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How Can Creativity Heal?


I get asked all of the time what does it actually mean to "use creativity for reflection and healing." So I thought I would share an example of my own personal experience where I used simple materials to create an art installation to explore my past.

At first glance this little starfish may look weird or even confusing, but the process I used to create it was intentional and each object, colour, placement, and texture is symbolic.

My process began with reading a zen story about the emotions and feelings that we carry with us long after the events are over. This prompted me to explore this idea in a simple meditation where I checked in with what thoughts, ideas, and beliefs I was carrying around with me throughout the day. I was surprised to find out that I had lots of negative thoughts and beliefs that surge up inside of me at surprising times. Beliefs that I was too expressive, not important enough, not doing things right, and that I wasn't worthy of intimacy. Perhaps you can relate? These are the subtle beliefs I have about myself that like to nudge their way into my everyday actions.

I continued to reflect on these beliefs and then suddenly I had an image of a starfish come to me. I wasn't sure why but I followed the impulse and what resulted led me to explore how beliefs about myself formed in early childhood. I dug around in an old box and found a starfish I had hidden amongst old shells. As I touched it and explored its textures I was taken back to a memory of my family on a coastal vacation when I was about 6 years old. We went beach combing and collected a number of starfish to take home as treasures. I reme