A long long time ago, a human picked up a stone and ran it across a rock face. When they saw it would leave a mark, they began to draw. This led to the evolution of self expression via symbols. Soon animals and weapons were being depicted and people began to utilise this new form of technology for the purposes of communication. Out of this came a solidity, of our cultures and finally a set of symbols that represented vocal sounds, which became an alphabet and the written word.
The ability to pass on knowledge was forever preserved in this, one of the greatest triumphs in Human evolution, reading and writing. Alongside this phenomenon was the amazing evolution of drawing and painting; and with that came the need to express this creativity through more third dimensional means like sculpture and textiles. The Human need to be creative and to express ourselves via creativity has been a long and well established medium.
Since before Humans could draw on cave walls, we have been aware of our Spirituality, our sense of there being more than us. A greater force at play than ourselves, has always been an integral part of tribal life. Passed on in song and story, it was at the very fabric of tribal culture.
The merging of spirituality, in the evolution of creativity was inevitable. Symbols to express the meaning of different spiritual concepts were formed and books with spiritual doctrines were written. Without creativity, spirituality would still be that of a place of wonder and of concepts, kept to small pockets of tribal life.
So in this, we can see, that to be creative and to be spiritual are at the very heart of each and every Human soul, from primitive times to now. It always makes me wonder, knowing this, that so many people say they are not creative. That they make no art what so ever in their lives.
To be in a culture, you must be in interaction with art. Art is for most people an inner expression, produced on the outer. It is a gift from one soul’s voice to another’s. Art, to me, is a pure expression of where that person is at spiritually. It gives the onlooker an overview of this person’s soul-voice.
As we know, art is not confined to the canvass, nor is it confined to sculpture. Art can be created for an eternity or for a second. It can be in the presentation and flavour of food, or in the 3 minute uplifting feeling of a song. Art is everywhere.
So, why are we talking about this? I have had some clients who are suffering from depression and melancholia. Having been in this sad place myself, I have found that via the use of art and spirituality, I have been able to rise out of my dark place and regain the light in my mind.
Most recently, for me, I hit absolute burn out. A place where the body, mind and emotions are all spent, totally exhausted, you have no choice but to sleep and work through your pain.
I don’t feel it is important to discuss why I got to that point, but rather to discuss how I managed to revive and come through it. For me, it was singing and creative writing. These two forms of creative expression gave me that ability to tap into my soul and the vast resource of energy that my soul enjoys. It gave me the ability to uplift my spirits and to regain the capacity to cry, laugh and feel again.
When I was 23, I found myself alone with two babies, having suffered the ultimate betrayal, that a man could do to a woman. This was not a fun time in my life and I could not stop and dwell in it, either. I had a round the clock job to do, which consumed almost all my waking moments…except for between the hours of 7:30- 11pm. Those hours were mine. With both babies asleep, I began to paint statues. They were no more than 40 cm high, and I would sit and paint night after night, lovingly bringing each mould to life. I would decide who I’d be giving them to and why, and then I would put my love for that person into my mind and then pour that love into the statue. During the day, when there was mess and mischief at my feet, I’d lose myself in the statue, staring at it, thinking about how I would enhance it some more later that night. Those statues saw me through a very difficult time in my life.
It has long been known that the coupling of art with therapy is a wonderful way to alleviate issues of the heart and mind. I am living proof that it works. But as I said before, I come across many people who say they are not creative. If you are a person who feels this way, yet you are feeling disconnected with your spirit and you are feeling sad, try this little exercise:
Imagine you are a young child again. No more than 6 years of age. You are in a back yard, it doesn’t matter whose, yard, you are safe, so you are happy. At your feet is a pool of slushy slimy mud and there are some digging tools and some buckets. What is your naturally reaction to this situation? 9 out of 10 people would plonk themselves down and start playing in the mud! Wouldn’t you? I certainly used to! Now, what are you going to make? How’s about some mud pies..yummy! Or you could make some mud people and some mud dogs. Then, when you are bored with that, you could just stare into the grass happily squishing mud between your fingers and toes singing your favourite song….la la la…
Yes, you are a creative being at heart. So, if you could do it at age 6, you can go down to the local $2 shop and pick up some art supplies and create wonderful soul fulfilling art now. You can buy your favourite music and sing along, you can do anything, as long as it is within the law and your soul is set free.
Being spiritual isn’t just all about meditation and burning incense, it’s about being connected to your spirit, your soul and your essence and then it’s about connecting in with others. Being all that you are and then realising you are a part of all that is. Next time you are sad, use your inner child and your creativity to help you out of that dark place. Use your creativity to reconnect with your spirit and then with others’. Use your creativity and spirituality to find the light.
- The Courage to Create (munchow.wordpress.com)