Wow! Can I Do That?

I was watching So You Think You Can Dance; it’s the audition phase of the show. This is when the most talented and the most ridiculous people get up and perform for the judges hoping for a spot in the competition. Dancing is a beautiful art form and takes years of training and practice. That doesn’t mean you can’t dance; it just means you may not be a professional dancer. Dancing for enjoyment, pleasure and self-expression is divine.

One dancer approached the microphone with an accent. Turns out she was from the Czech Republic. When asked what style of dance she would be doing she responded, “popping”. The music began and she was off the races. She was polished, rhythmic, and beautiful to watch. She was thoroughly engaged in the process. She was in the zone.

The first words out of my mouth were, “I could never do that”. A little while later I stopped and caught what I had said. I had determined I couldn’t do something before I even attempted it. It’s amazing how the negative self-talk sneaks in under the radar and inhibits us. It may even prevent us from trying something we enjoy and are energetically drawn.

How many people look at a painting and wonder if they can paint? Have you been to the symphony and watched the musicians wondering if you could ever play the violin, the oboe, or the tuba? It’s these moments of wonder that we have to grab on to because they tell us our creative selves are looking to be birthed.

We may never have a painting in the Louvre or play at Carnegie Hall, but we can engage in art. We can use our creative energies to soothe our soul and that’s healing. We can invoke the creative muses providing the space for us to take out a pen and paper and write a poem or story. These energetic urges may even invite you to take lessons or classes giving you the opportunity to try expressing yourself through art.

Art is healing. It provides us with a beautiful way of telling our stories. I remember an episode of Friends where Monica was in the back of the room at a tap class. The teacher yells, “You’re doing it wrong” and Monica responds, “At least I’m doing it!” Those are words to live by when engaging in art. Take a chance. Encourage others to take a chance! Who knows what may emerge and what other creative pathways you may choose to explore!

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How Regular Are You?

They say that practice makes perfect. I don’t know about perfect, but practice certainly makes us better. There’s an old adage that asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?   The answer is practice, practice, and practice. It’s said we require doing something for 10,000 hours to achieve mastery. Ten thousand hours makes you quite regular.

I find that my creativity flows the more time I spend in my studio. Fortunately, I have more than one avenue for creative expression so my pump is continually primed. One of the ways to stay regular is to continue to learn. I spend lots of time browsing the library shelves looking for books that may prompt me to do something new.

The more opportunities I give myself to create means I continue my healing journey through ultimate self-expression. I can tell a story, my story, any story in different ways. I give myself the gift of telling a story in many different art forms: art quilting, knitting, and writing.

When I was writing my dissertation on Art and Healing, I came across an artist, Martha Hall, a book artist that utilized interesting materials to tell her story. She used her appointment cards to create a book to tell her illness story. It was unique and innovative. It was poignant. It allowed her to turn her mess into her message. It was creative, informative, and expressive.

How will you create regularity in your artistic and healing ventures? What inspires you to engage in ultimate self-expression?

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