As the world as we’ve always known it falls apart around us and all we hold dear feels threatened, it’s no wonder so many of us are experiencing stress and anger, fear and depression, and a sense of powerlessness. Yet, feelings such as worry and disgust, anxiety and sorrow, and rage and loneliness are the very emotions most harmful to our immune system—a defense system capable of protecting us against the virus that is savaging so many around the world.
Healthy eating, exercise, meditation, and loving yourself and others help ensure your immune system is humming. Another powerful way to boost your immunity is through keeping your spirit high. The human spirit is the nonphysical, deepest part of you—your life force that is connected to the whole of everything. Energy and liveliness emanate from your spirit.
When tangled in emotions and bogged down in our daily mental and physical activities, we often forget our inner selves. An effective way to reconnect, celebrate, and nurture your spirit is through creativity.
Creativity allows you to experience your spirit through your six senses—sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, and the extrasensory intuition and perception of knowing without knowing why. Creativity invites you every day to see the world anew. In the moments while creating, time expands in unexplainable ways.
While deep in the creative flow, we experience awe moments of absolutely no struggle, no thought; simply an attentive creator writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, gardening, making jewelry, cooking, baking—the list of creative outlets is endless.
Creativity reawakens childlike wonder and inner peace. Think back to your earliest and fondest memories that involve creating, making, constructing, inventing, or designing something new. When we’re young, as if by an invisible umbilical cord, we’re connected to the great beyond. As we grow and mature, it’s easy to become so caught in fear or trying to keep up that we disconnect from our lifeline to the miraculous; and miss the wildness, the joy, and the freedom in every breath.
Creativity offers you opportunities to step away from your everyday reality and develop your inner spiritual life. Create something out of nothing but your imagination, you gain a new sense of yourself. Creativity awakens us in the power of now and brings value and meaning to every aspect of our lives.
People create for all sorts of reasons—for money, for fame, as a hobby, as a form of activism, as a way of life, and as means of giving in to a vision, a whisper, a line of dialogue, a series of notes, or an imagined world. Use this time while you’re sheltering in-place to create for yourself, to lift your spirit, strengthen your immune system, and bring joy in this time of darkness.
There are more forms of creativity than there are seconds in a day, water in the sea, or stars in the sky. Make a list of the different forms of creativity you’re most drawn to try. And then, for a week, beginning today, try one spontaneous act of creativity.
Paint. Draw. Write. Sing. Dance. Right now. If you have family at home, invite them to join you. Finger paint. Draw with chalk, with crayons, with pen and ink. Collage masks and wear them acting out a play. Use your imagination. Together, add flair and beauty to something you do. Decorate rocks with inspiring words and place them throughout the house. Refresh something dated. See what is and try something different. Create a playlist with songs that feed your energy and uplift your spirit. Don’t prepare. Don’t think. Be spontaneous. Do! Create one new thing.
Each day for a week, record what you create. Include a bit about how what you created lifted your spirit (or not), energized you (or not), and made you feel. With a heightened sense of awareness through creativity, you shift into spiritual well-being and find yourself refreshed and filled with joy.
Martha Alderson, MA, has been exploring and writing about plot and creativity for more than thirty years. Author of The Plot Whisperer, Alderson works with best-selling authors, New York editors, Hollywood directors, artists, and performers from all over the world.