Creativity and Healing | Sept 9, 2017 by Terri McGee

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Creativity isn't just about making art to hang on walls.  Creativity is the sacred center deep within ourselves where we go for more authentic self awareness and to release negative thought patterns.  Creativity can bring us to an inner temple where rest, rejuvenation and healing has the space to hold us and gently move us into more self love, trust and wisdom.  

The form of this profound force of love through creativity may not always feel blissful.  Sometimes the process of releasing layers of that which needs to fall away can feel intensely uncomfortable as we encounter our own resistance to the unknown and the unfamiliar new expressions of life seeking to emerge through us. 

It is essential that we make room for the entirety of our experience as it moves through us, allowing ourselves to be exactly where we are in the process.  I find it a helpful practice to continuously give myself permission in a positive affirmation to heal and to release that which is ready now...and now...and now….as I experience life’s creative turning points as well as when I engage is intuitive process painting practices.  

This helps to cultivate trust in creativity, that with all it's peeks and valleys this powerful Universal force is moving us into more harmony with the natural energy's of life.

How can creativity support my wellbeing?…Can I be creative without being an artist? May 15, 2017 by Terri McGee

Many people associate creativity with completed works of art they see on walls and in galleries.  Works of art can be a source of great inspiration, motivation, and insight.  It is important to understand that the works of art themselves are products.  Art products are often created by being in the flow of creativity, however, creativity itself is not the “art thing” that is produced!  

The reason I make this distinction is because many people who confuse the two, feel that they are not creative if they are not “artists”.  It is so important for the health and balance of our world for all people to realize the wealth of creativity inherent within them whether they are artists or not.  Life is a creative process, and as “life beings”, we all share this creative essence!

Creativity is the alive moment of human consciousness dancing with the creative forces of the Universe!   Observing creativity in the cosmos and in nature, we can see that creativity naturally moves into harmonious patterns supporting infinite and interconnected expressions of life. Creativity is an energy of nature that inherently brings with it the presence and possibility of more harmony. 

This harmonizing nature of creativity is what makes engaging in creative process so rejuvenating and healing for the human psyche.  Accessing your unique connection with creativity through regular creativity practices can be deeply restorative, balancing and healing.  

Embracing the journey of creative process is the key to unlocking creative flow to support a sense of wholeness and wellbeing!

How do we align ourselves with the kind of authentic creativity that gives us access to radiant freedom?  What is this kind of freedom? | February 10, 2017 by Terri McGee

Creativity brings us back to our natural essence where we find the kind of freedom that leaves us glowing with inspiration and enthusiasm of what is new and possible!  

We all have the potential for creativity to flow through us, however, sometimes we are so identified with the mechanism of the mind, that it can block authentic creativity from being expressed. 

The mind is a wonderful tool for acquiring and managing knowledge. It calculates known variables, organizes data, evaluates information, determines efficient strategies for accomplishing tasks, stores memories, predicts results and continuously acquires conceptual understanding.  

The human mind is really great, however, it does not give us access to the realm of the unknown where creativity is sourced.  We cannot access what is unknown from a mechanism which acquires, contains and manages only what is already known.  

Creativity is "the becoming" of that which is unknown!  

Creativity originates from the mysterious cosmic intelligence of Life itself...from pure infinite potential.  Once something is created, it moves from the unknown into the conceptually known, and is immediately integrated into the mechanism of the mind.  

Freedom is when we have access to responses and choices that are not already embedded in the mechanics of our mind!  Freedom is when we are empowered by an inner spacious awareness to observe the mechanics of the mind, but still have the ability to choose creativity, and to receive intuitive impulses allowing the unknown to arise within us spontaneously! 

Creativity brings with it the harmony and energy of the larger field of Life intelligence!  This is why it feels so liberating to be in the flow of creative process!  We are free from the walls of our own minds for the moment that creative essence is passing through us!  The passing through of creative energy acts as a delicious shower for our psyche...washing disharmonious energies and stagnation!  

There is no formula to access creativity.  It is not a force that we control.  Instead, it is a presence that we allow and surrender to.  

The purpose of painting for process is to enter into a practice which refines our awareness and capacity to respond to the intuition and spontaneity which carries creativity from the unknown depth of our Being!  By using painting as a practice instead of a product, we give ourselves permission to not know, and to respond to authentic intuitive urges which do not have to be explained or defined.  

The painting practice aligns our awareness with the sensitivity to discern the different sensations when painting from mechanical generated responses versus the sensations we feel when painting from creativity generated responses.  This sensitive awareness increases authentic creative expression and allows us to experience radiant freedom and inspiration! 

Creativity practices can lead you back to your true self! | April 29, 2016 by Terri McGee

At the deepest level, creativity wants to be free and wants to lead you back to your true self that knows freedom.  

As children we begin the journey into life experiencing the internal freedom to explore and express ourselves. Years go by and we begin to learn conceptually what is expected from us in order to fit into the society that we find ourselves part of.  We learn our roles in our families, schools and in work places.  We form identities for ourselves based on what we do and what kind of people we think we should be.  We then learn skills that we use to even further our intellectual self-identities. We have countless experiences in life that we make meaning about, react to, and then make meaning about our reactions.  All of this conceptual information is stored in the mechanism of our minds.  Although there are constructive aspects to the cultivation of learned skills, mental structures and habit patterns, the danger lies in loosing the depth of who we are to the surface mind of conditioned habit energy.  We were meant to manage the content of our mind, not be managed by it!

