"We started our Facebook Group so that kindred spirits could pool resources, especially ideas about how to engage our creative side. Creativity is about seeing possibilities - and now, more than ever, we need to imagine possibilities for ourselves, and those around us. Thank you in advance for becoming part of this online community."
Finding a Creative Outlet to Channel Our EmotionsBY LOLA RASMINSKY
Lately, I've been feeling the need for an escape. Have you? The sameness of every day, the bleakness, the lack of physical human contact is starting to get me down. Travel is out; in-person visits with family and friends are verboten. My culinary repertoire is beginning to bore me.
I need a new reality. I need touch, colour, contrast, variety, excitement. I'm a little ashamed of indulging such thoughts when I have no problem putting food on the table or keeping a roof over my head. But I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. So how can we satisfy those needs? Can we create an alternate reality where we experience these things vicariously? Would immersing ourselves in tantalizing travelogues allow us to escape? Would more frequent or different kinds of conversations with friends and family give us an added sense of connection? Would looking for beauty where we can find it – even on our daily walks – help us feel less greyness?
The answer to all those questions is a hearty 'Yes'. They can all be helpful. Abraham Maslow said that our highest need is for self-actualization, and one of those ways is through self-expression. I've never understood that concept more than I do today. I have three sacrosanct weekly high points that I wouldn't miss for the world. My piano lesson. My writing class. My dance class. And now that they are all virtual, I feel less inhibited than when they were in person. I can express myself more freely and always feel better at the end of each session – always!
(Try our "Mindful Painting class this winter to explore a whole new way of painting from a space of freedom, non-judgment and experimentation)
Why is self-expression so satisfying? We have many emotions swirling inside us, and they're not all positive – especially these days. And we may not even be able to verbalize them. When bottled up, unfettered feelings can wreak havoc with our sense of self and even our health. Without an outlet for these emotions, they can eat away at our psyches and intensify our stress and anxiety levels. I believe that one way to maintain our emotional well-being is to exercise our creativity. When I practice or participate in a writing or dance class, I become so focused that everything else falls away – I lose all sense of time. For those hours, nothing else matters. Having a creative outlet where we can express ourselves puts us in control of the moment and sets aside the tumult of uncontrolled feelings. And that feels good. If you haven't already found your creative outlet, find one and give it a try! I highly recommend it.