Artist as Healer

Tuscan Vestige, Suzanne McDermott
Watercolor, 7 x 10 in.

"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer;
a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity."

—Rachel Naomi Remen, MD
Of all the posts and articles I've published on the web over the past nine years, by far, the most widely read and shared is called How To Heal Your Fractured Foot and Ankle. When I say "by far", I mean by tens of thousands of hits over and above all else.

The article is all about everything I did to help myself heal my own, yep, fractured foot and ankle. I have always loved researching, experimenting and playing with the healing process. (After all, the creative process is a healing process.) Some things work, some don't. I love to share modalities, practices and products that work.

Learning to heal ourselves is so much about learning to know ourselves and, often, about ourselves in relation to nature. Same thing with creative work.

Anyone who's ever picked at a scab knows that the healing process must be allowed unfold through it's own course over time. Just like the creative process.

And just like the creative process, healing can bring up a lot of fear and resistance because, in both types of practices, you have to trust and allow nature to take it's course. That fear and resistance? It often shows up in the form of control issues and perfectionism. Fundamentally, control freaks and perfectionists block the energetic flow by clinging tightly to the edge of their cliff. It's a form of anxiety that requires a healing process all it's own. That's healing process is all about trust and letting go.
“Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.”
—Thomas Merton
The creative process is a journey. Healing is a journey. Trust is a journey, too.


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