Isn’t this the most beautiful thing you’ve seen all day? I think it is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all year. This little doodle was drawn last week by a reluctant student of mine named Nathan. Nathan confessed to me later that it was the first thing he had drawn in over 25 years. Before that moment, 25 years ago, when he had decided not to trust his creative self anymore, he had been an accomplished artist. He was a prolific painter and portrait artist. At the same time he had also slowly been allowing his addiction to drugs and alcohol ravage his life. His addictions finally won the battle, and he had convinced himself that he would never be able to create again.
I had met with Nathan for the first time about a month ago. He was about six weeks into his recovery program. I saw him sit down to a blank white canvas. I watched as he hesitantly scrawled his artist’s signature on the back with a marker. Then I saw him completely shut down. He was immobilized. There were tears welling up in his eyes. When there was a break in the class, he came up to me and apologized. He told me he would not be able to continue with the class or the project. He said that writing his artist’s signature opened the floodgates of pain for him. A pain so intense that he couldn’t bear it. I listened with respect, and I encouraged him to take some time to think about those feelings that he had just unlocked. I told him that he could rejoin the class at any time, and that I would be willing to help him to explore those feeling around his creating when he felt ready to do so.
Then, last week, I recognized him in attendance at a workshop that I teach once a quarter at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. Again, I saw him hesitate when it came to the part where we actually put pen to paper. Only, this time, he actually did it. He drew the beautiful mandala shown above. To me it looks like a pomegranate that has just been cracked open. A tough shell bearing vibrantly colored and complex fruit.
Afterwards, he came up to me and thanked me. He acknowledged that what I had told the group about how accessing your creativity through your inner-child seemed to “switch on a light bulb” for him. What had been discarded into a dark and dreary place in his memory banks was now re-emerging into a place of light and possibility again. He especially appreciated what I had told the group about how “your unique creative expression is always waiting there for you to come back to it. It is not a use it or lose it, kind of thing. It’s more of a use it and it gets better kind of thing.”
It is a myth that substances make you more creative. Substances can sometimes remove inhibitions so you might find yourself more willing to take a chance on creating, but they don’t make you more creative. To truly be creative you need mental clarity. Substances only cloud that clarity. What is creative about you comes from deep within you. This is the purest part of who you are, the part that is not contingent on anything else to express itself. When you create from the perspective of the inner-child, you learn to access this creative space that is naturally free of inhibitions and springs forth from an innocent place of pure curiosity.
So, for any of you out there who can relate to Nathan’s story, I encourage you to keep an open mind about who you are as a creative person.
Sending you all lots of love and gratitude during this time of Thanksgiving.
Your Creativity Coach,
Bonnie Kelso is the creator of The ABCs of Conscious Creating and the author of Vitalize Your Creative Life. She uses energy healing and creating exercises to connect people to their higher “creative” selves. For more information about her services read about her ACCESS! program or to schedule a consultation please contact her at Bonnie@CreatingYourExperience.com. Are you ready to vitalize your creative life?