Am I creative? Why art therapy?

Am I creative?

Do you have a pulse, and are you breathing?  Yes?  Good, you are creative.

The way you think, move, feel, act, share: it’s all your creative expression.  It’s beautiful to watch people move; life is art.  You are part of it, you are art, and you are creating the work of art that is your life.

I know it can be intimidating to sit down with your own thoughts and a blank piece of paper if art is not your thing.  I very limited on my artistic drawing abilities.  It’s not that we are not capable, it’s that we just haven’t practiced.

I see a therapist who is very pro art therapy.  It’s come up in conversation at 3 different sessions.  So, I think she really wants me to benefit from its goodness.

I’m going to commit to a page a day and see what happens.  Care to join?

What is art therapy you ask?

Exactly what it sounds like–  creating art as to feel “better” about life, the situation, yourself, etc……

There are plenty of credible articles online if you’re wanting a fancy explanation.  That’s not what I’m here to chat about, so, google you must if you need a more proper description.

Why would this help me?  Why would I make art therapy a regular priority?

We all live with emotions that are craving to be unleashed and let go of.  They want out, and you’re keeping them in.   Having the jitters, cringing, white knuckling, biting your tongue, clinching your teeth, holding your breath, getting butterflies, etc…..  These are feelings that simply want out.

I do yoga, journal, and see a therapist to get out many of my emotions, but there are always other ways as well.  Some garden, dance, sing, workout, read, the list goes on.  Art therapy just seems like the next thing I want to add to my self help repertoire.  I’ve always wanted to be a better artist.  Of course, practice makes perfect.

I feel like releasing my emotions more consciously and creatively seems to make the process smoother, more enjoyable and more continuous.  I notice when I am being more creative in my releases that I feel more at peace with letting go of whatever belief or emotion I was trying to part ways with.

We can sit down, open a book, and use our pens to let go of that which does not serve us.  Layer by layer, inch by inch, day by day, we can take the time to notice what is going on inside, and let it out; good or bad, happy or sad, let go and create room to grow.

By connecting and paying attention to our creative selves, we have created the opportunity to grab thoughts that feel good,  fuel purpose, and the thoughts that can solve problems.  We can write them down, and remember them more clearly when we need them.  We can let emotions guide the pen or marker and bring us some clarity and peace of mind.  We can pin point what it is that is holding us back or making us feel stuck when we give ourselves space to listen and learn.

You are choosing and deciding what you want to see, heal, help and do,  either consciously or by default.  When we do things more purposefully and fully we add more value to the moment, yes?  Art therapy is  me committing to 15 minutes to allow my inner-self to speak creatively.  It’s me saying I’ve always wanted to be a better artist and so I’m going to invest a small amount of myself everyday in order to do so.  It’s one more way for me to safely express myself.

You’re feelings are valid, you matter, what you want matters, who you are, and where you are going is going to change the world.  Period.  Remind yourself where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going everyday.  I think art therapy can help me get clearer on my path, and become more appreciative of my past and present if I’ll let it..

We might create a more peaceful place in ourselves and in this world by picking up our pens and setting down the remotes or iPhones.  Or, at least this is the theory.

But, I’m not creative….

If you want to know how to be creative in terms of writing and art, first of all, you must sit still long enough to let the feelings arise that help you create.  Emotions charge the particles on your paper, and make the words, and strokes come to life.  Give yourself space to feel.  Stillness is your friend.  Being alone with paper and pen a few minutes a day can help you discover who you were, are, and wish to be.

If it’s scary to be alone with your thoughts, write that down, get it out, don’t own it anymore; give it away, and then write down how you want to feel-I am safe, I love and appreciate myself, and time.  Then just take a few deep breaths as you scribble and doodle your way to creating healthier thought patterns.

Do not underestimate the power behind getting to know yourself through creative expression.  You must feel more deeply if you want to create more passionately.  Silence, space, feel, accept, release, create, breathe, moving on.

Open your chest and you will find magic pouring out, begging to come to life, asking your permission to come into existence.  You have emotions that want to be known, they want to come out and play, and if you don’t let them, they bounce around in your body creating their own kind of fun, which  may not be your kind of fun.

What are you suppose to do or say with this blank canvas?

Whatever feels fitting that day.  Today, I was struggling with not taking a friends comments personal.  Instead of continuing to be angry, I drew statements that reinforced who I want to be, not who she thinks I am or should be.  I paid no more attention to her ill words, and instead created words that felt good when I said them, read them, wrote them.  I also drew owls which always make me feel connected to my beloved grandma (read more on her here), and just let myself breathe deeper as I colored away.  That’s it.  Piece of cake.  And, my first page took 15 minutes of my time, and I do feel way better about the situation at hand.  Mission accomplished.

I know, I know, don’t quit my day job.  I’m not here to sell you art, I’m here to help you understand that a little goes a long way.  I know journaling and art has saved my life a time or two, and I think if I put in a little more effort it can help me create momentum and healing to move more easily through the coming days of my life.

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Commit to 5 minutes a day and let it grow if the time, and you say so.  Maybe you’ll notice yourself feeling more focused on what is helpful, so you may choose wiser next time.  Maybe you’ll discover that doodling, coloring and drawing are soothing for the soul, even if all you did was scribble a few words and lines down.

You didn’t create the Mona Lisa or write Harry Potter, but you did create a moment that aloud you to feel, express and move.  Art brings people to life.  Art allows blood to flow, circuits to open and puzzle pieces fit.  Create your own everyday.

Create your mood, find solutions, vent, laugh at yourself, build yourself up, say nice things to yourself and be responsible for your own sh*t, but do it with crayons, and make it pretty and fun, so you like life and yourself.

Each day, the theory is that you’ll speak more thoroughly, clearly, calmly, effectively, and lovingly to yourself, and of course, that can only help you communicate more beautifully into the world around you.  Yes?

Which can only create more enjoyable moments, correct?

Get creative, get clear, get excited about who you are, where you’ve been and where you are going.  Color your way to more enjoyable days.

In love,

Danielle Atherton-Rutledge