What are the Intrinsic Benefits of Having a Creative Practice

What are the Intrinsic Benefits of Having a Creative Practice

Have you told yourself more than once that you’d like to have more creativity in your life? Spend more time dancing, painting, journaling, or playing the guitar?

What does the process of creative self-exploration look like to you?

Have you thought about the benefits of a creative practice?

These are good questions and you are not alone in asking them.

Creativity cannot be produced instantly on demand or as Twyla Tharp, one of America’s greatest choreographers, says, “Creativity is not a gift from the gods, it is the product of preparation and effort, and it’s within reach of everyone who wishes to achieve it.”

Rewards of Creativity

The rewards of having a steady creative practice are not just a masterful finished product or just about having fun – a steady practice is actually good for you!

Michelle Hayden Marsan Professional Coach

When you tap into your creativity, when you are completely absorbed and captivated with whatever it is you are doing, you are in a state of flow – a relaxed feeling and state of being that slows your heart rate, focuses your mind, reduces feelings of anxiety and boosts your sense of well being. 

Creativity is good for the body and the mind – when you are in flow, the  body reduces cortisol, the hormone produced by stress, anger and fear and releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones.

Creative expression can be used as a means to surface unconscious thoughts, become aware of unresolved emotions, process trauma and unblock feeling stuck.

Creative expression can also be used to visualize and dream of bigger and better futures for ourselves.

Creativity Techniques

The creative process using any number of techniques – from sketching, coloring, and writing poetry to making pottery, vision boarding and more – can help you explore feelings and contemplate questions, such as:

  • What makes you feel good?
  • What do you want to let go of that is no longer serving you?
  • What is stopping you from having a regular, creative practice?
  • Are you doing the work to get where you want to be?

Sustained creativity, according to Tharp, begins with rituals, self-knowledge, harnessing your memories and organizing your materials, so no insight is ever lost. 

“Being creative is not a once- in -a- while sort of thing. Being creative is an everyday thing, a job with its own routines. The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration (perhaps more).”

Twyla Tharp

Creativity Can Make Your Heart Sing 

Do you recall a time when you created something that made your heart sing? Something that surprised you; made you ask, “I did this?” 

These breakthroughs are a result of showing up at the table, sitting down at the piano, or stepping into the dance studio… They demonstrate how having a consistent practice leads to self-fulfillment by creating a channel for a deeper connection into who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

I remember the first time that I realized this for myself, in art school. I was in a rigorous program which I loved. The process of having to intensely investigate the mediums, learn from the masters and do a deep dive into the creative method produced work that I never knew I was capable of doing; I literally was astonished to see what I produced. 

Michelle Hayden Marsan Professional Coach for Parents

At the time, I was fascinated with doing large portraits of individual faces. Just the head, the face, nothing more; what came from within were images with great strength and character. 

Later, I would come to understand that my fascination with focusing on the faces of people was really about my captivation of people in general. I am drawn (no pun intended) by the stories that each person carries within. Who they are, where they came from, both geographically and fundamentally; how they got to where they are now.

I can see how my becoming a Certified Coach many years later is a direct line from the act of creating those powerful portraits.

Creativity can Release Unlimited Potential

Our everyday creative practice is a way to bring the inside of ourselves out, to the surface, to see, in all its glory. Each expression is a unique representation of our imagination, as only we can do it. How exciting is that? 

The fact that within all of us there exists an unlimited amount of potentially beautiful works; be they dances, musical compositions, sculptures etc… This is the field of pure potentiality. 

When we have the desire, but not the discipline, to show up every day for  our practice, think of all the possibilities of expression that are lost to us. 

Had Van Gogh not had the compulsion and drive to produce the body of work that he did, what a loss would that be, not only for him, but for society as a whole. All the people who he inspired through his work, and the works that they created as a result, would not be the same, were it not for his influence. And we can say that for everyone who shows up and works on their craft; diligently pursuing something new every day.

When we do the work, we are not only creating a piece of work, but we are processing, we are exploring, digging deep into our subconscious and working things out.

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What’s Stopping You From Being Creative?

Children are naturally open, curious and fearless, expressing their creativity with joy and ease. We as adults however, are more self-conscious, focused on results and worried about being judged. 

What’s stopping you from being creative and building a consistent creative practice? 

What are your reasons for not showing up regularly? 

Is it that you can’t seem to find the right time, the right space, or do you not have the energy? 

That sense of inertia can be eradicated through the act of simply showing up for yourself. Doing one thing, one day at a time. Little by little, we build up steam, we see progress, we are moved by what we see arise from ourselves every day; and before we know it, we start feeling inspired. One day we wake up and we can’t wait to get to that drawing board, or sit down with our guitar…

What reasons are you telling yourself for not committing to what you want to do? 

How do you feel when you aren’t able to show up and be the person that you want to be? 

I know for myself, I have found that without a regular creative practice, my inspiration wanes, my creative juices are blocked and I feel as though I am caught in a vicious cycle of disappointment and guilt. At times I feel like I am stuck in self-sabotage mode. It can feel pretty awful and can filter into all aspects of life: how I show up for other people, lack of motivation, feelings of inadequacy, unhappiness and lack of self-worth. How can I call myself an artist if I don’t show up as one?

Anything You Want Is Possible

When we feel stuck – it’s hard to remember that anything we want for ourselves is within our reach, is possible. ANYTHING. Feeling stuck is a direct line to feeling unfulfilled. When we are not feeling excited and we are not leading a fulfilling life, we are unhappy; plain and simple. 

OUR DESIRE TO ACCOMPLISH OUR GOALS HAS TO OUTWEIGH OUR DESIRE TO STAY EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.

How important is it for you to break through your complacency?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you want to do this?

Whatever number you come up with in answer to that question exemplifies your commitment level. Your desire to change has to be much stronger than your desire to keep things as is. 

What is your number? Are you ready to get started on your path to self-exploration? To feel the flow? To unleash your full potential with the benefits of a creative practice?

If all of this is overwhelming but you are ready to embark on your journey, consider using a professional Coach as your guide! (NOTE: Images featured in this blog are from original artwork by Michelle Hayden-Marsan.)

IF YOU CAN THINK IT, YOU CAN DO IT! 

Michelle Hayden-Marsan

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