Creativity as a Practice
As a Women’s Creativity Coach, I help women create change in their lives through the practice of creativity and art making. Typically people assume this means that I encourage women to take up knitting or attend a painting class. Although these activities are important and useful, this isn’t quite the practice I am referring to or coaching women on.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Since nearly the beginning of time, humans have been using art making and creative processes such as drawing, writing, verbal story-telling, music and dancing to share and give identity to their inner experiences. These practices have also provided a representation or symbolism of their life events. Art has also been used to provide a place for difficult emotions to be expressed as well as a way to offer soothing and comforting.
In the work that I do with women, I use art making and creativity to help women create tangible representations of where they are, what they want, what holds them back, and to identify resources. It also serves as a practice to engage with their experiences in a more concrete way, rather than just brewing about it in their heads. Quite literally, art takes you out of your head and into your heart, our deepest place of wisdom and truth.
I also help women learn how incorporating creativity into their lives as a practice, (just like mediation or exercise) can help them sustain their power and momentum, and free them from carrying unnecessary burdens.
For example, if a client is struggling with a particular stressor. I invite them to sit with the stressor and begin to visualize what the stressor might look like if it could take form. Once they have an image in their head, the client is invited to create the image with whatever medium feels right for them. Once the visual is represented in a tangible format, the client is free to and invited to interact with the image from this “once removed” place. Again, getting out of their heads and into their hearts and bodies.
Art and Creativity as a practice can help us slow our minds and bodies down, get calmer and clearer, and create a concrete representation of our experiences, goals, needs, etc. It takes whatever is stuck in our head out and onto the image. From here, you can interact with your experience in a more concrete way that helps you feel more empowered about your situation.
I use creativity and art making in my coaching work because I have witnessed its power over and over again, both with clients and with myself. Every time there is a sense of stuckness, overwhelm, or uncertainty, art making can move us out of that funk and can hold our experience for us so we don’t have to. It can often bring great relief as well.
Likewise, art can be used to create imagery focused on celebrating strengths and successes, take more ownership of your life, and feel a freedom that often makes many of my clients, (and me!) feel lighter, as if we were flying. I invite you to work on ways to bring more art and creativity into your life. You’re worth it!
P.S. Here is an image I created when anxiety was standing in my way of the direction I wanted to go. Once I got it on paper, I regained my power and persevered!