The word “Spring” comes from the old English springan meaning to jump. This is also where the word spring (as in water that springs from the ground) originates. When new growth appears, it springs up from the ground. That is why Spring has always been associated with renewal. It is a time for new ideas to be born. However, often, when an idea springs to mind, we hurriedly stamp on it. Acting on it will most likely involve some change and few of us can honestly say we embrace that idea!
Spring and Renewal
Spring is also a time to renew oneself: – to take stock of one’s life and get rid of the old and make way for the new. Nature abhors a vacuum, so “shedding stuff” creates a space for new things, people, thoughts and emotions to appear. If your space (be it physical, emotional or mental,) is overcrowded already, not much new can spring forth. Which is probably why many of us hate to throw things away: – it’s a kind of insurance against having to change.
Art is Change
Learning to work with change creatively, is an excellent way to facilitate personal growth. Art is all about change. You take a canvas and transform it. You take a block of wood and make a beautiful statue. Or you take a simple chicken breast and transform it into a culinary masterpiece. In doing so, you yourself are transformed, because there is always a reaction to every action. This is in allowing yourself to express yourself you release what has been suppressed.
It always amazes people on the workshops how much is released emotionally through art. After a hectic day at the office, there are many emotions that we may not have expressed – we may be angry with someone who hampers our ability to perform our job efficiently, a partner may be causing friction in our lives, or we may have been afraid that our job may be becoming redundant. These and other feelings build and yet we may be unable to express them. Tension increases, which results in a high level of stress.
As we paint we unconsciously release these stressful emotions. As images emerge from our subconscious into the conscious, we also feel more empowered to deal with them. Painting then becomes a way of de-stressing and getting in touch with ourselves, rather than simply a goal-orientated desire to create a masterpiece! In short we learn to enjoy the journey of creating.
Why we Don’t Create
This experience of being in the moment can have a dramatic impact on the way we live our lives. Yet in spite of this exciting dynamic, for many people, creating is something they fear or resist. “I don’t have the time,” “I’m not artistic,” “I don’t know how,” “I don’t have any equipment,” “I don’t have a clue where to begin,” etc. These issues hold us back from exploring our creative potential and consequently from achieving greater self-empowerment and fulfillment.
While you may have an initial idea when starting a painting, if you allow that idea to change and evolve as you paint, you start allowing yourself to feel the painting as opposed to thinking it through. When we connect with that inner center within us, creativity flows naturally and painting becomes effortless.
God or the Divine, in whatever form you perceive him/her to be is all about change. Nothing remains static in the universe and God as the macroism of the microism is surely no different. When we connect with our creative potential then, we are engaging with God. When we stagnate and are unable to create, our connection weakens. In opening ourselves up to inspiration, we open ourselves to spirit. (Both spirit and inspiration, come from the word spirare which means to breathe. So we breathe in our spirit or soul when we are inspired to create.)
As we work more and more with our artistic expression, we are able to let go of stressful issues and find the not only the artist within us, but the Creator. We can then embrace this energy to create the reality we desire in our lives. This is the art of creating yourself.