This holistic creativity is more expansive, rewarding and forgiving.
If you are going days and weeks between creations, that is ok here. If you are creating every day, good for you! Both and everything in between are welcome and accepted in holistic creativity.
Sometimes you need to focus on mental or physical health at the seeming detriment of creation. With this expansive view of creativity that focus to heal is an integral part of creativity.
Whatever the work you need to be doing for yourself, know that here it is considered simply a part of growing your creativity. We are complex beings with many facets. Similarly with our creativity.
The ideas that your skills as an artist are the most important lead to shame because the idea is that you need to continuously be growing and improving only that portion. Sometimes the best remedy is to work on something else for a bit and come back to that anatomy study that was vexing you.
So, please know that everything you are, wherever you are, however you are, you are a creative. As long as you show up for the adventure of life with mind open to the creative flow.
And, keep in mind that all I write is to be taken as gentle suggestions, your mileage may vary as it is based upon my experience, life and journey.
This is why I focus so much on my mental health and healing here. The things that I’ve learned in my early years have made it hard to find and embrace the chaos. And, for me that has been a key piece of my holistic creative puzzle. I need to let loose, play, not care what others see in me. Stop worrying so much about what other’s reactions and thoughts are to me, stop spending all of my time taking care of others so that I can ignore my own wants and needs.
You, too, I’d encourage to look to all aspects of yourself to find what may need support or healing. We are all so individual and yet we must also embrace connection. Without a balance of self and others we cannot create to our potential. Without supporting the parts of us that need love, comfort, and space we cannot grow our creativity fully and in a balance with the rest of ourselves.
And, keep in mind that 100% doesn’t look the same day to day. Everyone’s 100% looks different. Show up for yourself the way you have ability for, never look outside yourself and shame yourself for what you cannot change or do.
Something further I’m working on lately is to make sure I know how to regulate my nervous system. I think as a self proclaimed neuro-spicy (neurodivergent) I find myself more and more overwhelmed and overstimulated in situations that I’d previously breezed through. Regulation of my nervous system, when I can manage, is really helpful. Some good places to start your research: Polyvagal theory, somatic practices, breathwork, even shaking. Our bodies like to move and that movement can really help us regulate ourselves in many ways, bringing our awareness back into our bodies and moving feelings through.
Another key I’ve found for myself is the connections between mind and body (and often soul). I’ve lived a lot in my head ignoring what my body was craving and sometimes in ways that were painfully obvious in hindsight. This does tie into nervous system regulation as a connection between your mind and body is important for that work. Knowing what your body is saying is the first step in living fully with yourself. And we are taught that we are supposed to be more logical and mental because body wisdom is for animals. At least, that is the sense I’ve had. We need our body’s wisdom. It knows what it needs to function and thrive. We just need to learn to listen.
So, this for me is what holistic creativity is. Where we tend to all parts of ourselves, mind, body, soul. And creation is not only for the sake of creation but for the whole hearted joy (and chaos, too!). And we take time to nurture ourselves in the ways in which we need, as we need them. Nothing takes away from your status as an artist, creator, person. Nobody else can take that away from you or force you to compare yourself to an insufficient metric. You are your metric.
with much love
PS. In the spirit of embracing holistic creativity this weekend I did something that I’ve not done in a long while, I went on a nice long walk. I didn’t know it but I’d desperately needed a nice solo adventure outdoors. Decided to go to the library and back. (8 miles roundtrip!) The promise of books kept me going (not that I need more books to read, mind you) and the weather was wonderful, sunny but not too hot. Surprisingly the path was far more nature bound than I’d expected strolling towards downtown but that just made me very happy, so here are some photo highlights. I actually allowed myself to follow through and take the photos I wanted to…generally I’m too focused on going or doing to indulge so it was a small but joyous thing to document what I thought was worthy of such.