How about when you were a kid? Did you do arts and crafts at school? My siblings and I, we were so proud when we brought home our little potholder. There was no judgment and there’s no right or wrong, and it was fun to create. It was fun to let go, and it was fun to have something to show for our creativity.

I’m actually going to share a picture of my very first watercolor. I actually framed it because I’m kind of proud of it. It’s pretty. It’s my first one and I love the colors in it, and so nobody has to judge it. It just has to be something that we love. That’s all we get to create, and we get to make something. So let’s help ourselves. Let’s find an outlet to express our emotions. So I’m actually going to share a picture of my very first watercolor. I framed it, I’m proud of it. To me, it’s pretty. I love the colors. That’s the beginning and end of it. I created something and I loved it.

Now you go out, you create something, find that inner piece of yourself. Find that essence of yourself. Let’s help ourselves. Let’s find a wonderful creative outlet to express our emotions in a healthy way. It’s the year of creativity. So let the party begin. Have a great week everybody, and let’s have a wonderful year.

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