The Healing Power of Art
Have you ever experienced the delight and wonderment of looking at your completed work of art and thinking to yourself, ‘Wow, I made that!’
Have you ever seen the surprise and elation on a student’s face after she has learnt and mastered a new creative technique?
Creating art, whether it is in the form of music, dance, painting, writing, sculpting, is a basic need within us to express our emotions. Releasing this creativity can make us whole.
The Mind and Body Connection
The activity of creating art, forges a connection between our mind and body, as we are using mental processes in a physical activity. Honing a creative skill enriches both mind and body as we expand our ability to express emotions more effectively. It requires us to learn and discover new dimensions and capacity within ourselves. The more we practice, the more we excel at it and the easier it becomes.
I always compare this practicing to a Prima Ballerina in all her glory dancing in Swan Lake. She started with the basics of ‘point – lift, point – close’ many years before that performance. She had to practice for many, long hours to become a Prima Ballerina.
Therefore, in order to become a “Prima Ballerina” in our skill, we have to do the hours, we have to make mistakes (and learn from them), we have to work hard, we have to be diligent students of our skill, we have to expand our repertoire by learning different techniques.
The Mind and Imagination Connection
Our imagination has been contaminated with images of the world. We are captivated by images on internet search engines and social media as we spent hours searching. Instead of being out and about encountering life first hand, we are experiencing life through a glass window. We struggle to use our imagination, because we are continuously being bombarded with other people’s images, thoughts and ideas. Let us be diligent in clearing our minds of clutter, cleaning our imaginations of the world’s images and start honing our skill again to imagine a new life, new possibilities, new vision.
The Mind and Heart Connection
I am no expert in the field of the biological functions of the mind, brain or heart, but from what I have read, our brain is part of the visible, tangible world of our bodies. Our mind is part of the invisible, transcendent world of thought, feeling, attitude, belief and imagination. Our brain is the physical organ most associated with mind and consciousness, but our mind is not confined to our brain.
Our hearts are essential to our lives, pumping oxygenated blood throughout our bodies. But it’s also the place where we experience many of our feelings — from a quickening beat when we see our loved one step off an airplane after a long separation, to a painful pause that happens when we hear bad news. The broken–heart syndrome or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a perfect example of the intimate relation between the brain and the heart as it mimics an acute coronary syndrome and can even result in sudden unexpected death.
The Heart and Heaven Connection
I believe that my heart is my connection with spiritual places. Here are a few Scriptures I found about the role of my heart in the spiritual realm:
My Beloved reached into my heart Songs 5:4-5
My heart is awake while I am sleeping Songs 5:2
My heart has capacity to think Prov 23:7
My heart can see Eph 1:18
God creates a clean pure heart within me Ps 51:10
My heart is the source of everything I do Prov 4:23
I can take control over my heart and guard it John 14:27
Oh, the bliss of having a clean pure heart that opens my eyes to see more of God, the Creator of the universe and the Creator who made me.
The Heart and Art Connection
As we become more skilled at our creative process, more aware of the connections between our body, mind, imagination, heart and heaven, we are releasing and expressing our innermost feelings with more freedom. There we can feel safe and secure to express without judgement or condemnation. There we can experience the delight and fulfillment of a work of art well done. There we can look back and know that we have grown as a person and can look at our surroundings through different eyes.
There the creative process becomes therapy. That is the healing power of art.