Show Me…Teach Me…Involve Me

Do you like going to art galleries and museums? Do you like going to poetry slams, concerts, or dance performances? Fortunately there are art forms that capture our attention. The arts are as individual as us. We can tailor our artistic ventures to what captures our attention and our soul.

How do we come to our artistic endeavors? I’m a textile artist. When asked how I became a textile artist I have to look at my history. My father worked in the garment center his entire career. I was always exposed to design, color, and pattern. I was able to witness how designers could interpret the seasons with color and pattern. My mother spent her career in the world of furniture and design. I was given a front row seat to how design wasn’t only about color, but perspective, space planning, and looking at the bigger picture.

It didn’t dawn on me until years later I was destined to become a textile artist. It’s in the family history and possibly our DNA. So what else can influence my artistic choices? I can use my art to interpret other art mediums. I’ve created work in response to a story, a song, or a poem. I’ve taken the ideas of famous artists like Clyfford Still and interpreted abstract expressionism. The joy of art is the possibilities are endless. Interpretation is an art!

Do you notice the first section you hit when you enter a bookstore? There are three places I spend my time: biography, self-improvement, and art. These genres have the potential to play off one another and that I find exciting. It allows me to explore how creativity impacts life, personal and professional.

I am drawn to storytelling. I find meaning in creativity. I find the ability and the gift of creativity to heal my soul. When I engage others on the creative plain we speak a common language and it’s soulful. It’s gives me a glimpse into the secret lives of others and how art gives us the keys to the kingdom.

How can you become involved in creative endeavors? Where you are right now and whatever you’re doing is the place to start. I was involved in music during my high school years and wanted to be a music therapist. My life took many twists and turns and I went a more traditional route as a psychotherapist. Years later when I found my creative voice in textile arts it gave my therapeutic life new vim and vigor. It allowed me to explore with my clients how their life is surrounded by art and it’s calling them to come play.

Give your body, mind, and spirit the gift of creation. Read a poem by Maya Angelou or Mary Oliver and see what speaks to you. Listen to your favorite song and sing along. Watch a movie and then create a plot, whether or not you ever pursue it, just create it. Living in a place of creativity frees your spirit. It makes room for healing energy to enter your consciousness. Use this energy to continue on your journey to wholeness.

It’s Not the Weight You Carry, But How You Carry It!

I gave a eulogy this past weekend at a memorial service and read the poem Heavy, by noted poet Mary Oliver. Oliver’s poem shares how we experience grief, and how we survive grief. The poem was written after her long-time partner died. She shared her grief with each and every one of us who reads the poem. Oliver gives us the unspoken secrets of the grief journey and shows us that we can emerge triumphant.

 

Heavy

That time

I thought I could not

go any close to death without dying

I went closer,

and I did not die.

Surely God

had his hand in this,

as well as friends.

Still I was bent,and my laughter,

as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.

Then, said my friend Daniel

(brave even among lions),

“It is not the weight you carry

but how you carry it

books, bricks, grief-

It’s all in the way

you embrace it, balance it carry it.

When you could not, and would not,

put it down”

So I went practicing

Have you noticed?

Have you heard the laughter

that comes, now and again,

out of my startled mouth?

How I linger to admire, admire

the things of this world

that are kind and maybe

also troubled-

roses in the wind.

The sea geese on the steep waves,

A love

to which there is no reply

I read this poem and just sat with her clarity about the grief journey. I thought about how poetry allows us to share our deepest vulnerabilities in a way that others will comprehend. It gives us the tools to express the depths of our emotions when facing adversity. It doesn’t matter how you express yourself, the act of ultimate self-expression is what counts. It’s one thing that will release you from the ties that bind. It will release you to explore all your emotions and share those experiences with the Universe.

How do you creatively express your vulnerabilities? Let’s start a conversation in the comment section below.

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