Inspiring People &
The Healing Power of Creativity
One of the joys within this world is personal discovery and we communicate what we unearth in a exuberant mix of expressive forms. Creativity is considered a core ingredient to self expression, as well as a great healer of suppressed emotions. On our personal journey of discovery, we connect and develop with creative communities, where each individual is encouraged to make their thoughts and feelings known.
Take a leap of faith
It's no accident, then, that her understanding of herself has deepened. "I do everything from writing poetry to creating decorative items for my home," she confirms with obvious enthusiasm. When Rebecca discovered a particular talent for paper-flower making, she was inspired to take a leap of faith by starting up her own business and founded paper-flower making company, FlairforFleur. Rebecca uses origami and paper craft flowers to create alternative, sustainable bouquets, and loves that her work reflects her developments on a personal level. recommends anyone who has held a negative belief about their creativity since childhood to "give it another go!".
She talks about the need to find the right creative outlet, having stumbled across paper-flower making from the incredibly diverse range of choices out there. "It’s not about painting a masterpiece, becoming poet laureate, or being the next Mary Berry," she says. "The important thing is that you connect with it, and that it provides an emotional release." Creativity is a means of self-understanding for Rebecca, as for many others who engage in creative practices.
The development of Waldorf education during the 20th century, taught in Steiner schools, was pivotal in this shift. Steiner schools now form the largest group of independent non-denominational private schools in the world. Waldorf education offers children a course of creative development, encouraging them to encounter their creativity at every stage of their progression. Participating in free play in kindergarten and artistically-mediated learning in middle-school, the children then apply their own expressive forms to problem-solving upon reaching the final stage.
This process of learning-teaching – where the learning is led by each child, rather than the teacher – is at the core of their ethos. “The development of this educational self-sufficiency develops the children's capacity for self-healing," explains Kevin Avison, from the Steiner Waldorf Advisory Service. Kevin refers to the former Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, as a 'healer' of a nation in the wake of the Brevik massacre, and remembers how Stoltenberg talked about being rescued by his Waldorf education as a young man.
Healing our past
Art therapy actually began when the British artist Adrian Hill encouraged fellow sanatorium patients to undertake artistic work in the late 1940s. Soon after, another artist, Edward Adamson extended Hill's endeavours to the British long-stay mental hospitals, with hundreds of patients benefiting over his 35 years of service. He witnessed how they recovered or, in his terminology, 'healed' through creative expression. The key for Adamson was － the act of expression could simply unfold.
America was the leading force in art therapy with alternative styles being tried at roughly the same time as when Hill was institutionalised. Margaret Naumburg, primarily both an educationalist and a psychologist, opened an alternative school in New York City and developed Dynamically Oriented Art Therapy, a diagnostic practice which she based on Freudian theory. On the flip side, Edith Kramer helped hospital patients to harness the therapeutic power of art, considering the artistic product as equally important alongside the art-making process.
Trust forms communities
Emilie helps to bind the community by teaching anyone from toddlers and bankers to policemen and pensioners. "A lot of people tend to live in their heads and get caught up in ideas that perhaps are no longer true," she reasons. "If you don't think you are creative, find something that appeals to you where you can engage physically and get out of that head space. Whether that's crochet, dance or drawing, just play and don't worry about getting things right, being perfect or even 'being creative'."
Our true nature