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Mäd Love: Creative Balance

Welcome back to my blog!

I’m loving the discussion about FINDING THE BALANCE in our constantly shifting lives…

This week, I was inspired by all of the wonderful art work that has been sent to me over the years celebrating my (says under her breath) thirty year career and diverse characters that I’ve been lucky enough to play. I decided to hold a “Fan Art Competition” for my new website’s ‘gallery’ section to pay tribute to all of you amazing artists. **Please double check my website or social media sites to get the deadline and contest information, if interested in participating!

It also got me thinking about the supposed “non-artistic” thinkers of the world. And to be quite frank, I don’t think that concept is accurate. We all use our left and right brain. Some personalities tend to rely more on one side than the other but we all CREATE A BALANCE using our creative and analytical thinking.

First, let’s talk about the studies that have found the benefits of art therapy and how it helps combat many disorders including mental and physical health. Many different art forms including, playing and listening to music, drawing and painting, sculpture work and color therapy, all have shown to reduce anxiety and depression, which in turn lowers the physical effects of stress in the body. In particular, people living with Autism, Dementia, PTSD and Alzheimers have all shown improvement in brain function with the use of art therapy.

According to philosophers, like Rudolph Steiner, who founded a wonderful education system called Waldorf School (that my kids attended), the balance of the arts and sciences is essential to the developing brain. His research found that learning certain musical instruments, incorporating eurythmy (dance) and other art forms at specific ages, un-locks the brain to understand certain academic subjects more easily. For example, learning how to play the strings improve reading skills and playing piano improves learning mathematics.

In my opinion, my creative mind helps me get through stressful situations. Instead of living in the “black and white” or “right and wrong” of a problem, I shift into a more fluid form of thinking. I believe I got this attitude from my musician father. For example, when I would “hit the road” with him when I was a child as he traveled from town to town playing gigs, sometimes his Ford pick-up truck (complete with a camper), would break down on the side of the road in the middle of the desert. Now this was before cell phones, so we couldn't just dial out for help. We had to hang out and patiently wait for another car to hopefully drive by. His reaction was never frustration or anger. What use would that have in the moment? It wasn’t going to fix our engine. So he would calmly pull out the lawn chairs, umbrella and cooler as we started to play our favorite card game or eye-spy. Once a car drove by and we asked for help, the problem solving began. I find that I use this attitude even now. When I’m blind-sided with a problem, I stay calm and immediately go into the creative side of my brain to “solve the puzzle”. What are the options to get out of the situation? Most of the time, it takes some unconventional thinking.

Creative thinking can come in many different forms. When my mind feels too full of analytical thinking like paperwork or business dealings, I find if I go out to my garden and putz around with pulling weeds, pruning plants or potting flowers, my mind clears. I feel that “easy flow” come back again. Sometimes a good night out dancing with friends gets all of those frustrations out that build up from mundane but necessary tasks in our lives.

What are some of your creative tools and what do you use them for? How are you able to see the more creative side to our lives? Is it building sand castles with your kids? Fitting in a pottery class with friends instead of meeting up for “happy hour” drinks after work? Having a romantic night out at a Jazz club?

I look forward to hearing about your CREATIVE BALANCE…

Blog here.

XOXO - Mäds

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