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Creative Expression for Everyone

This week's post is a bit of a muddle and it's not very long. But my heart is in a bit of muddle, and that's why.


Let's lead off with some information about the importance of creativity:


  • "According to an APA poll, 46% of Americans use creative activities to relieve stress or anxiety. For example, a study by the Adobe Foundation and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that young people who engage in creative activities, such as painting, reported reduced feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as improved confidence." NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

  • "Repetitive creative motions like knitting, drawing, or writing help activate flow, and are all tasks that create a result. And when you succeed at creating a result, no matter what it is, your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you. Whether or not you’re aware of your increased happiness, the hit of dopamine you get after being in flow will drive and influence you toward similar behavior." Forbes Magazine

  • "The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has an art therapy program for soldiers with PTSD. Veterans often find it difficult to express their trauma verbally. Art therapy manager Tammy Shella, PhD, ATR-BC, says, 'Through art therapy, patients can convey how they really feel on the inside and reveal things that they weren’t comfortable sharing with the world.'” The Cleveland Clinic

  • "Through various forms of art, individuals were able to reduce stress, improve mood, and foster a sense of belonging within their communities. Moreover, artistic expression served as a catalyst for personal transformation and empowerment, enabling individuals to overcome challenges and find meaning in their experiences. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating arts-based interventions into mental health care to promote holistic well-being." International Journal of Humanity and Social Sciences

The reason I'm leading with all that is because I'm not over here as an artist making it up. I want more people to embrace a creative path because it really is good for your well-being. Creative acts can help people find ways to process, express, and release feelings like fear, anxiety, stress, and disempowerment. Creativity can lead to connection and better relationships as well. Creative expression makes you feel good. And when we feel good? We share that with others. We are ~ just in the act of creating something wonderful ~ creating a world where we all feel better. Who doesn't want that?


I turn to art for all of these reasons and also because I just love it so much. When I'm in the creative zone I feel a sense of peace and presence like no other. But lately I feel like I've been turning to it a lot more because of how much I need to regulate my nervous system. I've been anxious. And I know I'm not alone. And to be honest? I think that our mental well-being is being given a run for our money right now.


I don't know about you but I'm worried about the future of this country (United States for those of you new to this blog). I'm having a really hard time understanding why people are going to vote for an authoritarian figure, choosing a man ~ and systems ~ that want the end of democracy as we know it. I mean, of course I understand human nature and the fear and ignorance that drives people to make the choices they do. For example, I don't understand how more white people don't get that their ancestors left countries from across Europe to get away from political and financial oppression, to now be here, VOTING for the exact same thing their families were fleeing. It's terrifying, the lack of connection and cognitive dissonance that's out there right now. Being drawn to entities that want to force people to live life a certain way. One way. And no other way. That is an ugly recipe for the future. One I want no part of.


 

Sigh.


I don't know where I'm going with this. I guess I just feel like I need to use this platform to say something. Anything. To express my fear, my frustrations, my incredulousness that there are people I know and like that don't question the madness of where this country might go. That they agree with it and are choosing it. That in their eyes freedom of expression is only for ONE kind of expression. Not for multiple ways of being. It makes me incredibly sad.


We could be living in a world full of beauty, love, creative expression, joy... and yet there are those wanting instead fear and policing and control and oppression of basic human rights. Or don't they realize that that's what they're voting for? I wish they would understand this, the choice they're making. The deep, deep repercussions this is going to have on everyone's lives, theirs included.


Me?


I choose love. I choose creativity. I choose joy. I choose freedom of expression.


I choose freedom for everyone. Every. Single. Person.


No exceptions.



 

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