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Nourishing the Soul through Creative Expression

If you have ever felt an unexplained sense of frustration, restlessness, anger and discontentment then it may be the result of unexpressed creative energy. In our culture which values goals, accomplishments and achievements, the pursuit of creativity for the sheer pleasure of the process rather than any expected outcome is underrated. However, simply flexing your creative muscle for the sake of joy is a crucial pillar for our wellbeing and has far reaching benefits for the greater good.

When we lean into things that bring us joy, we enter a relaxed state of flow. Our parasympathetic nervous system is activated which facilitates growth, repair and regeneration at the cellular level. This is all very good news for our physical health. Our mental and emotional health is also enhanced as the process of creativity is meditative giving us a chance to cleanse the mind and offering us all the benefits of a mindfulness practice. It is an opportunity to slow down and come into the present moment. We lean into love rather than fear and this mindful state allows clarity to uncover creative solutions to complex problems. As we become curious with our creativity, our mood is enhanced as we are more fulfilled. Life flows with harmony and ease and we start to have a wider perspective and focus. When you are using your creativity you feel alive. Untapped creativity can make us ill. When we chronically repress our expression, it may even lead us into a sense of depression. Creativity nourishes our spiritual health, facilitating the awareness of an energy greater than us. The process opens us up for spiritual connection. We discover that we can be a channel or a conduit for the universal creative energy to flow.

Despite the massive benefits we reap from this process, unless you are a professional creative (i.e. you get paid to be creative for a living), modern society typically accepts two cohorts indulging in creativity for the sake of it: children and grandparents. The rest of us fear we will be seen as selfish or frivolous for taking time for ourselves to do something pleasurable. It is accepted that retired people can now afford to be self-indulgent with creative pursuits as they have the luxury of free time. Through our children we may aspire to fulfil our unmet creative genius. Are we choosing activities for them that we wish we had done? If we are passing our soul’s yearnings onto our kids this is a lot of pressure for them. They cannot fulfil our soul’s passions. Only we can do that for ourselves.

The primary block to expressing our creativity comes from fear. We fear our creative efforts will not be perfect so most of us never try. Perfectionism prevents us from ever getting started. We never feel wise enough, qualified enough or prepared enough. We never feel ready and so we never begin. We believe in scarcity that one person’s creative talent or success means that there is less to go around for the rest of us. When we shift our perspective to trust that there is an abundance of creative energy in the universe we realise there is enough to go around for everyone. Then we can accept that to be human is to be innately creative. We come to know then that we are not in competition with anyone else and that we are all artists with different gifts and talents that take many forms. Creative energy runs through our whole being waiting for the chance to be expressed. To deny ourselves the opportunity to express our creativity can be damaging to the mind, body and spirit. By withholding our gifts and talents, we deprive ourselves and the world from more beauty, joy and fun. So, what do we need to start?

Creativity requires a radical state of self-acceptance. When we do not have self-acceptance, we feel our existence is threatened by others and we live in protection mode. In order to survive, we are judgmental, our perception is narrowed and we don’t see the bigger picture. We are afraid that something will be taken from us. We feel threatened so we put up defences expecting an attack. We have an over active sympathetic nervous system. We are on high alert and easily triggered by the external environment. However, if we can accept our imperfections, our humanity, and the fact that sometimes we make mistakes, we can radically shift gear. Can we be brave enough to try and fail? Can we see mistakes as opportunities for learning, growth and evolution? Can we accept and love all part of ourselves? Beginning to show ourselves kindness, empathy, compassion and forgiveness then we can give ourselves permission to explore our creative expression. This takes courage and vulnerability and some deep healing.

Allowing ourselves to create is an act of bravery, as we become vulnerable to other people’s opinions. However what others think of us is actually none of our business. When we begin to try new things, it may make people in our lives uncomfortable. Human nature does not like uncertainty and change. We like to keep people in certain boxes. When we see people in our lives doing new things it can challenge us to think about how we are living. Sometimes envy might show up to teach us about what we want more of in our own life.

Excuses are another block. How do we find the courage to stop making excuses as to why we can’t be creative? Our excuses are only our fears in disguise. Lack of time is a great reason not to create. But if we have time for scrolling on social media or binging on Netflix then we each have time to get creative. Money is another excuse often used but it need not be an obstacle. Many of our passions do not cost anything. Using our parenting responsibilities also doesn’t hold up. We can be a role model to our children by expressing our creativity. A lot of soulful joyful creative things can be done while also being present with our children. When we make creativity visible to our children, we inspire them to live a soulful, authentic life with varied interests and passions.

There comes a time when we are no longer satisfied being a passive consumer and we feel the urge and surge of our creative energies. If you feel you are not creative you are simply disconnected from this part of yourself. Think back to your childhood ask yourself what creative passions you enjoyed then? This is usually a good guide as to what might make your soul sing. Consider in your adult life what opens your heart and brings you joy and then try and do more of this in your daily life. The more our heart opens to joy, the less room there is for fear to block our inner artist. Ask yourself what you would do if you were completely free of fear?

Tapping into our creative energy can set us on a path to nourish our soul. Creativity and spirituality are interconnected. Inspiration drops in from the universe just waiting to find a human collaborator. When we are in the flow of creating, we are co-creating with spirit or source energy. The universe has an endless stream of inspiration and source energy. Our role is to remove all blocks to become a clear channel or conduit to express this energy. When we have a beginner’s mind we can be open to receiving the creative energy and allow it to find an expression through us. This will manifest in different ways for each of us, through our own unique modes of expression. When we start to see each other as a team of co-creators and recognise the unique gifts and talents in those around us then our collaborations can create magic.

When we begin to trust in something greater than us, it can remove the responsibility of the creative outcome from us. If we are channelling inspiration from a higher source, then the burden of whether it is good or bad is irrelevant to us and we are free from external judgment.

The creative process is a metaphor for life. We do not know the outcome. The story unfolds as we journey through the process. We just need to trust and surrender to the process. The advantages of creative expression are far reaching, don’t wait until you are retired to reap these benefits. Turn the tap on and allow the stream of creativity to flow. There are no excuses not to enjoy this creative life!

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