All of us have faced life-altering moments in our lives. These moments can come in the form of divorce, death, injury, disability or other events that take the wind from our sails. When pain or stress steals our vitality, we can feel lost, depressed, anxious, or there is nowhere left to turn. When we feel our worst it is the perfect time to start a journey. Just do something, anything, the process of moving from a stagnant place can launch us on a road of discovery.
Shifting your brain from the thinking mind and shutting off the chatter to engage in something such as drawing, helps quiet the stress that swims in your mind. Expressing feelings through art puts us in an observing mindset and it has been proven to help depression, anxiety, and a myriad of other mental health ailments.
One does not need to even suffer terrible events to gain the health benefits of art expression, painting is even a wonderful way to blow off steam from a long day! In our household, there are weekends our table is covered with every bottle of paint we own, it is how I bond with my kids. Other days we may look for a craft to do. In the end, we always love the experience, memories, and the end product of our efforts.
There are so many avenues for creative outlets, one just needs to look for classes at local community centers. Many art supply stores can offer an array of fun lessons and the opportunity to meet other creatives in your area. You can try visual arts, movement-based creative art, writing, musical expression and more. I challenge you to find a new skill, one maybe you have always wanted to try. Go for something completely different or out of your comfort zone.
I did this with my littlest daughter. For her birthday, she wanted me to teach her to crochet. I didn't know how so I taught myself. That turned out to be a dud as I learned incorrectly, by Christmas we were enrolled in crochet classes. It was such a fun and different experience. Ahna (rhymes with iguana) was so adorable hauling in her little crochet tote and sitting with the older women.
Here was this cute girl at the age of 9 joining in. I love this memory we made together and it opened up new ways to bond. Now when she goes through hard times as a teen she reaches for something to keep her busy.
In this discovery process, we have to remember it is the journey, not that we produce an award-winning piece. Create, have fun, laugh, express, rinse, repeat.
I have taught others to draw, and the first comment I always hear is a person feels their drawing does not look exactly like what they are copying. Art is an expression, it doesn't have to. Your drawing or painting is your interpretation of what you want the project to be about. There is no right or wrong answer, that is the fun of it. There is no pressure!
One can solely paint just to release pent up anger and frustration and nothing more. If Andy Warhol found inspiration in painting Cambell's Soup, I think it is safe to say inspiration and creativity are in the eyes of the beholder! Live in the moment, love the feel of the paint, enjoy the beautiful colors, feel how the paint glides on the canvas. Go forth today, take that leap and try something new.