Thursday, January 11, 2018

Value of Creativity for Health is Measurable in More Ways Than ONE!

Art is not just the created object, it is a way of life, a holistic experience that incorporates aesthetics with personal, communal, spiritual beliefs, historical events, stories, dreams and personal visions.

The process of creating something is more important than the something itself, because the creative process is an integrating experience, unifying all of the aspects of the human being; returning them to wholeness. Creativity is a vehicle to integration, enhanced relationships and connections between a human being and themselves, others, their environment and ultimately to the entire world and universe, creating wholeness, relaxation, awareness and return to our natural state of being and by the way, is also the Yogic and Ayurvedic definition of health.

In the Dakota or Eastern Sioux language, the word “art” is translated as “woonspe” which literally means “precept” or “lesson”.  They understood that the expansion of perception beyond ordinary perception was the highest lesson and saw art as a vehicle. There wasn’t a specific word translated as art, nor was anything they made called art, it was called a comb, a brush, a plate, a dance, a song, a story, etc. Each with a purpose, and all of life, including its processes considered as sacred and interconnected to a whole of nature, the origin of all creation. Similar to the Yogic definition of health they saw all of life stemming from living in unity and sacred relationship.

The work of creating beautiful objects is part of daily life and we take pride in creating and using them. Creating something offers a sense of contribution and belonging that stems from our unique expression. The sustained absorption of our attention that is necessary for the process and that the process also generates,  has been proven to demonstrate neuroplasticity to the brain, improving our mood, emotions, affecting our nervous system and over- all health, wellbeing longevity and quality of life. It has also been shown that creativity makes positive changes in the brain improving cognition to help us learn, problem solve,  making us smarter and allowing  the brilliance within to be experienced and expressed.

When we are in the process of creating, we are giving our whole attention to something and this is similar to meditation, where we focus our attention on something for periods of time and engaging our senses in a way that is harmonious to them. The result is absorption and merging with what we are attending to. It creates changes in the thought patterns, which create changes in our breathing quality and patterns, which create changes in our nervous system. 

The nervous system governs biological activity in our bodies and emotional patterns and reactions in our mind and emotions.  There is a feedback loop between body, mind, breath and thinking that affects the nervous system, to either be activating the sympathetic nervous system response of “fight or flight” to parasympathetic nervous system response of “rest and digest”. This has been proven to contribute to our over-all health and well being and affect the quality of our experience of life.

“When we are stressed we are good for nothing, when we are relaxed we are good for everything”.  Amrit Desai

When we are acting from the sympathetic nervous system response, our digestion is hampered, rejuvenation slows down, stress hormones cause imbalances in hormones, cholesterol and triglycerides and our blood pressure and blood sugar are elevated in order to handle the load. This state of “heightened alertness” is brilliantly designed to handle danger for short instances like being chased by a tiger and similar dangerous situations, but in reality we are misusing this mechanism and using it day in and day out to get what we want and avoid what we don’t want.  In this state we continuously and habitually live in our misperceptions, conditioning and addiction to our thought patterns driving us into mistaken identity with our thoughts, people, places and things, not living according to who we innately are and the resulting stress and imbalances keeping us in this wheel of illusion, imbalance, disturbance and eventual disease.

When we recognize how we misidentify with our minds and how they are misinterpreting our relationship to things, causing separation, and stress, we can begin to accept that there is a creative process to life, to nature that we can tap into that heightens our perception beyond thoughts and desires.

We then begin to want to know about creation and experience creation and this takes us back to the experience of creation as a whole, to our own creation, to who we are before any desires, conflicts, impressions and illusions form in our psyche and here lies the state of pure bliss, harmony and “one-ness” that brings great abundance, joy, bliss, and deeper creativity. Where creativity moves beyond something you do, to something that you spontaneously are. It is instinctive and irresistibly harmonizing with the world and in that state of living, one soars to their highest healing and creative potential.

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