Achieving Wellness Through the Expressive Arts
Participation in artistic activities, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, or digital graphics, can provide a healthy outlet for expressing the wide range of feelings associated with chronic illness or disability. Neither artistic talent, ability, nor experience is needed to immediately begin reaping the many benefits of creative expression. The sole requirement is willingness to become absorbed in the process of making art.
To be genuinely therapeutic, these activities occur with no pre-planned goals other than involvement in the "here and now" of the creative process. Neither evaluation nor criticism is ever connected to the quality of the resulting artwork.
Dreams, wishes, fears, and fantasies will emerge in visual form as the participant free-associates with color, shape, and textural effects in one's chosen art medium. Art enables a person to liberate ideas and feelings that may be difficult to communicate otherwise. Further, it provides a way to gain greater self-acceptance and awareness by exploring the symbolic meaning of one's own unique creations.
Free from judgment and censorship, art conveys the most genuine representation of the self. Through the process of self rediscovery, we acquire understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. Under these circumstances, positive energy is channeled through the mind-body connection, which in turn, can lay the groundwork for greater healing to take place.
On a personal note ...
PsyberLink's Gallery is a growing collection of hand-drawn computer images created during those challenging moments when chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia had pulled me away from the mainstream of daily life. Overwhelmed by fatigue and pain caused by these disabling conditions, I chose to redefine my circumstances by taking a different perspective.
When lost and faced with seemingly endless obstacles, I have noticed how ideas flow more freely during creative activity. Guided by creativity, the artistic process can be instrumental for regaining one's sense of balance, purpose, and direction. At times emerging from a canvas of despair and frustration, expressive art opens a window to the psyche, helping to transform self criticism into self acceptance and inner peace.
You may find, as I have, that taking a creative journey can be an exhilarating experience; you'll discover a vital source of personal strength. By applying your creative energy, self renewal can be achieved, even in the midst of some very painful times. It is a privilege to share these insights with you now, and I hope you'll enjoy exploring the gallery.
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