When I was studying nutrition I had a professor who spoke passionately about the impact of creativity on mental health. As a medical professional working in Vancouver, she had seen first hand the power of creativity with her patients. She would enthusiastically declare that it was impossible to experience depression while simultaneously creating. What a statement! And for a time when most of us occupy the spectrum of mental health experiences and struggles, there may be no better time, no greater urgency than for us to indulge in creative pursuits! This is more than just arts & crafts. It could be argued that it’s necessary for a fully-functioning, thriving human being to create. From the perspective of my professor, it’s simply and extraordinarily medicine.
Theologians might describe this significant phenomenon as fundamentally part of our nature. If one believes in a creator and created world, humans, in this understanding, are designed to, in the likeness of God’s image, create.
Regardless your theological inclinations, we could argue that creating, in whatever form that may take, may be the biggest factor in accessing a sense of spirituality. My definition, for these purposes - the doorway to greater perspective, to endless possibilities - essentially ‘more.’ In my experience when one enters the world of possibility, everything changes. Hope is born, imagination is free to roam in endless potential and opportunity of new worlds and perspectives - essentially, creativity is the birthplace of new life. And if we expand this idea to it’s furthest limit, there may be no greater empowerment for a human than to understand their ability to create new worlds.
It is with this mind that my dear friend Alicia and I embarked on a journey to provide people with a space to get away from the distractions of day to day life and simply be inspired to create. With this opportunity, the potential to improve not only our mental health but to enlighten capability, spark our vigour, passion, vitality and strength. Check out Creative Soul Escape for details on how you might join our next creative getaway.
Another way to start exploring this idea of the impact of creativity would be to pick up Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’ - a workbook designed to cultivate the artist in all of us, and in the process awaken a deeper sense of spirituality and purpose.
However you choose to explore creativity, I implore you to do so. Notice how it might impact your life. “It could mean something. It could mean everything. It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote: You must change your life.”