“At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.”
—Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen
Times are tough, no matter who you are, where you are, or what you believe. The world is filled with bad news — war, chaos, threats, anger, sickness, poverty, violence — the list grows by the day and is overwhelming. So what to do? How do you keep a hold of what is important? How do you express what is in your heart?
Art is a safe and healing place. Art is wisdom and tells the truth, speaks of the human condition, and can be a powerful message. Art builds bridges and compassion in the artist and audience. So write, draw, sing, paint, weave, dance, knit, take photos, sew — whatever your flavor of expression — create! Bringing something brand new into the world is magic in a time when the world needs all the magic it can get. Art is healing. Art is important. Art matters. But how do you make art when the world around you is going mad?
Turn off the television and get off social media. Give yourself some silence and allow yourself to listen to your inner voice. Take a break from all the voices screaming at you. Withdraw if you need to. Yes, you need to be informed, but it’s easy to overdo and become an information junkie in this age of instant info. Back away. Even for just a little while.
Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and let it come through you and from you. Pick up your pen (or paintbrush, or camera) and lose yourself in the process. You will heal at the same time you create your truth. And don’t worry if you aren’t creating as much as you have in the past. Creating anything is a great accomplishment, so give yourself plenty of space.
Fill the well. Art and inspiration is available and all around you — immerse yourself and begin some healing. Read more. Go to a museum or gallery. Go to a play. Look at others’ creativity, soak it up and allow it to spark what is inside you. Fill the well, as Julia Cameron (“The Artist’s Way”) advises.
Use art as your escape. I go to another place — inside myself and outside this reality — when I am writing or creating a mosaic or glass piece. That is a wonderful way to escape without the time or expense of going somewhere. Or, do go somewhere different. Go on a creative weekend if you can afford the time. A new perspective can work wonders.