Nearly everyone has had a moment when some form of creative expression has dropped them to their knees. Creative expression is a miracle in and of itself. It’s uniquely human and can be a catalyst for spiritual expansion, self-understanding, and connection to each other and the universe. Here are four every day outlets of creative expression that we often pass off as mundane, but are actually simple and super accessible ways to tap into our psyche experience our emotions.
This is arguably the most powerful of all creative expression. It’s relished the world over, in the wealthiest and most impoverished places. It is both individual and communal. In the out of balance, patriarchal world we live in today, men are pushed to stronger, tougher than ever before but ask any man what song moves him to tears, and every one of them will have an answer. Interestingly, there was a poll done in the U.S. a few years ago that asked men that very question. At the top of the list were Leonard Cohen’s, “Hallelujah” and The Star Spangled Banner. I admit, when I hear Whitney croon our National Anthem I swallow hard. (By swallow hard, I mean cry like a baby.) If you’re eating up this post, I’ll share a few more songs with you at the end…just to be sure your heart explodes.
Here’s a Christmas Version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah that will have you praising Jesus. It’s amazing.
Of course, the second most impactful expression of human creativity is story telling. I probably should have put it first, after all I am a blogger and writing is what I do. Still, I can’t compete with music and I unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with that talent. No creative outlet can evoke the range of emotions that story-telling can. I consider TV and movies part of this category as well. A good book or movie can make us laugh until milk spews from our nose (for me, that’s anything with Simon Pegg or Will Ferrell in it) or it can make us cry like a newborn babe. I remember taking a shower after watching the movie My Girl for the first time. I stood under the stream of hot water and sobbed. I still can’t believe that a young Macaulay Culkin tore me to pieces. Stories can also create intrigue or outrage. They can even start wars. (That’s START wars, not STAR wars…though yes, those movies were pretty impactful too.) Some stories sneak up on you. I haven’t read The Giving Tree since I was a kid. Now that I have my own, I picked up a copy and ended up choking back tears as I read to my own little one.
When one says the phrase, “creative expression” visual art is usually the first thing that comes to mind. It’s also the most accessible to all people. Not everyone can compose music, not everyone can tell a good story, but absolutely everyone can make art. Art can be tame or provocative. In a way, it’s the ultimate human expression. It is music for our eyes and like a good book, it tells a story.
Dreams are an unconscious art form built of symbols and mystery . They transcend our limitations of creativity or intelligence. I have an engineering degree and have built a career in design, yet my conscious mind can’t hold a candle to the innovation and creativity that has manifested in my dreams. In just a few moments we are able to create entire worlds, explore complex relationships and embark on wild adventures. It’s amazing that the world of dreams is still such an enigma…that it has been overlooked both by mainstream science and as a form of creative expression.
If you are reading this blog, chances are you consider yourself a spiritual creature; one who seeks wisdom and spiritual expansion. I’m telling you that profound spiritual activations can come from exposure to the creative arts. Art is a tool, like meditation or exercise that can help us to explore our thoughts and emotions and maybe even our spirit. ∞
Ok, spill it. What does it for you? What song moves you to tears or has you jumping out of your seat? Which movies or books take your breath away? What piece of art stops you in your tracks? Share your favorites so we can all enjoy a little more soul expansion.
Here’s a few more songs that I promised: They are great for so many reasons. In no particular order. I could add a hundred of these but this is what comes to mind off the cuff.
Schubert – Ave Maria
John Lennon – Imagine
Dave Matthews Band – Don’t Drink the Water
Jewel – Near You Always
Plain White T’s – The Giving Tree (Also the Book is a spiritual activation)
Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Jane Siberry – Calling All Angels
Santana – Black Magic Woman