Now more than ever I'm feeling the need to channel playfulness, and I'm thankfully making more and more room for it in my creative practice. As the weight of the world feels heavier, it's our job to remember levity and joy. Not to bypass conflict, grief or heartache, but rather to let those heavier emotions crack us open and grant us increasing capacity to savor love, delight, and wonder. Any-sized trauma can cause us to harden and grow cold and impenetrable. Or it can tenderize us, build resilience, even unleash creativity. Practices like art-making can keep our noses pointed in the direction of resilience rather than protectiveness, creativity rather than shut-down, curiosity rather than assumptions of doom and gloom. By picking up a paintbrush and having no idea where it will take me, I feel a jolt of wild excitement for the journey ahead. Will it lead to a
masterpiece or a piece of shit? Will it usher a flow state or a dead end? I honestly never know! As I learn to let go and lean more and more into the unknown, my ever-present but largely suppressed inner child has become more bold, taking the reins and insisting on bold marks, scribbles, messy gestures and many surprises. She loves dancing with the unknown. And she is far less afraid than I've been conditioned to become. And she couldn't care less what the result is. The fun she has is worth any mess she makes. I leave the studio invigorated, recharged, and so much more curious, creative and sturdy as I face the same news and events that terrorized me weeks before.
Play is nourishment for our heavy hearts. It uplifts, expands, and enlivens us when we are weighed down. And it is one of the best trauma-proofing prophylactics I have found. Find an improv class, pump up the music and dance, paint on the floor with your feet, anything that turns your routine inside-out and gives you fresh perspective and a sense of delight. It will do wonders to breathe new life into our stuffy old bones! Take a look at my shop to see the result of this infusion of play in my work. I hope to organize the shop by collections soon, but summer delight is too intoxicating and its medicine way too valuable to be squandered on fiddling with website updates! Join me and shuck any responsibilities you don't really need to shoulder right now and do a few cartwheels in the sun. Bonus points if you share how YOU feed your childlike spirit!