What better group of people to learn from
than those of you who compose or perform music, write brilliant fiction and non- fiction as well as those who create beautiful works of visual art, or bring us wonderful acting through theater and film.
Yet many artists may experience deep frustrations, even sadness and
depression or a sense of constant anxiety about their identity and livelihood. Some ways will be touched on here as far as tools for unblocking the creative
force that artists find so invigorating when it flows. In addition, thanks to the Arts can be expressed for those perhaps unrecognized offerings that can also
be used by individuals who are suffering and want to sooth and build strength.
The number one most important area that artists can use in themselves and
teach everyone is that of expression and feeling that expression is received. Musicians may put together a song and when played for others, have a sense of the audience understanding and being a part of
their message. The singer can feel a connection with a particular song and nothing creates the sense of release or clarity than
voicing that melody with lyrics that they or someone they resonate with have written. On the other side of it, a musician might
experience an enormous struggle with feeling he or she cannot get across exactly, what they wish at a particular time, and therefore lose the potential connection to others.
How does this tie in to you being depressed, feeling powerless, or getting overwhelmed with stress? A connection
and sharing with others in the way a musician could is an important key to preventing the sense of isolation that
comes with depression, and a great way to transform anxiety into relief, and helplessness into a powerful sense of
self. If you are a musician, you may need to remind yourself of how you have had success before with something
in your life you created or were a part of performing and get some help in incorporating that memory back into your mind, physical self and support in rekindling your spirit.
How can you all, artist or not, benefit from this information? Finding a way to express creatively can shift mood and build confidence. Use those who give us the gift of music as examples of listening
deeply even if you don't play, or by singing out what you can put together that most represents who you are, even
if you feel you have trouble carrying a tune. Lyrics alone can get out of you what is going on that feels so
immobilizing. Melody can move through you as you allow yourself to delve into it. In creative therapies there can be much support in various ways of healing with artistic forms of expression.
One more way that musicians already make use of a therapeutic "instrument" is through the camaraderie that exists when playing
with other musicians. Just through a music jam, a performance with those they have been working with or the many individuals it
takes to put together a musical production, there lies the beginnings of a great community of support! Reaching out when life is
difficult is a whole lot easier when one builds a support network to reach out to.
As far as writers go, the same need for and joy from expression takes place in the written word. How many times have we heard of
or seen images of a frustrated writer typing and then crumbling or canceling what has come out. It often feels both crucial and deeply satisfying to finally put into words what he or she is trying to get across. It is as much for themselves as for others, as even
if the written content goes unshared, there is a lot of inner enlivening that takes place when things go well with written works. This can be deeply moving to others as that feeling is
transmitted and often identified with. Hence bringing us to a way that many of you can glean healing from writers' powerful pieces...you find yourself, your pain, and your joy and
much of the truths and wishes about everyday life in that. This is an unseen but very present sense of feeling understood and that you are not alone in what you may be going through.
For writers in particular, why not use your already honed skills to allow yourself to freely write through the times you feel stuck or annoyed with it just not coming out right.
Scribble about that and release it by releasing yourself from the binds of having to have a structure, or topical focus. Kind of like babbling on paper. For everyone, there has been research pointing to
writing in specific ways that can be taught in counseling for instance, can help with trauma, worry, frustration and anger, as well as symptoms that show up in
your body, and repeated patterns that manifest in your relationships.
In conclusion, I would like to encourage you all to follow the artist's model
in allowing something to come through them and into the Universe, as each of us has so much to offer that others can resonate with. Believe that bringing forth what is
inside of you in creative waves touches everyone and mends much of what feels torn up.Carol Jaron, MFT