“There are choices to be made. Should we withdraw into ourselves out of anxiety and fear? Scared by the loss of our familiar ways of being in the world, will we become immobilized, thinking only of ourselves? Will we choose to live life in the shallow regions? Or will we take hold of the opportunities before us to increase our sensitivity, heighten our awareness, and live responsibly in the face of overwhelming change? Will we seek restoration of the soul?”
While working on these pages, I started to think about the importance of art and the soul’s connection to sustain energy and life, as well as what contributes to soul loss. For me; connection, creation, and providing service to others are some things that keep my soul growing, thriving, and living. These actions bring me back to what has real meaning in my life. Although this is not always easy. There are plenty of obstacles, stresses, and unknowns to face everyday. Making choices that validate my authentic self and support meaning in my life are important, but sometimes difficult. Soul loss triggers for me include when spirit, passion, intention, and connection have been threatened, damaged, or burdened with inclusiveness, control, disillusionment, and apathy.
Art therapist and one of BATA’s Symposium keynotes, Bruce Moon dedicated one of his books, Art And Soul: Reflections On An Artistic Psychology, to restoring the soul, the idea of soul loss, and how to live soulfully with a focus on how art-making can be part of this process. At the beginning of the book, Moon asks several questions:
Soul restoration for me includes art-making and reaching out through connection to discover the answers to many of these questions. Creating art helps me find true meaning for what I am seeking, hiding from, need, or want to communicate and honor. When in doubt, I create art to better understand myself, where I am going, where I have been, and what is going on. Art helps feed my soul and keep me safe in times of uncertainty, confusion, and change, as well as a way to show my support, gratitude, appreciation, and admiration.
How do you use creativity to feed your soul and create meaning in your life?