My local council offers an award winning, exceptional (and free) programme as a new pathway for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It is called Creative Alternatives and at the discretion of one's doctor, therapist or other professional it is possible to be referred for this 'prescription', this medicine. It consists of small workshops scattered about the area that explore different creative activities.
This holistic approach is run by artists and art therapists, all of whom have an intimate understanding of how self-expression and creativity can be hugely therapeutic and soothing; they know it can heal wounds that can't be seen.
I have realised for some years now that when I fail to make time, even just a little time, for creativity, something inside shrivels up and dies. There is something innately spiritual, I feel, in making, planting, growing, baking and creating. So why oh why do I all too often fail to make the time, feeling that there are 'more important' tasks to be accomplished, when actually, creativity keeps me well?
In his energetic and witty book, 'Through the eye of a needle', John-Paul Flintoff (what a delightful mind he has), inspires us to see for ourselves just how much happier creating things can make us.
Whatever you may feel like creating, even if just a hearty, homemade soup, an origami butterfly or a cartoon doodle, the key is not to procrastinate. James Russell Lowell wisely said: "In creating, the only hard thing is to begin; a grass-blade is no easier to make than an oak."
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