We loose the sense of our true selves in the momentum of habitually reoccurring mental and emotional information stored in our minds.  The conditioned patterns play out over and over again as old thought structures and mechanical action responses that we think are coming from who we are.  However, we often mistake ourselves as the thought patterns, and therefore take action out of a conditioned response that we have learned through habitual repetition.  In this case, it is not our creative true self that is responding in our life situations, but the mental mechanism that is acting for us and as us, while stifling the exuberant expression of our true self and creative freedom.

We are duped into believing that all of the thoughts that pass through our awareness are in constant need of our attention and involvement.  This habit energy of believing in everything our thoughts tell us keeps us stuck in limitations of past meaning, therefore making it difficult to access new possibilities of creative ingenuity in daily life.  Our conscious freedom and creativity are imprisoned in the mechanical structures of conditioning.  We become increasingly pressured by expectations from either external influence or outdated versions of our own assumptions about who we think we are and how we think we are supposed to fit in life.  

 The weight of this conditioning is heavy and constraining.  We crave freedom and rest from the constant bombardment of self-critique comparing us against our own conceptual identity structures.  All of this weight is layered on top of the self we truly are in Being.   The self we truly are is already free, already at peace, is vast, expansive, deep, and beyond intellectual knowing.  This true self needs only inner spaciousness and opening to express itself and to reconnect us to our fundamental wholeness and sense of wellbeing!  

Creativity practices can give us that spaciousness and opening to bring us back to our true self beneath the conditioning.  We are creative beings!  When acting from our true selves, we respond with natural creativity.   Creativity gives us access to new possibilities and new ways of expressing ourselves.  Creativity moves unknown potential from the depth of who we really are, and helps to bring our highest potentials into manifestation through a natural spontaneous process of becoming.

Painting as a practice, without the pressure to produce, can help us to nurture our relationship with intuition, access authentic self-expression, detach from over involvement with thought patterns, and free us from inner barriers of past mental structures.  Regular creativity practices can help us get out of our own way so that we can more easily act from and dwell in our authentic presence and true creative self.

"Now at my seat upon Divine Love I gaze at Everything with brilliant, clear eyes."  - Hafiz


Why is it necessary to suspend judgement while painting for process? | March 6, 2016 by Terri McGee

When you paint for product, for the purpose of showing others, you paint in order to reflect your sense of self, your values, and your inspirations.  It is an intentional communication that your individual self chooses to communicate to the world.  You are trying to contribute a vision, an inspiration, or an ideal.  In painting for process, however, you are allowing movement of energy from the cosmos via your spontaneous intuitive feeling response for the purpose of cultivating active awareness, and clearing away over identification with mental structures, enabling you to touch the depth of your Being beyond the surface mind.  

Just like you would not show your journaling through which you process intimate explorations of yourself or situations, you would not show process paintings to others for the same respect and freedom of exploration keeping it just for yourself allows you.

Painting for process is not painting a picture to reflect or confirm a particular way you see yourself.  It is not about confirming a sense of self, or self image of "good person", "confident person", "insecure person", "artistic person", "spiritual person", or any kind of person.  When you are truly painting from intuition, you have no idea what your end result will look like.  Therefore, you may feel vulnerable if something comes out that you think has a negative meaning, because the mind will try to attach an identity of yourself as a "negative person".  This is why entering the practice of process painting must be done under a clear understanding and refraining from judgement.  In process painting, there is no such thing as negative meaning because there is no meaning.  Any meaning you come up with about the content of your painting will be mental associations from learned past experiences, stored in the mind.  

When painting from intuition, you are not coming from this small fragmented part of yourself held in mental knowing, which contains the judgement of "good" and “bad”.  When painting from intuition, you are painting from a complete essense, or totality of yourself.  Painting from spontaneous intuition and feeling is painting from an uncensored creative movement coming from the wholeness of Life; the wholeness of your entire Being.  It is the intelligence of the Universe itself moving through you as creative energy.  With a paint brush in your hand, the universal creative energy can take any form! 

Your mind deals with concepts of good and bad, beautiful and ugly. You may notice in meditation or yoga practice that there are times you experience thoughts or emotions you think are good or bad that emerge in your awareness during practice.  This energy of the psyche must first surface in order to be released and purify your mental/emotional energy bodies.  After your practice deepens, you realize that the resistance to the thoughts you consider bad and the clinging to thoughts you consider good are both the “ego mind" keeping you from seeing your true self that is the mysterious space, depth and presence beyond this polarity.  You discover that you do not need to get involved in resisting or judging your thoughts, but to let them go, and keep your awareness in the space from which they emerge. 

True freedom and inner spaciousness arises when you stop resisting or believing the thoughts and simply let them pass.  Resisting and attachment are both strategies of collective human conditioning or "ego", to keep you embedded in over identification with content of the mind.  This is why renouncing all attachment to product-outcome during process painting is such a powerful transformational practice, especially when embraced regularly.  It is a practice where you renounce the temptation to identify with what you paint, in order to simply allow everything to pass through.  This empowers your conscious neutral awareness to free you from over identification with thought patterns, allowing receptivity for wisdom and new insight, while bringing you back to the spaciousness and depth of your true self

© Terri McGee - Austin Art For Wellness 2018                                                                                                Austin, Texas   |     (512) 763-0278