How I Relearned to Draw and Healed my Creativity
I’ve lived most of my life considering myself not a creative person. Like anybody else, I had dabbed in photography in college, wrote a few short stories… but nothing really stuck. I always saw myself as “someone who can’t draw.” I would even laugh about it, but it didn’t bother me. There was no harm in it, was there?
It wasn’t until my first-born was about 4 years old, that it started shifting. She was so innately creative. Things would just flow out of her with sheer delight and abandon at such a young age. I found her art so beautiful. It left me speechless. On the few occasions my daughter asked me to join in some Crayola drawings, and I thought “She’s so young and does it so much better than me… How is that even possible?”
Maybe she was special: particularly creative and talented? I was quickly proven wrong when my three other children also displayed artistic talents at a young age.
I was intrigued. What was it about children that lets them be who they are in the moment without judgment, simply because they enjoy it. Probably all children are like that… but then when do we, adults, unlearn to be so creative? Is it something that slowly creeps up on us? Does the fear of what others may think shut down our gifts and talents?
One day I decided I was done saying I couldn’t draw. I felt bold and courageous, announcing to myself and to the Universe that I wanted to draw. I bought the paraphernalia I needed: beautiful sketchbooks, pencils and such. But I got frustrated really quick because… nothing really happened, and life got in the way. The art supply landed in a box, virtually untouched.
The longing was still there in the back of my mind: not important enough to be taken seriously but not unimportant enough to be totally forgotten.
It wasn’t until a ThetaHealing® session in which my teacher started mentioning my creativity that the spark suddenly became a flame. Someone else was seeing it too! During the intuitive reading, we worked on my limiting unconscious beliefs, and she recommended looking into Morning Pages, a technique outlined in Julia Cameron’s workbook “The Artist’s Way.” The idea is, once you get the annoying or looping thoughts out of your head, and onto the paper, like a “brain dump”, you clear the way for the real creative stuff to be expressed through you. I wrote every morning for three months a bunch of unimportant and mostly stupid stuff that I would never read again. That process was so liberating for me.
After a few weeks, I got the drawing supply out and felt compelled to buy a “how to draw” book, so that I wouldn’t be completely on my own. I also heard of “Drawing from the Right Side of your Brain” by Betty Edwards, another true revelation. And from there it started to flow. I dove full heartedly into drawing and had one aha moment after the other. “Oh that’s how it works, yes!” was my thought again and again. It was exhilarating. I have been working on my drawing almost every day for the past six months!
While I am nowhere near a great artist, it feels like my creativity went from zero to one hundred, and I am enjoying every moment! The other day my children were actually admiring my drawings and my daughter told me:
I couldn’t believe it. All it takes is the willingness to work on it, to give yourself permission to enjoy it, and stop saying what actually hinders your progress, like “I can’t”. Now I draw because I feel happiness. What if each one of us could allow our creativity to flow wherever, and let it be beautiful (or not) without judging or criticizing? It’s been so worth it for me. What do you do to cultivate your inner artist?