Creativity and the power of being in the Now!! - Tamsyn
Hello beautiful people!! What strange times we find ourselves in! We have, collectively, been thrown into a situation not of our choosing, a situation which, no doubt, has led to many of us experiencing an anxiety and stress that we have never had to deal with before ...ever.....
So, how should we tackle these feelings....within ourselves or our children, in a simple and meaningful way ?
When experiencing stress and tension, as we all are right now, one of the most powerful ways of finding a little respite, and sanctuary is to be creative.
You're not an artist? You're not creative? I hear you say....
Hah!!! I do beg to differ
Each and everyone of us, by mere virtue of being Human is a creative being. It is literally our birth right to claim however we see fit.
You do not need to be an incredible artist, or writer or chef or anything to be creative. All it requires from you is a sense of adventure, wonder, awe and playfulness!!
So let’s look at how this all works.
Your brain is (basically) divided into 2 hemispheres. Your Left brain is responsible for things like language, facts, mathematics, logic, number skills, rational thought and thinking in words.
Your Right brain is responsible for creativity, Intuition, holistic thought, imagination, musical awareness, insight and visualization.
As westerners, we are mostly left brain dominant....no one's fault...
It is just how we are made to be through our education system, our social conditioning, and our culture really. Creativity is essentially the act of using the part of your brain that has been sorely neglected (most of us) for our whole lives. We have within us a massive resource that holds the capacity of complete regeneration for our entire beings... sound too good to be true?
Have you ever done something where time seems to stand still? Or 3 hours pass by in the blink of an eye? We have all heard the saying that time flies when you're having fun - that is the creative force at work!! We have all lived in this stream as children, playing dress up, drawing, painting, talking to imaginary friends... literally creating our own desired reality moment to moment. And then we grew up and left these "childish" things behind... sad but true.
At age 9 to 10 children become incredibly critical of their art works, this is the first sign of the ego's development, there comes a need for every child to portray something realistically, it is part of our natural human development. Should the child be lucky enough to have someone around who can show them and teach them how to do this, that child will never be afraid of creating - ever.
Unfortunately for most of us, this is the stage where our faculties of perception become stunted because we are simply never taught to really see and perceive things in their true form. How many adults still draw like 10 year olds? Why? Because we didn't have the opportunity to develop our skills further. Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, just by the way, it can be healed and rectified within just a couple of weeks if one so wishes!!
Over the past 9 years I have worked with hundreds of people, from all walks of life. From young children labelled problematic or ADD or ADHD, to teenagers struggling to find a place for themselves, to beautiful souls in recovery, struggling with addiction, to amazing moms running homes and families looking for a piece of their souls again. Many people from many walks of life. And I have been immensely privileged to be part of their journeys in finding parts of themselves that they didn't believe existed.
Starting can be the hardest part. I have watched trembling hands, a struggle to take breath, deep seated urges to pack up and leave, all because of a white page, a blank canvas or a piece of wet unmoulded clay.
Why? Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of never being good enough. Fear of being laughed at.....just pure FEAR!! This very tangible fear is birthed by judgement. Judgement comes from our left brain!!
We all have the innate desire to succeed hard wired into us, but how many of us have ever questioned our notion of success?
What does success mean to you? And what is success when it comes to being creative?
For me, success has come to be an honest desire, and then commitment and attempt to create, no matter the outcome of the creative endeavour. It is in the trying and perhaps failing, where true success lies. If we can only stop our inner critic, our judgement of ourselves, the secret which is revealed to us is that success ONLY comes through a certain amount of failure. This is the nature of learning.
There is no right or wrong with creativity, this is what makes it so powerful. When we bring ourselves to just being present in the moment, to sit absorbed by the now, we are literally giving ourselves over to our creative impulse. There is no past or future just this beautiful moment to explore, with childlike wonder - what joy!!
Whenever I have new clients there are always two exercises which we begin with.
The first is designed to trick the left brain into taking a back seat for a moment, allowing the right hemisphere the space it needs to kick into action.
Blind contour drawing.
If one is right handed, sit at a table with chair turned so that instead of facing the table as you would to eat, rather the right side of your body is parallel to the table, enabling your right arm and hand to rest comfortably on the table in order to draw. Place a sheet of paper under your hand and using a pencil or pen, without looking at your page, draw your left hand which should be resting in your lap comfortably. As your eye follows the contour of your left hand, your right hand draws ONLY what the eyes see. Start simply by just doing the outline and work up to capturing more detail. It is a continuous line drawing, so try not to lift your pencil when drawing! And don't cheat by looking at the page.
This is a fun exercise for the whole family to do. It has huge benefit for our fine motor skills as well as eye to hand coordination. Do this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes daily and you will be amazed at how your perception of things begins to change!!! We actually start to see...really see for the first time!!
The second thing we always do is to draw a tree!! Drawing a tree from your imagination, amazingly enough, tells us your whole life story. I will write another article on this, but this is a beautiful exercise to do and can lead to many insights into ourselves as well as illuminate certain paths forward in order to heal our wounds.
Mandala art is another powerful way to get creatively in touch with ourselves.
Sometimes I will have a client who just cannot bear the thought of drawing or painting at all. Simply being given a blank mandala page or canvas to colour in or paint can bring about a surreal sense of peace and harmony. It is just as creative as doing a drawing and it has, sometimes, an even more rewarding effect.
There are many Mandala art coloring books available nowadays, downloads off the internet, but my favorite is Art Canvas Factory Mandala canvasses.
These canvasses are pre-printed with a Mandala design allowing us to turn them into our own works of art with felt tip pens or paint. I can recommend these amazing canvasses as a solid form of therapy for ANYONE!!!
SO, in this time, that we have to be home, let's not just be plugged into all our various screens all the time, let’s be creative, and see if we can discover some magic within ourselves, let us encourage our children to dream and imagine, to draw and to paint, to use colour without fear or restriction and to find a little piece of their Souls that will bring them endless joy!!!
I have started an Instagram art account called @coronaarttherapy, for anyone who would like to share their creations. Available for anyone to use. Please follow us and let us all be inspired together.