Creativity as Medicine10-10-2017
As I write this, fires are raging just north of here in the North Bay and Wine Country. But even before I awoke yesterday to this latest news of disaster, I’d been talking to my close friends about how to stay steady when the world feels so wobbly.
I don’t need to make a list of all of the scary things. We’ve all been reading about them, living through them, experiencing them.
What I do want to do is talk about how we take care of ourselves and everyone around us when the world feels so shaky.
Are there ways to stay grounded and aligned with ourselves? Who do we want to be in the midst of difficult times? Can we find small moments of well-being and peace when there is despair all around us?
My friend, Andrea Scher, founder of Superhero Life, let me record a 20-minute conversation about one of her own superpowers — using creativity as a path to finding moments of beauty and truth in life so she doesn’t get swallowed up in the dark.
Andrea says, “Creative practices show me that we have a choice, moment to moment, about how we want to hold and see what’s happening in the world at large and in our own private lives. And it doesn’t mean that we deny the pain and suffering that is going on. However, when you are sensitive creatures like we are, you can get swallowed up just by listening to the news in the morning.”
Andrea, like me, practices finding singular moments of joy as a way to take care of herself during all times of life, but especially when things feel out of control, frightening, or depressing. Like she said, “It doesn’t do anyone any good for me to get swallowed up by the news and crawl into bed and feel helpless.”
Instead, Andrea uses her creativity practices so she can show up in the world as a bright light for others.
Yesterday, when the smell of smoke and the news of the wildfires was at the forefront of everyone’s minds, my good friend, Suki, sent an email saying something similar. Her note was so beautiful, I want to share a portion with you:
“The smoke from the fires is thick in SF today. I was going to stay home but I watched a clip of the Ellen show which she dedicated to the Helpers in the world. She featured person after person who is trying to help where help is needed.
I am not a person who cries easily and I cried all of the way through it. And yet, as I cried, there was this, as my dear friend Sherry would say, tiny pinprick of hope that entered my heart as I watched evidence of the goodness in this world.
So, I have decided to go out into the world and focus on being a Helper today to every single person I meet, including me.”
Like Suki, we are faced with this choice every single day. Do we pull the covers over our heads and simply try to survive? Or can we find the strength to be a helper — a pinprick of light for ourselves and others?
This is what’s possible. It is possible for our hearts to be broken and for us to feel scared, but that nevertheless, we turn our attention to how we want to be in the world. We can slowly pull on our shoes, head out the door, and muster the energy and courage to be the light we want to offer.
Circling back to my friend, Andrea, I want to tell you about something special she is up to right now. Andrea has gathered up a small group of people who have creative offerings— mostly classes, but also an eBook— to bundle together into a really affordable deal for people who crave new inspiration and creative outlets right now.
One of the classes in this grouping is my own eCourse called Nightlight. Nightlight is all about helping us find and create pinpricks of light for ourselves and others, even in life’s darkest moment.
This is an offering of light and joy during a time when there is much suffering and sadness. It is a lifeboat, in a way. It is medicine to help us heal and to stay connected to all the beauty that still exists in the world.
These nine offerings are just $99 for the next few days — until midnight on Thursday the 12th. My Nightlight class is normally $77 just by itself. So for an additional $22, you can also take Andrea’s iPhone Photo Class, Laurie Wagner’s Wild Writing Class, or any of the other creative offerings.
Whether or not you are interested in these creative classes, I do hope you’ll listen to my conversation with Andrea as a way to give yourself a few moments of uplift today.
Be gentle and generous with yourself, okay?
Seek celebration, even in the dark corners—
P.S. Here’s the link to listen my 20-minute conversation with Andrea Scher about using creativity to help us through these dark times.
P.P.S. Here’s the link to read about the nine creative offerings available for just $99 until Thursday at midnight. I promise you, you’ll feel uplifted simply by reading the descriptions!