Kathy Martin is no stranger to pain, but has found that when she uses the creative process she not only develops self-awareness through exploration of raw emotion, she also develops the clarity to address unresolved emotional conflicts.  Kathy has used her creative outlet to achieve personal well-being, protect her energy and improve her outlook on life.

Kathy’s relationship with art gained momentum through difficulty after a divorce and considerable back pain that had her crawling with agony.  Like many, her divorce was complex and left unraveled, raw emotions that was like a rift in her psyche.  Each time she would go to see her son at her ex’s home, she would leave feeling drained of her energy and filled with negative energy as she entered her home with no protection.  After a particularly difficult experience, she determined she needed to take steps to protect herself.  She then proceeded to make her own version of ‘a coat of many colors.’  The exercise was particularly helpful to become in touch with her feelings, bringing her own brand of powerful energy into a tool that would help her for many visits to come.  The assortment of bright colors and textures woven together along with pockets to hold talismans serve as her ‘armor’ and protects her from absorbing any negative energy swirling around her.

The debilitating back pain that Kathy experienced was unequaled in caliber to any other pains experienced.  Prior to finding a source to correct her issues, she would find herself curled up in pain on the floor with a blackness coursing through her mind that only severe pain can bring.  Her anger and deep emotions as a result were apparent in a quilt that she worked on during some of her more difficult times.  She says that the center of the piece is when she was in a very dark place, with the outer pieces and back demonstrate an ease in tension and lightness so different that she cannot bear to look at the angry portion.  She turns the quilt around so that she only has the happier side showing.  The emotion that her severe back pain brought is something she doesn’t want to be reminded of.  Although this may seem like a negative thing, understanding that this creative outlet is a way to express emotions that are hard to verbalize is important.  This process was healing and helped Kathy face a situation that she may have otherwise been swallowed whole by.

Creativity has been used as a means of communication and self-expression for thousands of years.  Many cultures and religions around the world have incorporated the use of carvings, paintings and symbols in both the story telling and healing process.  This age-old practice has afforded Kathy relief and clarity so that she could move forward to a positive life, experiencing all of the good the world has to offer.     Anyone experiencing a difficult time, regardless of artistic experience, should try out their creative outlet.  Whether it is through journaling, scrapbooking, painting, putting fabric together or anything else, the process is likely to provide at least a temporary outlet and small clarity for tumultuous emotions.

**If you need help getting started on your creative path, reach out to the Holistic Institute of Wellness and we can help you on your journey.**