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.

Maya Angelou: A Life of Inspiration

I just read a news article that Maya Angelou died. I’m sitting here trying to think about what to write, but there are so many things to say that I could probably go on for days. Her work, her talent, and her honesty were incredibly brave. She was a trailblazer. Her stories and poetry shared her deepest personal experiences showing us the healing powers of releasing the negative in our lives.

She was an inspiration to women! Oprah Winfrey was a dear friend of Angelou and together they served as beacons of hope for African American women. She showed us all that our hardest challenges could be overcome and that we can create a life full of meaning and purpose.

My favorite poem of Angelou’s is Continue. It was the poem Angelou wrote for Oprah’s fiftieth birthday. It talks about the gifts we are born with and how over time we allow those gifts to flourish. Angelou talks about the importance of “continuing” because we all have life missions we need to complete.

I have the poem Continue on my phone read by Angelou. I listen to it when I need some support to continue the work I’ve been put on this earth to do. I listen to the poem when it feels like it would be easier to abandon a mission instead of forging forward because our soul signature is undeniable.

On the lighter side, I also have the cookbook Angelou wrote a few years ago. Her banana pudding is delish! She shared her world view and personal stories on a food journey. It shows us that food can be as much an art form as poetry. Our stories can be manifested in many different ways.

I hope you’ll go out and read something Angelou wrote. Find inspiration in her words, her food, her life!

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