I have a confession to make. Though I went to art school many moons ago, and made my living with art for years as a young woman, I overlooked the importance of creative expression in consideration of the whole woman, and the importance of creativity in our daily lives. Somehow I forgot, or perhaps simply took for granted, the important place creativity holds within us along the journey to wholeness.
How could I do this? I remember twenty something years ago when I pushed my paints and carving tools aside how people said I’d be unfulfilled. Something would be missing. I wouldn’t be complete. Well, motherhood fulfilled me. And I found it to be the most creative endeavor I may ever take on.
Through motherhood I learned to find creative expression in the day to day, every day. Of course there were the arts and crafts projects, finger paints, crayons and play-do. But it was more than that. From learning to see, feel and express both within and a part of the wild world around us from a fresh perspective, to the fine art of homeschooling, and even to creating three healthy meals plus snacks every day from what appeared to be a limited pantry. All of it. Life became a creative process, an artistic expression.
It’s all about how we look, see and share. Oh sure, it’s a more practical approach to the arts. Not quite as fancy and formidable. Not much to show off and brag about. But was it creative? Indeed! And was it fulfilling. Absolutely.
And since my child has grown and parenting is past, and my present is about being a writer, rancher, birthworker… creativity abounds. It is as limitless as life. It is a part of life. And certainly, an essential part of the whole that is me.
Yes, I do take it for granted. I simply expect it. Creativity is life.
That’s not to say we should not honor it, discover and uncover, excavate and express, and even nurture it within ourselves and the worlds around us.
It was a young mother who reminded me recently. Birth art. Of course! How could I not see this? Lumping the creative into other parts of the whole, not honoring creativity with its own unique side, rather than a part of the other elements that create completeness.
Creativity is indeed a unique part of each of us. An essential element to our wholeness. An important aspect to our complete being.
So, let’s take some time to look deeply at creative expression and ways to nurture our creative nature.
Creativity is a part of the whole self, part of your balanced being. It is the expression of your uniqueness.
And what a fun, limitless, expansive part it is! Creative expression can be an opening, an awakening and a release for every element of the self. Or it can be considered as an essential element in itself.
For now, let us realize the latter. Let us honor the creative side of the self. Let us learn to see, honor, express and share our creative nature. Why not allow yourself creative expression every day? Explore something new or find something special and stick with, allowing your creative expression to bloom more each day like a flower unfurling.
To begin this play with our creative side, let us being with song. Consider, if you will, the creative expression of song. Your voice. Sound. Words. Notes. Rhythms.
I’m not musical and sing off key. I didn’t stick with piano lessons and never learned to play guitar. Does this matter? Not to me. I can still sing. Sing like no one’s listening! And chances are, no one is. But…would your baby hear? Would she love the sound simply because it is your voice? Would she remember the sound and be drawn to it even out of the womb?
Sing! At least once this week, sing! How about once a day?
Sing to your baby. Sing to the trees. Sing to the placenta, your blood, the wind, whatever feels good to you. It doesn’t have to sound good. No one has to hear you. You can resort to the old singing in the shower trick. Or humming while you work. Or whistling while you walk the dog.
Just let it out. Joyously, or soulfully. Make a sound and hear it. Feel it. Maybe move with it.
Practice a lullaby, hum a favorite tune, or chant a circle song. Maybe a Christmas carol or a church hymn or even a golden oldie. Try putting on the radio and singing the songs you remember, and who cares if you make up your own words and sing to a different tune. Just sing!
Here are two circle songs I learned when my son was little. I don’t know who wrote them or where they came from, but I shall always remember the words. I think I sang them more to myself to help me through hard times than I sang for him. But in helping to sooth my mind and soul and inner self through hard times, I am certain they helped my son too.
The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing down to the sea. Mother, carry me, a child I will always be. Mother, carry me, down to the sea.
Humble yourself unto the mountain (or river or mother or sister or brother or whatever), gotta lay down low. Humble yourself unto yourself unto the mountain, gotta know what you know. We shall lift each other up. Higher and higher. And we shall lift each other up.
I’ll make several more suggestions for creative expression in the future to help encourage your vision and expression, opening and nurturing for every part of the whole you, and for completing the creative part of you.
Please remember: You are creative! You are creating!