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How Art Can Be A Therapeutic Tool in Our Healing Process

Painting and mixed media

Photo by Jené Stephaniuk on Unsplash



The depths and variety of art are endless. Yet, art in all of its forms is thought provoking and moving in some form or another. Whether you find it pleasing or not lets you know your preferences. I am one that considers most things creative, as art. Creativity and art take many forms. All intriguing and thought provoking in their own right. From the simplest to the most complex, art comes to inspire and to move our hearts. Whether you are cooking, painting, designing, drawing, making pottery, playing music, singing, setting up a crystal grid or alter, or putting your daily outfit together it’s considered creative, and in my opinion, art. We are creative beings at our core and art can be a therapeutic tool in our healing process.


 

When I first started painting I wasn’t sure where it was going or what it might lead to. I discovered quite a bit about myself and the way I view things. I have gained an enormous appreciation for the multitude of creative projects I have seen and participated in over the years and gained a new found respect for things I did not pay much attention to in the past. 

Here are some of the beautiful, beneficial healing, and therapeutic attributes of art I have learned from painting and my creative projects. 


 

  1. That I am solely unique. This has to be one of the most important points to be made. The paintings I paint are unique to me and can never be duplicated. The visions that come through me are my own. Everyone has their own fingerprints unique to them and that applies to their creations. Ten different people can paint the same picture yet each one will be unique and beautiful in its own right. This is truly something special. It teaches me to honor myself as I am. And that that’s ok. 

  2.  My self-criticism and self-judgment has immensely decreased. In the beginning of a painting I wouldn’t particularly like how things were turning out. But I would keep going and in the end the painting would turn out better than I originally thought it would. Isn’t that a bit like life? Some things you thought were not going great at the time and when looked at in retrospect turned out to be the best thing? 

  3. A newfound respect for all of my creative endeavors. I look at all the different things I do creatively as a time spent with my Higher Self and really tuning into who I am. A creative project takes you into your right brain. The side of the brain that frees you from thinking so much and drops you straight into your heart center. Sometimes, I will paint something and wonder “Did I do that?” Or “Where did that come from?” It can be a marvelous free flowing process that literally takes me to another place. It is a wonderful experience just letting things flow. Not having any preconceived notions or expectations of how it turns out is releasing and trusting in something higher than myself. No matter what your creative outlet is it is an expression of you. It can be the way you make brownies, a soufflé, the way you decorate your house, the way you sing, or make jewelry to the marvelous paintings, writings or pottery you create. 

  4. Increased patience. Art and creativity of any kind requires a sort of letting go in the moment feeling for me. When I am painting it allows me to forget about the other things going on in my life and forges my focus in a new direction. My to-do list gets put aside for those cherished moments of creativity. Realizing that if there is a mistake made it is easily rectified or it turns out to be part of the picture. I am able to give myself compassion in the moment and move through the desire to finish. Sometimes the time required to allow the paint to dry gives me a chance to look at things from a different perspective and brings in more intuitive guidance taking place. 

  5. I realized that things do not have to be a certain way. The release of control gives way to freedom in the most profound way. Being free from certain stipulations and painting what comes to mind in the moment is relaxing and pleasurable. Sometimes even funny. Whatever I am painting can be whatever way I wish it to be. Also similar to life. We can have things as we want them if that is our focus. 

  6. Increased present moment awareness. Also known as the now moment. The stillness and awareness that comes with creating is powerful. I feel in a completely different space when I am creating in any way. The outside world fades away and it’s just me. One with what I’m creating. 

  7. Things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes the outward appearance of a situation isn’t really its only view. Like different facets of a diamond the views of life are multi-faceted. Infinite. There are many different aspects of a painting. Things are seen clearly at one time and at others it becomes something different entirely. Reminds me of the Rorschach test for pareidolia in which Wikipedia describes as the active pattern of perceiving objects, shapes, or scenery as meaningful things to the observer’s experience. Usually faces or patterns of forms that are not present at the time of the observation. Learning to look at things from a higher perspective or just a different perspective opens our hearts and minds to see things differently and most importantly to feel things differently. There is no right or wrong way. It is all well and good. My favorite thing about painting! 

  8. Healing for the perceiver. Sometimes we never know how someone is affected or moved to contemplation by the art we create. And at other times we are lucky enough to experience the heartfelt gratitude from others and there is a bonding and healing that occurs. To gain appreciation of a piece of artwork is not the goal but when others feel what you felt creating it, it definitely brings joy and a sense of connection. 

  9. Overcoming the fear of trying new things and fear of failure. In the beginning of starting to paint I would have thoughts that would say painting a certain thing will be too difficult. I did them anyway. Some of the paintings I did turned out great and some not so great. But being open to trying new things and discovering that you absolutely can do something is so empowering. All creators learn from practicing, doing, and perfecting that craft over time. It’s the experience itself that cultivates self-confidence and the push to keep going. 

  10. Learning there is no such thing as failure. In this day and age there is lots of competition and feeling less than if you are not doing things a certain way. I have fallen into that mind trap myself. The more I do creative works the more I am learning to leave that mindset behind. Things I thought I “failed” at were actually very informative learning and discovery for me. The experience of being human has a great many facets to it. You can either look at things you experience as something not preferred and give up or keep holding space for something bigger and better. Letting that experience propel you on to higher levels. The choice is ours. 


“There are no failures- just experiences and your reaction to them.” — Tom Kraus



 

I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope it inspires you to keep creating things you love no matter what and that you come to find ways to use art and creativity in your own healing.

 

For more information visit our website at flourishhealthnwellness.com



 

Alison Woods

Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Medium, Spiritual Growth Art, Intuitive Counseling 

 

 



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