Does creative engagement clear negative energy?

Yes, it can!

“Whenever I engage in creativity, energy clears and opportunities surface in abundance!”

Dave Merideth

Optimism, wellness and the possibility of potential are all correlated with creativity. Negativity clouds perspective with depressed and anxious feelings that tend to thwart opportunity and imaginative exploration. But how does one engage in creativity when negative energy is a prevailing feeling? By engaging in a self-disciplined moment-by-moment mindset and routine practice. All it takes is the commitment to the practice, as I have found out through my 100- Days of Drawing project. Read on to find out how I have kept up the momentum and my corresponding wellness benefits.

I chose the perfect month to begin this project. The fall is a wonderful time of creation. Typically, we don’t associate this season with birth, rather we defer the spring to all things new and creative. The weather at this time of year tends to be dark and dreary. Yet, if we look at all the celebrations that occur in the last three months of the year (Thanksgiving, Halloween, Advent, The Festival of Lights, and Christmas) plus the preparation of all food harvested, they all engage us in creative activities from crafts, to decorating, to cooking. This year’s 100-day sketching project has given me a playful purpose during this darker and more indoor time of year.

Great that I started this project during an optimum time of year, but how have I maintained the momentum? I have held firm to engage in sketching every day no matter what happens, even if it is only for 5 minutes and I choose a simple subject. I’m also not overly critical of my work. When I get caught up in corrections, I try to stop and surrender to play not perfection. As my previous blog stated, it is about slowly chugging. Presently, I am just over halfway through the project, and I only missed one day of practice last weekend.

I took an art class during the first five weeks of the class. The topics and skills covered helped guide me in technique and offered me strategic styles to cue into. The daily sketches were often the practice of the suggested strategy and style from that week’s class.

Celebrating and sharing my progress has fed the fire of desire to continue. Yes, at times, it is embarrassing sharing my rudimentary drawings on the internet, but I keep reminding myself that this is an evolving journey. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, artistic skills take time and practice to develop. When I look back on the sketches, I can see progress and I’m proud. I’m particularly fascinated at the progress I am demonstrating with my non-dominant hand. Often, I like my left-hand drawing more than my right. Patting myself on the back has also affirmed the reason I engage in art, as it ultimately is done not to be praised but for my own personal satisfaction.

Reading books and blogs plus watching videos all on the topic of creativity and wellness has helped inspire me to continue. Chase Jarvis’ book Creative Calling is a superb reminder and inspiration to maintain the creative drive. I just completed Gabor Mate’s excellent epic piece, The Myth of Normal which also supports the importance of creativity as it relates to healing and mental and physical wellness. I invite these sages’ voices into my life to reinforce the importance of maintaining an imaginative, humble mindset of possibility.

My artist friends have also given me resources and suggestions for practice. Their input spurs me on to try new techniques at my own pace. It’s wonderful to get this no-pressure coaching that I can apply without a timeline restriction.

Am I noticing differences in my mindset given I’m making concerted efforts at engaging my right side of the brain for longer periods than typical? Yes, I think I am. How? I believe that during stressful periods this fall, I have felt increased calm and my perspective appears to be engaging my saboteurs less and my wiser sage thoughts are grounding me. This shift is enough that I am considering continuing this daily sketching beyond the 100 days.

Last, my creative friends inspire me with their artistic and playful projects. Dave Meredith has just recently shared how he is planning to create an upside-down Christmas tree this year. I don’t know what excites me more, to see the finished project secured to his ceiling or to hear all his enthusiastic brainstorming and planning. The joy this creative project is bringing to his life is infectious!

I concur with Dave Meredith, (quote above) that when I surrender to being open and playfully practicing skills life gains a new shining perspective, (and I do love all that dazzles and shines lol). Also, like Dave, I find new opportunities surface. Hmmm, is that because we are more open and aware of opportunities on the horizon? Returning full circle: Does creative engagement clear negative energy? Yes, it can!

Dig Deeper

Here is an article from a classic business magazine promoting the benefits of creativity in the workplace:
This a fantastic post about harnessing two main polar emotions, love and anger, in engaging in art. It demonstrates how we can use our anger to produce powerful art, hence out of the lemons (negativity) we produce lemonade (positive shift):