In my last blog, I talked about encouraging a creative channel of self-expression for our children, as a tool to support them in navigating and fully expressing their internal feelings.
Let’s explore this further…
It’s been widely noted in research studies that a child’s brain becomes socialized by age seven. This is when children are able to tune in to social cues and norms. During this phase, children start to seek love and approval from outside sources. This is why fears of "fitting in" in society, at church, in school, or among family members start to become more apparent.
At the same time, our creativity is the most potent during this life phase. Internal feelings want to come out and become fully expressed. However, the fear of fitting in makes this difficult. Believe it or not, we all go through this. It is very normal.
Expressive arts help tap the parts of our creative self-expression that were left behind in our developmental years. The intention behind such a process is to integrate all learning accumulated through years of socialization and express our innate feelings and desires through the medium of art.
Regardless of your age and/or the life phase you are in, I encourage you to engage in one or more of the following:
1. Spontaneous Collages: Pick an old magazine or two. Cut out pieces of images and even words that resonate with you in the moment. Paste them in your journal and write a short narrative around it. Creating imagery through spontaneous collages lets you express what your unconscious mind is thinking or feeling. Share this exploration with a confidant.
2. Intuitive Drawing: Set out some time from the everyday happenings of your life. Close your eyes and take a few minutes to be with your breath. When you feel ready, allow your pencil to move in any direction, without giving it much thought. Letting it flow with out an agenda to create something magnanimous or pleasing to the eyes. Notice the patterns, the flow, and the process. Much of our sub-conscious beliefs get unraveled through such a practice.
Use pastels, paints, or any other medium to bring to paper whatever your inner directives are. Remember, your internal self-expression is distinct from the outer directives of the society. To get attuned to this inner-self requires making a shift - from our fears of survival to the wholeness of our being. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading!