Creativity: A Spark of Insight

In times of struggle and emotional hardship, a creative practice is often a great distraction from our destructive side, giving ourselves hope in a way that helps us find a path to recovery.

In reviewing one’s own wellness tools there are always the basics. Everyone needs a living arrangement, proper nutrition, at times using our body to staying active; but when it all comes down to how we identify as humans, many who value their time and purpose have a creative practice. Some find the visual arts as their outlet creating sculpture, paintings or designing patterns for clothing. Some use their auditory senses to create music, composing and playing. Some use their bodies to move through space and dance. Others may act, and right now creative writing is being used to highlight the importance of the arts.

Norman Cousins wrote a popular series of essays decades ago called Anatomy of the Illness, in which he diagramed health properties used in ancient cultures as well as modern times. In his chapter on creativity he talks about an elderly resident who is so old their body is twisty and deformed from age, however when they sit down at the piano each morning to play the same Bach concerto their body unfolds and they become loose and supple. Music takes the pain away, and the act of playing can be a way the brain can unlock and release certain feel good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins.

Those involved in the arts or who live a creative life are different than those strictly motivated by profit. Having a creative practice is a great way to organize one’s time that counts towards a life of purpose. If we didn’t learn a creative medium in school, and many school arts programs are underfunded, then it’s up to us to seek out a creative practice and community for our wellness and wellbeing. Lucky for us, even as adults there are many ways to get involved in a creative practice and find a community of those who share an artistic discipline, whether as a hobby or a way of life.  


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