CREATIVE EXPRESSION FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Creative expression has always been important to me. It helps me to release thoughts and emotions that may not otherwise find expression. Creative expression has a profound impact on the psyche by allowing a person to connect with that part of her mind and letting it open up to what is inside.
There are many forms of creative expression. Some of the more common ones are creative writing, visual art, and music. We are most familiar with creative writing as writing stories and poetry. Visual art has a variety of forms in which to express yourself - drawing and painting being the easiest in which to start out. Music is a complex form of creative expression often requiring a person to be skillful with words as well as sounds. Music can be used for creative expression not just by composing music but also by playing music or by singing. Another form of creative expression is performance art such as acting or dance. Most people are familiar with acting. Acting like music can be quite complex as it often requires a person to be skillful with words as well as with body movement. Most people are also familiar with dance and the idea of body language. Dance can express a variety of thoughts and emotions as well as ideas. Movement meditation can be similar to dance. It is less familiar to most people. This term can be applied to the movement forms commonly seen in martial arts. Most people are familiar with this through tai chi or qi gong. This form of creative expression is also found in martials arts such as taekwondo, karate, kung fu, gumdo (Korean sword art) and many others. This is why the term "art" is in "martial art"!
In this section of spiritual development, I will be discussing some of the above forms of creative expression and in some cases, presenting some of them. In contrast to traditional use of these forms of creative expression, the primary purpose of using these forms is as a means to help develop spiritually. The premise is that finding ways to be creatively expressive will help you learn more about yourself and help you grow spiritually. It does not matter whether or not you are good at the form you choose (indeed, you do not need to share your creation with anyone or an audience). What is important whether or not you learn something about yourself through creative expression. Eliminating the idea of having to be "good" at creative expression will allow you to let go of any self-consciousness that may hinder your spiritual growth and let you just be you when you are being creatively expressive. This can be an enormous release and a powerful experience for many people and this should be encouraged.
As examples of creative expression for spiritual growth, I have provided some of my personal creative writing and visual artwork.
Copyright C.J. Chow March 2006