By Sally-Anne Marler, Creative Arts Therapist, Coach & Facilitator
Creative Expressive Therapy changed my life and helped me to challenge my own fears and the voice of my inner critic telling me “I can't do it” and “I'm not good enough”. I spent a long time researching into my own therapeutic and healing experiences and how I can share my knowledge with others - with you - so you can have the tools in which to do the same. But first I have a question for you.
Have you ever woke up one morning and wondered if this is it or is there more to life?
Are you repeating your days with the same routines, people and experiences and feel stuck in a rut? Do you crave for more meaning, purpose, spontaneity, drive and love for life? If you're anything like me you will have answered yes to at least one of the above. Please know that you're not being ungrateful or selfish to feel dissatisfied with your life or to want more. It's not because you’re on the wrong path or evidence of making bad choices in life. It’s not because you may feel anxious or stressed or even depressed, although these feelings can certainly lead you to ask the above questions. It's simple really. It's about waking up. It's about coming alive and actually wanting to live and not just function or 'exist'. Essentially it's a good thing, but it does mean you’ve got some work ahead of you. The way I look at it is, it’s better to work towards something positive than to stay fighting something negative - fear.
Each and every one of us has unlimited potential. Some of us tap into our potential, some don't. But the majority of us haven't even begun to use it, or if we have, only a small percentage of it. We witness other people living extraordinary lives that seem full of abundance, success, happiness and joy and we may feel envious or jealous or use their lives as a way to put ourselves down…”I could never do that, I'm not talented, I don't have a gift to share with the world, no-one will want to listen to what I have to say”. But there is only ONE difference between them and you and it's not talent or a gift that they have and you don't. They have tapped into their potential and you haven't. That's it.
So what has stopped you from tapping into your potential?
You could literally be sitting on the world’s most amazing discovery or invention of the century or have life-changing ideas and experiences to share with the rest of the world, but if you believe you're not good enough or deserving enough or worthy of anything good that might come your way then you're blocking your own potential. You're shutting it down and ignoring its very existence. We've all experienced these negative voices in our head from time to time. Usually fuelled by fear or ego; this is your inner critic and make no mistake it wants to keep you 'stuck' and 'living in a rut'. Why? Because it is ruled by the very thing it's trying to rule you with – fear of the unknown, under the guise of 'safety'.
Here are my top 3 tips to harnessing creativity and expression to live without limits:
1. Stay open to experience where both positive and negative emotions are accepted. Negative feelings are not denied, but worked through. Creative expression is a great way to do this and something I use with my clients on the Spirit of Happiness Course I run and Holistic Well-being Coaching sessions. The important thing is not to block your feelings however uncomfortable they may be. Write about them, draw or paint in a way that expresses them, say them out loud – it’s the acknowledgement they want, then you can release them or turn them into something positive.
2. Living in the moment where you are in touch with different experiences as they occur in life, avoiding prejudgment and preconceptions. Sounds hard doesn’t it, well you’re right it is. We all have our own opinions, beliefs and experiences that shape how we see the present. In our always-on, always-connected world we live in it’s almost impossible to actually be in the moment without our thoughts trying to control how we experience it and our defenses getting in the way. Creativity and being present go hand in hand. When you’re creating something you have to be present, you can’t create something whilst thinking about your past or worrying about the future. Your creation – whatever it is, asks you to give it all of your focus in the here and now. For more advice, tips & shared experiences go to: www.facebook.com/thecreativeyou.co.uk and like my page or find me on twitter www.twitter.com/thecreativeyou_ and follow me.
3. Trust feelings where feelings, instincts and gut-reactions are paid attention to and trusted! You will always be the best person to make decisions for yourself, but doubt can sneak it and play havoc! We should trust ourselves to make the right choices. Decisions based on reason and rationale are for the most part a good thing, but our feelings should not be dismissed. Gut feelings are highly regarded as a source of intuitive knowing and insight in many cultures around the globe. As it turns out, ‘gut thoughts’ and feelings are not a fanciful notion but a physiological fact. Rather than the one brain found in our head, scientists have revealed that we have two brains – the other one is located in the digestive tract. So stop ignoring your feelings, hunches, senses and vibes – they too come from a place of intelligence. If you’d like to develop your intuition and start to trust your feelings more, subscribe to Acorn’s Newsletter where you’ll be the first to hear about upcoming events to develop your intuitive side!
I believe we are all creative and I see it as an effective repellent from staying stuck and living in fear. You will make mistakes, try things you might not enjoy, learn as you go, experience activities where there is no expected or controlled outcome and feel out of your comfort zone. That’s great. That’s living. Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. Go get messy :)
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