"Enlightened therapies urge us to 'accept how we feel'. Art teaches us to express how we feel and so alchemize it. Art acknowledges that feelings are mutable and that we contain the power to mutate the dross of our wounds into the ore of art. In this sense, art gives us the ability to always move out of the victim position. Therapy adjusts us to the world. Art adjusts the world itself." -Julia Cameron
If you've been following this blog, you've probably heard me ramble 12 different ways about creativity and artistry in everything we do and see, from the minute details of your last meal to the highly produced mainstream melodramas on your watchlist, it's all art.
But something that still bears continual mention is the power of art to heal. What comes to your mind when I say this? Social anxious kids finding confidence and peace in a set of crayons and paper? Tribal dance rituals in Rwanda, used to celebrate, memorialize, and uplift the community in times of crisis? British doctors rolling out a program that prescribes dance, singing, and music lessons instead of pills for a range of both physical and mental ailments? Or some other heroic story you heard perhaps? Despite a vast array of examples and applications, they're all relevant and they're all connected.
I want to talk about you. Your personal experience of this pandemic and the enormous changes you've had to accept and adapt to. What has been surprisingly difficult? What has been surprisingly easy? What helps ease the stress of your day and what doesn't? Lastly, in what ways has creativity helped you, and what art forms have been calling to you during these times of isolation, grief, and division?
If you think the long winded Facebook status you wrote to check in doesn't count, I challenge you to think differently. If you think the little ideas you come up with every day to keep the kids stimulated don't count, I think you're wrong. Same goes for your quarantine cooking methods, the outfit you put together for your last IG post, your silly dances in the bathroom mirror, your stress relief coloring books, your Spotify playlist assembly, and the impression of Christopher Walken you came up with on the spot in your last game of Heads Up. Give yourself a little more credit, so you can give yourself permission to make more art.
Dig deep, and ask yourself in what creative directions you've been leaning during lockdown, then lean into them even further. Share your creations with the world, or just with a few people you like and trust. Find the little bits of art therapy that will help you process your complex emotions during these globally overwhelming times, and make time for them. Alchemize your feelings through bits of unfettered art, and ground yourself through this unprecedented journey of universal change.
*And don't let the standards set by global social media stop you from making stuff. Even if it's just for you, I promise it's worth making.*
Art reflecting art: