Let Your Inner Artist Shine!

Some of you are very comfortable using the word “artist” to describe yourself, but I also know that many of you feel quite uncomfortable.

Some of you may be thinking any number of these thoughts:

“I’ve never been creative.”

“I can’t draw.”

“I don’t think in pictures.”

“I was told not to pursue art.”

“There’s not a creative bone in my body.”

“Nobody wants to see what I might create. It’s not good enough.”

What if I were to tell you that none of the above matters in my world of what it means to be an artist? Would you believe me if I told you that I believe that we are ALL creative and we are ALL artists? I mean it! From the depths of my left heart ventricle, I believe it!

Try on some of these statements:

You are the artist of your life!

Creativity is broad, vast, ever-expanding!

Art-making is about process, not product.

There is no “wrong” or “ugly.”

When you claim that you are the artist of your life, everything lights up, becomes vivid, clear, colorful! You realize that how you dress, how you arrange your furniture, how you sing a little ditty in the shower, how you garden, and how you cook your dinner are ALL acts of creativity and they come from YOU.

Again, you are creative. You are an artist.

Here’s a video from last year in which I explore the “little a” inside each of us:

It’s a paradigm shift for some us to claim those words because we’ve been told (or we’ve been telling ourselves) that we aren’t creative or artistic for so long. Is it time to tell a different story? I think so!

Why? Because your creativity can be an enormous source of healing in your life. Art-making can feel as therapeutic as a massage or a therapy session (though please please, keep those massages and therapy sessions on your calendar!).

When my father died in 2008, art-making was my healing salve. What I couldn’t say in words, I could scribble and paint and collage. What I was afraid to say out loud came out in journal writing — messy, tear-stained journal writing. It feels dramatic to say, but more than once in my life, art-making has saved my life.

And even in lighter times — times without grief and loss, depression, or anxiety staring me in the face everyday — I have found solace, insight, and deep inner knowing through the act of creating.

I can tell when I need to be creative because my body itches for it. I feel unsettled, off-kilter, out of balance and creating is most often on the top of my “help” list — that and dancing to KC and the Sunshine Band. Don’t you feel that twitchiness in your body sometimes? It’s like your body is trying to wake you up?

My new journey as “Queen Bird” of Rising Bird Healing Arts is to infuse what I know of healing from being a Reiki Master and Massage Therapist into the creative arts — and in particular to help others with pain, heartache, grief, loss, depression, anxiety, and any general stuckness to find their own salve in the act of creating.

Here is a video I recently created of how I get unstuck through art-making, and I even include my creating an art journal entry before your eyes!

Now it’s YOUR turn? How are you creative? How are you the artist in YOUR life?  Please comment below and share how you creatively move through the universe!

peace and artful delight,





  1. I am learning to embrace the creative act in EVERYthing I do! I know it sounds cliche, but I recognize that the way I move through the world is an expression of my constantly wondering/ruminating/re-imagining mind. And this mind loves to create something from nothing! Some days that means I pop a homemade cornbread into the oven, or start tomatoes from seeds. Other days it means I write a story based on a woman I saw on the bus. And on others it means my brain spins circles around the questions of “What should I do with this old sweater?” or “Where do I want to be in five years?” or “How will I maintain this level of energy when I have kids?” What fuels art also fuels endless rumination on things that perhaps don’t deserve as much attention. But this is the life I choose. Some days I have fits of creativity; other days I stay completely in my head. And Courtney, I have those SAME “itchy” feelings when I’m not expressing myself. I feel restless and agitated, bordering on angry. I feel “constipated”- like something wants to get out, but I keep holding it in. I don’t know where that urge to hold in comes from- maybe fear? Maybe suspicion? A feeling that I am a fraud? Or not good enough? I don’t know. Once I overcome it (read: feel it, just set it aside, and crank away at a project anyway) I feel huge relief. These feelings of holding and releasing, ruminating and expressing, THIS is what makes ME feel like an artist. For me, I can’t imagine being any other way!

  2. I tell my students about this in class. We do Holland Codes for career exploration, and when I get to the A (Artistic) category I try and have them broaden it beyond their stereotype of drawing/painting. I tell them that my teaching is a form of creativity and artistry. I am given a topic (like Career Exploration) and I get to creatively deliver the material. I choose the activities and what I say and how I arrange the order of powerpoint slides, just like a painter slaps paint on the canvas in strategic ways. I think they hear it sometimes!

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