Creativity is an essential part of my mental health toolkit. Like many creative people, I'm a sensitive soul who has dealt with depression. One of the ways I've healed and continue to heal myself is through creating. I find when I'm feeling low or anxious, if I can turn to my creativity and pick up the paintbrush, I almost always feel better.
Creating art is my way of expressing that which can't be expressed in words. I work in an intuitive way, so oftentimes when I start, I don't know what I'm going to create. I simply keep asking myself, "What color or material am I drawn to? What mark do I want to make?" and I go with the flow. When I work in this way, things that are floating around in my subconscious start to come to the surface, my chattering monkey-mind quiets, and I feel more connected to my spirituality. I love creating in this way because what happens is always a bit of a surprise and I feel a sense of relief afterwards.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling depressed, it can be hard to get going. I think that's part of why I started the Creative Every Day Challenge. It's a gentle approach with a broad idea of what creativity means, so I can keep involved in different creative projects even when my energy is low. I've also learned to embrace my creative cycles, knowing that there will be times when I'm totally inspired and creating a lot, and other times when I'm more quiet and taking in information. By accepting these cycles, I'm much less stressed when my productivity is slower, and I simply turn my attention to other things.
I love how the Creative Every Day Challenge keeps creativity in the forefront of my mind each day. I've found that what I focus on expands, and by focusing on how I can live a creative life, I see opportunities and inspiration in everything I do. I also love the community that has built up around the challenge. I'm continually inspired by the work everyone involved is doing and seeing their work encourages me to stretch myself in new ways.
I can't imagine my life without creating. It's an incredibly healing practice and there's always room to grow and learn within it.