The Intangible healing of creativity

“The creative process in all its many forms is the key to emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.”   Janet weight reed

My hummingbird imagery symbolises the unseen and intangible in our world.    Just because we can’t see or touch something doesn’t mean it’s not there or is having a profound effect on our lives.

20190218_111017The Aboriginals, Native Americans and many other indigenous peoples around the globe have a deep understanding of our spiritual, physical, social and cultural connection to the land.       They believe all of life as it is today, human, animal, bird and fish is part of one vast unchanging network of relationships.       They understand fully the importance of land management care towards our health and overall wellbeing. 20190219_073051It seems that many people today,  young and old from all sectors of society,  are experiencing physical and emotional illnesses and distress.         Given our fast pace of life and that so much of the world’s population is now plugged into technology of one kind or another, is it any wonder  that our collective senses are being deadened?

 

 Technology has changed the whole world dynamic. 

 

In this fast watercolour sketch from Portugal last October, everything within the image is interconnected.    There are no starts and stops…no beginning and no ending, rather a continual flow.

20180930_125738Feeding our senses by spending time in the natural world, is healing.   However, like all good medicine, it needs to be enjoyed on a consistent  basis.

Many have forgotten the simple pleasure of sitting beneath a tree and how restorative it is.    14435032_10154437102300396_4492475642371147944_oI have been listening to a radio programme about the power of the placebo…and how it has been shown time and time again to cause a sense of wellbeing even though the recipient is fully aware that they are taking a sugar pill.     This has everything to do with mind, body connection.

27164538_10156023231000396_5682597220846199362_o     This photograph was taken on a hot day last October on my friend’s farm in Portugal.   I had just finished teaching a course and needed time to relax, focus and meditate.     Once I began to sketch and most importantly open my senses to all that surrounded me, within minutes I felt calm and refreshed. DSC_6669When we immerse ourselves into the creative flow, our minds are taken into what I call deep time.     A place that is totally different from our clock watching, rushing to the next appointment type of time.       An intangible sense of calmness and wellbeing ensues.   We return to what we were designed for – being part of nature and engaging our senses.

Portugese children on Armona Island playing with shells….20-11-15 - 1 (913)    Trying to exist in this brave new world and finding a space for creativity, in all its many forms….might sound impossible.

I have raised a family and worked all my life and like most people have lived through some very stressful times.      I have learned that if I simply stop….and give myself some soul food each day, I am immediately calmed and feel a sense of well being.    Soul food time enriches and supports everything else we need and have to do in life.

It costs nothing.   It doesn’t mean major life changes.     It simply means addressing the part of ourselves that is in desperate need for daily food. 46361144_10156801851710396_7419123831345774592_oOne hugely important factor so often overlooked is that of populations growth.

I was born in London in 1946, right after World War 2.     At that time the world population was approximately two and a half million.    Today the world population is seven and half million and rapidly rising. 20-11-15 - 1 (135)This tells me that more than ever before we need daily soul food and to renew our connection with the natural world. 

If we don’t give ourselves this precious time, we are doomed to be like hamsters running around a wheel…..feeling utterly frustrated and exhausted, and at the same time achieving very little. 

I made this quick sketch when visiting my son and his partner on their farm in Pennsylvania last spring.     Their neighbours are Amish.      We have much to learn from such people. 20190125_123816From Buddhist Offerings….

‘We see that life, composed of this mind and body, is in a state of continual constant transformation and flux.      There is always the possibility of radical change.    Every moment – not just poetically or figuratively, but literally – every moment we are dying and being reborn, we and all life’ 

20190110_143030

 

A bientôt

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk –   The Apple Exercise. 

I have just re-read Virginia Woolf’s  – A Room of One’s Own.     It has been at least forty years since I last read it.   Back then it didn’t resonate with me in the way it does today.  .

 

69 thoughts on “The Intangible healing of creativity

  1. Patricia Lopez

    Reading and sipping my first cup of coffee and reflecting on what needs to be done today. I need a wedding gift so I will paint hearts, hearts and more hearts. Retirement bliss! Thanks.

    Reply
  2. davidjrogersftw

    Thank you dear Janet. Your ideas and paintings hit home–to all of us I think. I love the notion of something with no beginning and no end, like your painting–everything all mixed up, everything in flux, like the earth and a person’s life. I like the restfulness of your post, and the gentle rhytms of your prose, and of course your colors. I love after writing all night, dawn breaking, coming to a stop, a little headachy, and finding such a treasure waiting to be read and thought deeply about.

    As always fondest wishes,
    David

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David. Thank you and I am so pleased that my post helped to move you gently from the deep concentration of writing into a new day. From a lark to an owl….always my best wishes – Janet 🙂

      Reply
  3. Timi Townsend

    What a healing post this is, dear Janet. The paintings and photos amplify your words and give them a sp resonance for me: soul food, indeed. I too haven’t read Virginia Woolf’s book A Room of One’s Own in decades. Now it is on my reading list. Thank you for this sustenance, which is coming at a particularly difficult physical and emotional time for me. I think I might play my small harp a bit today, since the outdoors is a bit forbidding. Thanks again! 🙂

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I am so pleased this post hit the spot for you. Interestingly, I hadn’t realised that the piece about Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is tacked onto the end of this post! I have now edited that a little. Yes, I have thoroughly enjoyed this time around…whereas forty years ago I really didn’t get it. I do hope that your playing the harp will bring you a sense of peace and tranquility. It is such a beautiful instrument. Janet

      Reply
    2. Patty

      I put the book on my TBR list too.

