October 9, 2020

Wellbeing through art


I believe being creative and allowing playfulness with ideas and emotions can play a huge role in our over all well being.

As humans we are inherently creative beings. We are creative in our everyday choices starting from what to wear and what to eat. The thoughts and ideas come and go. We make decisions based on our needs. Sometimes the mind gets in the way of playfulness.

When was the last time you picked up a crayon and drew something? Or a piece oif chalk and doodled on the pavement?

As well as tending to our daily tasks we also need to have the space to ask ourselves a simple question everyday: How am I feeling today?

By allowing the answer to surface we can make a decision too. What do I need to do today to support my mental state?

Recognition, acceptance and allowing is all we need to do for our inner world to be healthy.

  Mark making, doodling, drawing and painting can act as a tool for us and a safe way to express our inner feelings. To allow emotions surface without judgement. It is a safe release. Like a diary but without words. Lines and colour can be more gentle and more expressive at times than words.

By making the time to sit and doodle for 10 minutes a day we can help ourselves to calm and to put our mind and bodies at ease. Like a form of meditation.

Through drawing we practice: Hand and eye coordination, the art of observing what is happening around us. We look at objects and subject very closely in order to be able to draw them.

The act of drawing an object or an idea requires bravery and courage too as we can not know what the result would be.

We need to engage with the task to the best of our ability and allow the process to take its course.  This is the creative process which requires courage.

If we are brave and courageous then we will take the necessary steps to make the magic happen on paper the result will take care of it self. Sometimes we create a satisfying result and sometime not but each and every time we will encounter our inner fears, the harsh critic inside yet we don’t stop and talk ourselves out of doing anything creative but we make the drawing happen.

By doing so we are giving ourselves permission to DO our best in that given moment and engage with uncertainty. Along the process accidents happen or something just doesn’t go the way we want them but we can learn that not having control over things is OK too.

Control is only an illusion.

If we do this regularly then the skills can be transferred to our everyday life and challenges too.

This engagement and taking an active role in creating something contributes to our over all well being especially mental health.

My approach to teaching art is not about the skills but about engaging in the creative process.

I leave you with a quote from a great poet and teacher Jack Gilbert who used to say to his students:

Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?