I believe that our creativity is essential to our well-being, but before I explain why, I would first love to share my story with you.
I always loved painting
I remember that when I was growing up, I was always doodling everywhere and it became something of an intrinsic part of me. Yet, I also had quite a clever left brain: I was good at maths, grammar, and other more linear and logical areas. So I never really saw myself as a creative.
Guess which parts were encouraged by my surroundings?
Well, I don’t want to blame anyone, but what happened next is that I went traveling and ended up not using my creativity for 10 years. It became this blurry thing from the past that I used to love, but somehow I lost access to it.
I thought back to it with a vague longing, not able to put my finger on why I needed it, but it was there in the silence of my being like an itch…this need to create, to enter a space of dreaming where the veil between this world and my soul was thin and I was a little closer to God.
It took me another ten years of slowly befriending this part again, like a wild and shy animal. This part that feels and loves deeply and that wants so desperately to create beauty.
Like a wild animal, I had to learn how to be with it on its own terms, not mine. And that meant peeling away of layers of fears and tensions and to surrender to something bigger than myself.
It meant to endure the maddening ecstasy of being close to the sublime and yet still a mortal human with so many limitations.
Painting to me became a spiritual practice. But even so, I still felt this was a private part and not to be shared or shown to others.
Then the pandemic came
And as shit as it was, it helped.
I guess most of us went through some sort of transformation. Many of us were confronted with the big questions of: ‘What’s important?’
And for me, the answer came through my creativity and painting: last year was truly the year that I reclaimed my inner artist.
That first two weeks in lockdown when my system was recovering from the shock of a very sudden and changed reality (like all of us), the loss of freedom, the fear of the unknown, the bombardment of incoherent news, etc., painting became my safe haven.
It was the place I could go to not just as an act of escapism, but as a process of healing and transformation.
I learned to understand that engaging this part of my brain, the subconscious and intuitive, helped me process all the different emotions and energies, and gave me space where I could transform my pain, fears, and any other feelings into medicine.
It helped me understand that my (our) creativity is not just a luxury, an add-on if you wish, instead it’s essential to our well-being.
It’s the healing power of the feminine in action.
Painting is like meditation
When I paint I literally go to another part of my brain. That part that many of us remember from our childhood but find increasingly hard to access. The older I get and the more practicalities I have to take care of, the more I feel that this fluid, intuitive and feminine part of my brain starts withering.
I literally feel the imbalance in my body and bones. And don’t I miss it! As a woman this part especially is what makes me come alive!
Maybe you know those voices too? Those voices of: Can I still do this? I used to be good at it but now I suck. or It’s too much work. I can’t. I can’t be bothered. It’s too frustrating anyway.
These are the voices of stagnation. They are the opposite of when we were kids and just eager to explore, free of judgment but full of curiosity.
To go back to that state of childlike playfulness, we have to meet these parts of ourselves first. Breathe through them, give them space to express, to move. Help them find their place in the bigger picture of things.
Like in meditation, we learn how to bear their existence without judging and condemning ourselves.
And the canvas is the most forgiving of mediums. Why? Because you can always, like in life, paint over it, layer by layer, adding richness and texture to your being. In painting, like in life, nothing is ever wrong, nothing is ever finished. It just keeps adding to itself in search for the perfect harmony.
We need our creativity to be online if we want to create a better, more balanced world. A world in which we care for each other.
And that’s why I would love you to hold this vision with me.
A vision of a more creative world. Because I deeply believe that more creative means more beautiful. More kind. More in touch with love and what’s truly important.
Wishing you a beautiful day full of joy and creative flow,