This past year I opened my heart a little wider to the benefits of expressing my own personal visual language. What I learned was eye-opening.
Due to a traumatic life event that took place for me in 2011, surviving the aftermath of that, and all of the changes that came with it, I considered not ever picking up a paintbrush again. However, after enough time, I went bravely into the deeper places within. I am so glad that I did.
Seeing what came out of heavy life circumstances and onto the canvas in front of me was enlightening. What I found there was my inner me, the creative part of me, which was still alive. I saw how my sense of self had been evolving even when I thought all was lost. Opening myself up to personal, visual self expression like this ended up being an indescribably rewarding experience for me, and a step forward in healing and wholeness that my body, mind and spirit had been longing to receive.
Realizing this, I thought I could share a few tender takeaways from my experience with you today.
Putting yourself visually into the world in front of you, whether on paper in a journal or on canvas or on any surface that can receive your creative markings is always going to feel like unknown territory at the start. Visually speaking to your real self as your real yourself with color, marks and shapes is like turning a key in a lock that opens up a new part of you. Having a way for you to express yourself without the use of words in such a new and simple way creates a positive pressure that can also move your real, wonderful self forward like gentle, refreshing winds. Having a safe and supportive community around as you do it can help, too.
Before my traumatic life event, I had been a professional artist for more than three decades, but afterward everything changed for me. I believed that my creative self was dead. I also believed that any creative attempt I made would be forged by this 'other self' inside of me: the ghostly one who was brushing my hair and tying my shoes, but who I didn't know at all. What I found out though was astonishing. I discovered that as much as I was still alive, my creative self was alive in me, too, and we were still connected.
The idea that creativity can be lost (or that it doesn't exist at all in some people) has never been true. Creative self expression is in all of us, and it is definitely in you. Having a way to let yourself witness and experience this part of you only affirms this truth. What also helps is when you express it and others see and sense beautiful changes in you as a result. That is affirming and thrilling. Bringing your inner self outward through your own personal, unique, creative visual self expression brings rewards that you cannot yet fully imagine.
What are your thoughts and feelings about rediscovering and expressing the creative part of you this year? Let us know in the comments!
Be sure to check out my upcoming blog post where I talk about creative surrender, what it is and how it is the birthplace of freedom. I unpack a liberating viewpoint that can be especially helpful when you are at the start of something new, like a new season or a new year. :)
I hope this New Year is a fresh start for you!
PS Check out the Free Faith Like a Noodle Facebook Group. Join me and others from all around the world as we create a life we love. You are invited!