Last summer when my daughter had Covid, I was afraid, so I drew this picture. Many years ago, when I was grieving the death of my husband, I was lonely, so I wrote poetry. And on the countless days when I feel insecure, unmoored, exhausted, unloved or even hopeless, I dance.
Creative expression is a tool to guide us through the darkness. It connects us with the Divine light within.
I practiced this idea Monday on the New Moon and Solar Eclipse one week before Winter Solstice, quite literally a dark day. In a virtual circle with a group of Qoya-practicing women from around the world, I worked with the energetic blank canvas of the new moon to tap into my innate creativity.
And it was so simple. We each brought only two sticks, a piece of paper and something to write with. As we laid the sticks out in different patterns–side by side, a “v” shape, a cross, etc.–we sensed a word or phrase that came from within as we observed the shape. That was it, and it was powerful.
The words I wrote down from this brief creative ritual included wisdom, growth, strength, equality, inner truth, feminine power, balance, interconnection, openness and possibility. Divine guidance indeed!
Through the act of creating, I come back to myself. I remember that I’m not at the mercy of what is happening to me. I can invent the steps I take toward the life I want to live. Creative expression allows me to honor things like fear, grief and despair as valuable experiences but to know they are not me. What a perfect thing to consider as we head toward the time of the year when the light begins to return after we’ve all been through a such a dark period.
Our creativity also reminds us that we are each unique points of light. Some of us cook, others build things, some make music, others do improv. We paint, we sew, we sing, we garden. We put outfits together, we groom dogs. The list is endless. There is no such thing as a person who is not creative, although many people believe they are not.
While creativity can awaken the magic within us, its expression can sometimes instigate feelings of vulnerability and self-criticism. As you can see from my Covid-time picture, my drawing skills have not matured much since middle school. That’s the exact time I met my best childhood friend who went on to become a visual artist and art teacher. (Imagine being in art class with her!) But the gift of creativity is not about how perfect the finished product is, or even having a finished product at all.
The true fruit of our creative endeavors is the process itself. Have you ever noticed when you are creating something that time seems irrelevant? Creativity is about flowing in the present moment, and when I’m there, I can’t get trapped by my mind that likes to chatter to me about how I don’t measure up.
My somewhat childlike drawing reminds me that creativity is powerful medicine. On that sunny summer afternoon, I encouraged my daughter to sit with me on the deck to soak up vitamin D. She was wrapped in a blanket even though it was near 90 degrees outside and didn’t have much energy for drawing. I couldn’t stop. So, I’m not sure who got more healing that day, my daughter or me.