Last night I gave a talk to an artist group about living a creative life. Some of the audience members want to earn their living by making art. I personally make art because it makes me feel better. Over the years I’ve found that it grounds me, keeps me present and is a visual twist on the “Dear Diary” version of my life.
Currently, I’m enrolled in a PhD program where I’ll be focusing on Art and Healing. When I disclosed that to the audience they were surprised. Then I also disclosed my own health challenges and how art has created a safe haven for living with illness. After the talk one of the artists came and offered to be a case study if I needed one for school. She has been living with an illness for over thirty-five years and finds that art helps build her immune system, lesson symptoms and give voice to her challenges and her life.
It’s important to open up avenues of communication so that people don’t feel so alone. When they are given a container to express themselves and is safe, there is a sense of relief and joy at not having to keep the secret inside. We can develop communities of care if we disclose our reality. It’s powerful and it’s healing.