Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

Ever Want to Runaway From Home? Listen to Twyla Tharp

I think every kid at one time or another wants to run away from home.  Unfortunately, some actually do and have a terrible time on the streets.  Overwhelmingly, kids threaten but seem to stay put and the crisis is averted.  I remember wanting to runaway as a kid.   I put my clothes in a paper bag, left the apartment, and walked down the street.  Only problem is I couldn’t get far because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street; I had to hang out on the corner until I was ready to turn around and head home.

As an adult there are times when we would like to runaway from home.  Stressful lives lead us to want a few moments of peace and quiet.  We want a sanctuary where we can’t be found so we can sort out the chaos in our body, mind and spirit.  It’s usually a time when reflection is important and yet we believe that “going away” is the only answer.

I love the great American choreographer, Twyla Tharp (If you haven’t read her book “The Creative Habit” you’re missing the creative person’s bible).  She says, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home”.  A friend of mine had posted this on Facebook and I was awe-struck.  It was so simple and yet so profound.  It made me quickly reflect on every moment I spend in the studio, and how transformative and transported I feel when working on something that allows for my ultimate self-expression.

So what does that mean for anyone going through a difficult time, especially if you’re facing a health challenge?  It encourages you to runaway within your own being.  It lures you to a place where you can be seen and heard by your heart and soul, while creating something that allows others to get how you’re feeling.  Running away within your being gives you time to re-group and that’s most important when trying to deal with the chaos that comes with a health challenge.

Life is messy!  Even when things are going well; life is messy!  So when things become more out-of-control due to other challenges placed before you; the easiest way to face them is to runaway through art.  You don’t have to be Picasso; you just have to be willing to be honest.  Your creative endeavor has to be something that comes from the well of your being.  This is not a time to hold back because that undoubtedly is one of the reasons you’re probably pushed to the brink of running away.  It can be honest and raw.  It doesn’t have to be beautiful; this isn’t about getting into a museum…it’s about getting to your truth!

I encourage you to allow art to be your destination of choice when you want to runaway!


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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