“Imagination is absolutely critical to the quality of our lives. (…) Imagination gives us the opportunity to envision new possibilities – it is an essential launchpad for making our hopes come true. It fires creativity, relives our boredom, alleviates our pain, enhances our pleasure, and enriches our most intimate relationships. (…) Without imagination there is no hope, no place to go, no goal to reach.” – The body keeps the score – Bessel van der Kolk.
Why do we use art?
First and foremost art has a beautiful and magical way of helping you to transcend your current reality and look at the world, your life and all that you experience, in a new way. Listening, watching or creating art creates new (neural) pathways, and helps you to think of new possibilities, new ways of experiencing life and new realities that you, once envisioned, can start to create.
Next to this we believe and know by experience that art has a very healing effect. Art (e.g. meditative healing music or soothing spoken words or healing sounds) generates self-compassion, warmth, trust, safety and unconditional love (the ‘mother-energy’). This non-cognitive, intuitive and loving energy is what calms down your nervous system, gives your body the feeling that it is safe and brings you into a state of relaxation and receptivity. It helps you to form a deep relationship with your body and your sensory system.
From this state of relaxation, safety and receptivity, you are able to travel all the way down to the roots of your suffering, and acknowledge, feel and heal all of your fears, insecurities, stuck and suppressed emotions or even trauma, that are (still) present in your subconscious mind and stored in your body.
Art as a tool for self-expression
Next to this, another important reason why we use art is because it has a very transformative effect and a positive impact on your life when you use it for self-expression, self-regulation and self-actualization.
We know that almost all people have a deep longing for authentic self-expression, but that they hold themselves back out of fear or shame. We also know that when people feel safe enough to express all of who they are, they instantly heal and grow.
By teaching you to express yourself (and your emotions, feelings, desires, needs and dreams) through art (e.g. through singing, dancing, painting, writing or speaking), you can slowly and with care give voice to all that lies dormant inside of you and gain the confidence to express more and more of who you truly are in your daily life.