Growing and Healing Through Art
Creativity and pursuing art again came back into my life at just the right time. After huge life changes and negotiating a new town, new role in our home and new routine, one evening I found myself opening up my watercolurs whilst the little ones slept and my husband was out. I spent an hour or so doing my first lettering, of a verse from Psalm 136. Little did I know that this small choice of how to spend my time would rekindle my creativity hugely over the next year. This creativity I had longed for and missed.
When a few months later I finally allowed myself to admit that I felt miserable a lot of the time even though logically there was no reason to- I started going to a postnatal wellness group. As part of our 'toolkit' we discussed the importance of doing a 'pleasurable activity' - something simple just for enjoyment, like having a bath, reading a magazine, baking. I already knew that painting was something I could do and get absorbed in. We were challenged to do something enjoyable and my rekindled creativity continued to grow. Art played a huge role in helping me with my postnatal depression, or low mood (my doctor never officially have it a name!)
The beautiful thing about creating is that it can take your whole being- not just your hands. It can harness your emotions, stresses. Artistic expression is a wonderful thing and has been healing and a learning process for me in so many ways.
I think a lot of people see art and creative pursuits as a 'nice extra'. Something nice for children to do, something nice to have on your walls, but not perhaps as 'useful' or 'necessary' as other uses of time or money. For me though? I've learned that pursuing that is essential for me. If I'm not being creative somehow (even doodling when on the phone, or arranging alphabet fridge magnets!) it stops me from being the best, the full version of myself. I believe God made me a creative person and so I am trying to make sure I honour that by carving out time to create, however small it might be. A five minute sketch while the kids draw, or a note jotted down to explore later. Taking notice of the colours and beauty around me and thinking how they inspire me. Painting in my journaling Bible, weaving a row or two- finding little ways in an incredibly busy season with a preschooler, toddler and newborn!
If art, or creating are important, part of you- don't neglect it. Build tiny ways to make it your normality. I loved setting goals for my shop which kept me accountable to creating. I'm now doing a few longer term projects for the year, freeing myself largely from the admin side so that I can create and concentrate on feeding my soul and staying aware of my moods. Art has great healing, expressive and evoking powers. The process of creation is as important or more important than the result, allowing me chance to reconnect with myself and my creator. I need art and creativity to be present, to be the best version of myself and to learn and grow more through life.
To learn more about Zoe visit her website.