Creative expression. Viewing a Matisse painting.

How I See It: Art, Music, Creative Expression, and More

I grew up in an artsy home. And creative expression was part of everyday life.

I have early memories of my mom drawing detailed sketches of faces on the corner of napkins. And hand-painting Christmas ornaments for our tree.

Both my mom and grandmother spent a lot of time creating inviting spaces in their respective homes. They frequently wallpapered, painted rooms a new color, collected antiques, and updated decorative pillows scattered about.

Although both women worked full-time, they prioritized creativity and creative expression.

Music was also a persistent theme in my home.

I grew up playing the piano. I remember attaching tiny pieces of paper to the keys as I learned how to play.

And I would spend hours learning new songs. I would play them repeatedly, never growing tired of the melodies.

Creativity – the theme of the month:

October’s activities have reminded me of how much art has shaped me and my life. And of how much fun it is to escape the dreaded to-do list and choose to explore a creative outlet instead;-)

This month I discovered a book, Conscious Creativity, and it’s precisely the guidebook I’ve been seeking. (I highly recommend it!)

One key takeaway is the benefit of intentionally dedicating time in daily life to be creative.

When I shift into a creative mindset, it’s like looking through a kaleidoscope. I see everything in a brand-new way.

Answers to questions I’ve had on my mind appear effortlessly while I’m immersed in a creative project.

The working, churning part of my brain gets a much-needed break! And I can relax into a zone of freedom in which there is no linear time.

Not only is it a joyful escape! But it has also had a healing effect on me.

Creative Expression Project at Kripalu:

Around seven years ago, I remember spending a new year’s weekend at Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA. I signed up for Kundalini yoga and art.

I didn’t know what I was getting into!

Our wise, brilliant instructor provided large rolls of white paper, probably six feet long.

She guided us to paint whatever we were feeling while listening to music.

I remember feeling surprised by the amount of shifting I experienced. Painting freely brought up some uncomfortable feelings, spun them around, and allowed them to settle into new places that freed me.

Shortly after returning to Boston, I witnessed changes in myself and my world for the better.

Barnes collection

My favorite piece at Barnes Collection – a Matisse

Recent art exhibits:

Last week, we took a trip to Philadelphia.

We toured the Barnes Collection. At this museum, the art is displayed as if in someone’s home. There are no descriptions attached. Just collections of expression. Walking through the galleries I felt like I was witnessing different moments in time, and had a voyeuristic view into the artist’s minds and hearts from long ago.

My plan:

For 20 years, I worked as an optometrist, a career that I deeply enjoyed but didn’t allow for much creative expression. Now that life has moved in new directions, I’m taking time to follow Philippa Stanton’s (of Conscious Creativity) advice. I’m going to build time every day to be creative. And to enjoy the endless possibilities that reside in the colorful kaleidoscope in my mind.

I do believe you can create whatever you can envision.

That’s the plan.


What did you think of this story? Please let me know in the comments below!

Did you know that slowing down can inspire more creative thoughts? Check this out.

Also, another mind-bending book that I loved this year is The Art of Possibility. Take a look and tell me what you think!


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