Emily Lewis, MA holds a Masters degree in Integrative Health with a focus in sound therapies and wellness coaching from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. As a holistic organizer and creativity coach, she sees the connection that our outer environment plays in our day to day energy levels and our capacity for creative expression. Her passion is to help others live more empowered and creatively expressed lives through achieving more balance in the mind, body and heart. For more information on her organizing and creativity coaching work visit: www.emilymaylewis.com . Emily is a singer/songwriter and just released her first album with Sweet Medicine. Listen and download here: sweetmedicine.bandcamp.com.
It is not sufficient to treat disease by addressing only the physical symptoms that display in the body. In order to achieve greater balance and well-being it is essential to look deeper into the root of what ails us and to see where there is stagnation (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually). I believe that an important piece of the wellness puzzle lies in our creativity and our ability to express ourselves fully. This article approaches the wellness conversation from an intersection of creative expression and maintaining a balanced energy system in the body. It is possible that putting more attention on these aspects of our lives can create an optimal foundation for a healthier and happier life.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), balanced energy (Qi) is thought to be a critical component maintaining health and wellness. According to TCM, Qi stagnation is one of the main correlates of disease and illness. In another field of study, Thomas Hübl, a modern day integral mystic, discusses the concept of completing the “loop of full expression” and how this helps clear the energy system of stagnant energy. Hübl says that we all have certain impulses and a unique inner expression that longs to be fully expressed in order to complete our soul’s mission in this lifetime. Hübl quotes Lao Tzu’s words from the Tao Te Ching on this matter, saying “express yourself completely then keep quiet”. Both of these center around the movement of energy; as an antidote to stagnation.
So, how is creative expression interconnected with health & happiness and how can we bring creative expression more fully into our daily lives? First off, I would like to share with you my definition of creativity as I think there is a lot of misconception about what creativity is and isn’t. Creativity is making something from (seemingly) nothing at all. It is the art of opening, allowing, deep listening and allowing energy to flow freely in and around out of the body. Creativity is energy, vitality, life force. Creativity is expansion and contraction. Creativity is anything that stems from inspiration, longing, imagination, and spontaneity. It is a cathartic dynamic process.
Creativity means many different things to many different people. I want to dispel the myth that only some people are lucky enough to be creative. Creativity is a natural impulse and innate part of being human. Creativity is not limited to the select lucky few who have been blessed with the genetic make-up like Mozart or other successful and acclaimed artists. Why do I think all adults possess some sort of creativity? Because every child I have ever come in contact with has had a spark of creativity. I have worked with hundreds of children over the years and the one thing they all have in common is that they ALL possess an imagination and inclinations of this spark of creativity. This imagination lends to exploring creative impulses and various ways of creative expression, be it playing make-believe, dressing up, making up stories, singing silly songs, playing sports, etc. As children grow into adults this spark and creativity can become covered over, dismissed and shunned. But I believe it is an essential part to reclaim and own as adults.
So what are some of the ways that we can move energy, express ourselves fully and bring more creativity into our daily lives as adults? How can we nurture the spark that we once had as a young child so that can bring more vitality and happiness into our lives?
Here are a few easy ways to start:
Three Powerful First steps towards a more creatively charged life
Some key aspects that I cover in my http://www.emilymaylewis.com/creativitycoaching/ work with my clients:
1. Cultivate a deep listening practice
2. Create your creative life vision statement
3. Cultivate a creative growth mindset (approach your day to day challenges from a place of curiosity and possibility, rather than pessimism and frustration)
About the Author: Michelle Peterson contacted me to post an article for National Recovery Month and, of course, it is a worthy celebration to honor.
She declined to post her own photo and wanted to say very little about herself. Below is her only comment:
"Michelle Peterson believes the journey to sobriety should not be one of shame but of pride. Her mission is aligned with that of RecoveryPride, which is to celebrate sobriety and those who achieve it."
In reading her article you will see she is passionate about her cause.
Photo via Pixabay by BDCBethebest
Substance abuse causes many changes in relationships, and it can be difficult to repair things with a loved one after so much has happened. It may seem insurmountable, that you’ve both been through a terrible time and there’s no coming back from it. And while you may find yourself to be changed after heading down a sober path, it’s hard to convince the people who knew you before that things will be different.
Drugs and alcohol can lead us down dark paths, into infidelity, lies, manipulation, and even crime. It can put a heavy burden on family members and other loved ones who only want to help, and even when recovery begins, those loved ones may still suffer because there are so many hurtful moments from the past that they can’t get over. With a romantic relationship, there may be a lot to unpack, but it’s important to take responsibility for your own actions and face up to the consequences rather than laying blame somewhere else. This is the first step to reconciling, especially if there was infidelity involved; according to Swiftriver.com, infidelity is traumatizing. It causes the wronged party to question you, your relationship, and themselves.
Fortunately, there are some other ways you can rebuild your relationship and try to make it stronger than before. It begins with trust, which will take time.
Keep your expectations realistic
You may be tempted to try and start over right away, just weeks or even days into a recovery program. It’s imperative that you understand how much time it takes to rebuild trust and to resolve past issues, which must be done. You can’t gloss over everything that happened and expect everything to be okay; allow your loved one to talk about their feelings and to vent about the situation. Try to be patient and understanding, and look at things from their point of view if possible.
If you’re already in a recovery program and are seeing a therapist or counselor for that, you may be wary of seeking help from someone for your relationship. However, attending therapy together can help you and your partner learn better ways to communicate, which is key when you’re rebuilding things.
Make some changes
Don’t expect your partner to be the one who does all the hard work; you’ll need to make some changes if you want to see things move in the right direction with your loved one. This might mean getting healthier--eating a well-balanced diet, exercising daily, making better choices altogether--or it might mean removing certain people from your life. It can be hard to walk toward a new chapter and leave some things behind, but if you’re ready to put the work into your relationship, it’s important to have a fresh start with no temptations.
Make your connection stronger
Once you’ve started the rebuilding process, it’s important to make your connection stronger than ever. Communication is one part of that, but it also means spending quality time together, learning how to be the best “other half” you can be, and supporting your partner’s goals while they support yours. You can find some great insight into how to go about doing just that in this helpful article.
Keeping your expectations reasonable is half the battle. You may think you’re fully prepared to make a lot of positive changes in your life after recovery begins, but you need to be patient with yourself and give your body and mind time to heal and process what you’ve been through. Then, you can begin to pick up the pieces and make them whole again.
Info & Authors
This Guest Blog will feature contributions from experts & other advocates on topics that speak to integration of mind, body & spirit wellness.