There is no doubt that one of the most admired and wished-for talents is that elusive one of "creativity." I myself am prone to looking wistfully at my friend Sylvia's artistic endeavors and wishing I were "creative like her." It's a silly trap to fall into because everyone is creative. I certainly cannot paint like Monet, but I love to write! Allowing yourself the freedom to create without judgement can produce surprising results.
This is because creativity, aside from producing things of beauty, is also of great use on a psychological level. From Cathy Malchiodi's Art Therapy Sourcebook:
"Art therapists have generated many specific definitions of art therapy, but most of them fall into one of two general categories. The first involves a belief in the inherent healing power of the creative process of art making. This view embraces the idea that the process of making art is therapeutic; this process is sometimes referred to as art as therapy. Art making is seen as an opportunity to express one's self imaginatively, authentically, and spontaneously, an experience that, over time, can lead to personal fulfillment, emotional reparation, and recovery.
"The second definition of art therapy is based on the idea that art is a means of symbolic communication. This approach, often referred to as art psychotherapy, emphasizes the products—drawings, paintings, and other art expressions—as helpful in communicating issues, emotions, and conflicts. The art image becomes significant in enhancing verbal exchange between the person and the therapist and in achieving insight; resolving conflicts; solving problems; and formulating new perceptions that in turn lead to positive changes, growth, and healing. In reality, art as therapy and art psychotherapy are used together in varying degrees. In other words, art therapists feel that both the idea that art making can be a healing process and that art products communicate information relevant to therapy are important." (Quoted by permission from "What Is Art Therapy" by Cathy Malchiodi.)
I think we all want "positive changes, growth, and healing" in our lives! So today, mix it up by creating something from your soul. It could be five minutes of journaling about your day, or pulling out the finger paints and getting messy, or cooking dinner with attention and care to the process. If, like me, you prefer a prompt, you can do no better than the amazing website Creative Therapy -- each week the artists and visionaries pick a catalyst for art creation, and show you the results of their creativity while inviting you to do the same. Mix it up, and create!
(Picture: Water Lilies, by Claude Monet.)