Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

What if you couldn’t speak?

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

What if you didn’t have the ability to speak, how would you communicate?  Even when you do speak do you really feel like your point-of-view is understood by everyone?  Are there things you’d like to say that you either don’t have the words for, or  you don’t feel comfortable saying out loud?  This is where alternative methods of communication are crucial to your health and healing.

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness it’s easy to jump right into your head and think logically about everything you need to do.  The medical community will join you in this fantasy that the logical is the only thing to consider when it comes to treatment.  What happens if you have doubts or questions that aren’t ready to be verbalized?

There are lots of ways to express yourself without having to speak.  One of my friends, Kim Rosen,, wrote an amazing book titled, Saved by a Poem.  Following my workshop with Kim I not only thought differently about poetry as an art form, but as a way of expressing my authentic self.  It gave me the courage, even when I recite the poems of others, to express myself from my highest self, my deepest truth, and with elegance and grace.  It makes me feel heard.

In many of my workshops I have participants draw some aspect of a current health challenge.  This particular experience is particularly good for those feeling pain because different colors often signify different levels of pain depending on the participants threshold.  I’ve been in a workshop the past two days where we are using collage and creative journal expression to seek answers to questions (in our case it’s about our dissertations), but the process would be exactly the same for those looking for answers about their journey to wellness.

There are so many creative ways of expressing oneself that to feel locked in to speaking is a shame.  If we can’t find ways of expressing ourselves our level of suffering and frustration increases.  Utilizing creative strategies releases tension, engages the body, mind, and spirit, and provides an avenue for sharing your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual self with the world.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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