      Wonderful how reading blog posts can move persons to do so many different things.

      This morning while I was taking a walk with my Seeing Eye Guide Dog I was listening to the birds. Many are returning with the coming of spring and I realized I don’t know what a hummingbird sounds like and must find out.

      So, later today I’m going to Google it so I can hear them and identify them this summer while out walking.

      Reply
      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        I agree with you…blogging and reading other people’s blogs can remind us and teach us so much. It’s a very small book, and written in a rather old fashioned english, but well worth the read. As for hummingbirds, I can’t imitate for you through the ether what they sound like and so yes best thing is to google.

      2. Patty

        This conversation has led me to discover that there is a correspondence course at the Hadley school for the blind correspondence school that is designed to teach persons how to identify bird calls. This is quite interesting to me. I walk a lot, and my walking is where I get a lot of the inspiration for my writing. So it would be wonderful to be able to identify the birds I hear. See what you have gone and done? LOL. Your wonderful blog post has brought about some wonderful inspiration and a new source for writing material. There are many ways to experience the world around us. Thank you so much for opening another door.

      3. Patty

        When one writes one must describe all the senses and so I depend upon all of mine but one.

        But.

        I can still describe things visually because I get such great visual cues from reading other’s works.

        Yes, opening doors from one place into another is fun. Especially done in this way.

  4. Jodi

    So beautiful!!! Your paintings and your words! I especially love the first painting and the tree. I want to try something like that tree! Thank you for the beautiful inspiration!!

    Reply
  5. Christian

    The sentence at the top is quite true. Creativity is necessary for a balanced and happy life. I once read a mathematician who said that whenever he felt nervous or unhappy, he did mathematics, and that made him feel better. Myself I found recently that writing poetry can be helpful if you are too nervous and can’t fall asleep.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much for this comment. I understand completely how writing poetry would help you relax and fall asleep. What’s wonderful is that you know this and are able to use your creative thinking to your benefit. My father who was mathematician used to say the very same thing. I really appreciate your reading my blog and commenting. Janet

      Reply
  6. Writing to Freedom

    Your watercolors are so beautiful Janet! They’re full of life, flow, and joy. Thanks for sharing your creative gifts and wisdom from the journey. I see we’re both on a nature kick. I want to be more consistent in getting my soul food. 🙂

    Reply
  7. morselsandscraps

    A wonderful post. I try to harvest soul-food daily by reading a poem, absorbing a painting and listening to a pieces of music: the daily triptych. Today, it’s one of your paintings I’ll be absorbing – the third or the third last. Thank you

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Dina….Thank you so much. I am thinking about you enjoying your new addition to the family…..how exciting is that and especially with all this glorious spring weather. xxxxx

      Reply
  8. Content Catnip

    Love this post so much Janet. Especially when talking about living close to nature and incorporating its lessons into your art and the sense of deep time when you delve into your art. I feel this too, it’s the best and most precious feeling in the world. Thank you for reminding me always of how beautiful life can be when you follow your own heart’s calling xx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you for such a lovely comment. I often speak about Joseph Campbell’s term ‘Follow your bliss’ He believed that if we follow our own heart’s calling, not only will life be fulfilling and often joyful, our needs (not necessarily our wants) will always be met in ways that we can never predict. It’s a case of trusting, which is sort of what my magical hummingbirds symbolise….the unseen energy that surrounds us all….there waiting to be tapped into. I hope you enjoy a wonderfully creative day janet xx

      Reply
      1. Patty

        Hello Janet and all.

        I believe in this. I started following my heart’s calling in 2006 when I suddenly stood from my chair at a table where I was working as a support worker in a factory for the blind, went to the time clock, clocked out and informed my supervisor that I was done, quit, out the door.

        At the time I had no idea what I’d do or how I’d make it, but I knew where I was working was not where I wanted nor needed to be.

        From there I found volunteer work and for a year was compensated for that labor by food boxes, and assistance with utility bills.

        That evolved into my becoming an AmeriCorps Vista and working for that same organization I’d been volunteering for as a paid volunteer and more prosperity did abound and a sense of happiness like never before from doing what I believed in not what everyone thought I should do.

        This evolved into an education in technical things, and shortly after a supervisions job, and then I found writing and now here I am writing books, following my true dream and even have opened my own online marketing business where I get to cater to those who are on fixed incomes and couldn’t possibly afford the normal advertising costs and though I struggle mightily sometimes I never go without and the best part is that I’m truly happy.

        Whatever you do, whatever your passion, follow that and you will never go wrong.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good afternoon from a very sunny London….I loved hearing your story…it is a true testament to what happens when you follow your bliss….As you well know it takes great courage, persistence and consistency to do what you have done, but it is oh so worth it. Telling your story helps others to follow their hearts. Thank you so much, Janet

      3. Patty

        You’re welcome Janet. It can be quite frightening to take that first step but once you do you won’t ever look back and it is quite liberating.

  9. Pingback: The Intangible healing of creativity | Thoughts by Mello-Elo

  10. Learn Polymer Clay

    Dear Janet, I love both your watercolors and the beautiful message that you express about creativity and the healing effect of the creative process. I totally resonate with your words: “The creative process in all its many forms is the key to emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.” Thank you for sharing such an inspiring message with us! Have a beautiful and blessed day!

    Reply

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