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The Necessity of Expression

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What is self-expression you ask; well, it is the ability and act of setting forth one’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions, may it be by talking or writing, or through one of an endless pool of art forms. Self-expression may also be through body language or mere appearances such as clothing, hairstyle, home decor, etc.

Self-expression is as vital to living as breathing; it is how we interact with others and the world. It can be supremely fulfilling or irritably frustrating. Sometimes we do not even think about how we express our inner reality to those outside; it just happens naturally. At other times, we may strive to express something and disappointedly fall short of what we meant to get across.

Sometimes we cannot access inspiration or creativity to know what we want to express. Other times, we have an idea of what we want to communicate, but we do not know how to make it manifest. Some of us have difficulty communicating because we are shy, insecure, or just feel that our communication skills are lacking.

A way for self-expression is through the creative arts. No matter how scared you may feel to express yourself, remember that there are so many ways to engage.

From finger-painting to intricate landscapes, Lady Gaga to Chopin, art provokes spiritual wellness. Indeed, throughout history, people have used art to cultivate positive changes within themselves and relations with the outside world. Art generates personal exploration through self-expression or delving into one’s spiritual agony with listening or seeing; channeling art solidifies how outside sources impact our life.

Even if we do not have the technical ability to write a poem or paint a self-portrait, most of us can use our senses to connect the emotion or content of a piece to our own struggle. We all know a song that reminds us of our childhood best friend; we all know an image that provokes happiness or guilt. After all, we are all connected through art despite our varied skill levels.

Art’s facilitation of self-esteem and stress-reduction potentially allows everyone to work through any source of trauma. Starting and completing any task, and experiencing the finished product, produces an irreplaceable sense of productivity and worth. Likewise, after studying or creating a piece, we can enjoy the product and share it with loved ones.

Although art connects people, it can also administer a sense of independent thought and actions. Away from appointments, away from family stress, away from society’s expectations, connecting with art puts the individual in control. No one can enforce what can be listened to, what colors are permitted, what should cultivate inspiration; the quest to spiritual wellness is an individual journey in this sense.

We all interact with art on daily basis; however, few stop and think how these forms of expression not only look pretty or have a danceable beat, they also provide spiritual wellness. By meditating to a soulful piece of music or doodling the image of a loved one, art cultivates both independence and connection to others.

References

www.desert-alchemy.com

www.eachmindmatters.org

www.themindfulword.org


Cover image

"The Scream" by Edvard Munch (1863–1944) - WebMuseum at ibiblioPage.

The Scream is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels, by Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910. Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature) is the title Munch gave to these works, all of which show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous orange sky.


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