Of all the many different work titles I’ve had throughout my somewhat varied career, my favourite is Creativity, Health and Happiness Practitioner. It beats Librarian, Project Manager, Governess, Coordinator, Curator, Photographic Collection Manager, House & Garden Artist [which is actually when I was a cleaner and gardener ], and all the other assorted roles I’ve performed over the years, hands down.
Khalil Gibran writes in The Prophet that ‘Work is love made visible.’ When I came upon this beautiful idea and compared it to the life I was living in inner city Sydney, I realized there was little connection between Gibran’s notion of work and my actuality. These days though, there is a smooth and natural flow between who I am, what I do and in how and where I am living my life.
I have art therapy to thank for the fact that I am happier, healthier and more creative than I’ve ever been in my life. Art therapy processes make the unconscious, more conscious and the intangible, more able to be grasped and held and therefore understood. Simple but powerful art therapy processes help us get to the root of maladaptive behaviours such as addictions, self-sabotage, acting in ways that have long since ceased to serve us and have little relation to who we are as human beings.
Creativity comes from the Latin term creō - "to create, make". I find this definition to be true on both a literal and a metaphoric level, one feeding into the other - we make a meal, we make a decision, we create an art work, we create meaning from all the different threads of our lives. Our lives come into being from all the different types of creating and making we do on an ongoing basis.
Carlin Flora writes that ‘We all marvel at other people’s artistic achievements and ingenuity. But most of us fail to nurture our inner innovator. Start living creatively and reap the benefits - including fewer relationship headaches and more fulfilling workdays.’
Play, colour, experimentation, a sense of discovery, excitement, curiosity are things that many of us have left behind. The idea of sitting down and drawing or making something is incomprehensible for many people. Rediscovering the pure pleasure and sense of delight at seeing something come into being as a result of our own efforts, is life enhancing. Discovering through art, the richness and wisdom of our own internal world, the ability to find our own answers, our own way, based on a strong sense of self is what Creativity, Health and Happiness is all about.