When do adults get to tap into their creative side? When are children allowed to with the increased pressures in school constantly focusing on academic subjects while creative arts take a back seat. Why is expressive art important? What relevance does art have to those of us who don't deem ourselves a Van Gogh of our time?
Creating art can help us to focus, it can lower stress levels, help us think more clearly, or just help us feel more relaxed. Art can bring us feelings of happiness, enjoyment and pleasure and give emotional relief. And art isn't always what we think it to be, it doesn't always hang in an art gallery. Many of us have been in meetings with a pen in our hand and instead of writing notes we find ourselves doodling on the corner of the page. This can help us to stay present, to remain focused or possibly show us our true feelings.
As adults we often think of colouring as something children do, or something to occupy our children while we get on with the more important jobs like cleaning the bathroom. Guess what.... that bathroom will still be there tomorrow ready to be cleaned again and again.
Expressing ourselves through art allows for emotional release of pent up tension, frustration and angst. It allows for our inner world to be brought into conscious awareness without necessarily using words or pre existing narratives.
Lets give it a try for ourselves.
Take a pause and really allow yourself some quality time. Allocate a space that is just for you and bring some quality time to your world. Allow your chosen art materials to bring to life your inner thoughts of how you truly do feel. Life has never been so challenging, but it is in these challenges that we can find new adaptive coping mechanisms. We can find new ways of being, new ways of connecting to ourselves and others. Once you honour time for yourself and engage with a felt sense of connection to self that is sacred to you, you will want to share the benefits with those around you. Try creating family time using expressive arts as a focus.
Here is a short video of mandala moments which I created a while ago. The suggestion is that we make time as a family to create mandalas, but I very often will sit in my own space and create various types of mandalas in a variety of art materials. There is a real cathartic experience in putting paint to paper in whatever form that looks like for you. The end result is irrelevant, the magic is in the process, not the product.
Give it a go and please let me know your thoughts and how you get on.