Creating Soul Healing
You probably know how I feel about this one. Art saves lives. But for the rest of this post, I’ll stay away from the word, “Art,” and replace it with “Creativity” or “Creating.”
Creating leads us out of spiritual prison or confinement and into freedom. Take a look at my own testimony: creativity transformed my life.
Artist Statement: Deborah L. Cox
I got inspired by third-grader art. Back in 2008, I was going through a really difficult transition out of my academic career. One afternoon, I saw a collection of Rountree Elementary flower projects, lined up in a hallway at the school. Each child’s work, obviously from an art-class assignment, featured a construction-paper basket with colored flowers zooming out of it. From a distance, they all seemed the same. But as I looked at each one closely, I found dozens of different shapes, scales, color combinations, and moods.
I ran home and started making my own version of a third-grade, construction-paper flower arrangement, and it completely absorbed me. I collaged my way out of the gloom.
Now, I upcycle whatever materials fire my imagination: flea-market paintings, magazines, candy-wrappers, packing paper . . . and turn them into humor and oddity. As a trauma psychologist, my workweek gets pretty serious and requires me to keep a careful adult’s mind. But on Saturdays, when I cut shapes and play with shades of green and orange, I enter a zone of laughter, I forget to eat, I relax and sing . . . I become a kid again.
Beyond Studio: A Place of Creativity and Spiritual Healing
That statement hangs on our gallery/waiting room wall at Beyond Studio, the place where I do therapy and make collages and have conversations about creativity and spiritual healing with good friends. We create through our voices, our hands, our ideas, and our words. We heal ourselves, so we have the energy to help others heal.
Beyond Studio is also the home of ReConceive, a podcast about healing. In our latest series, Melissa, Shauna, and I talk about spirituality. We tell our own stories and listen to the journeys of community leaders in very different practices. Through ReConceive, we turn our religious abuse histories into new ways of understanding and treating spiritual trauma.
So if you could create anything, no matter how silly it seemed . . . what would you create? A book about your favorite things? A song? A play? A giant tapestry made of plastic straws?
Whatever the answer, your creativity calls you. If you answer, your inner being responds. And if you listen to your inner being and follow the urge to create, you step out of spiritual confinement and into the sunshine of your new life.