Arts, Crafts & Nurturing the Spirit

Sallie Cooper
Sallie Cooper

I believe the simple fact that we are born human makes each one of us creative by nature.  We begin in early childhood with our building blocks and our coloring books and crayons.  I also believe that society’s focus on socialized behavior and responsibility has to a large degree, discount cialis thumb had a deterring effect on many people’s innate need to create.  However, in recent years we have seen a major resurgence of artists and crafters offering their wares as well as those desirous of acquiring handcrafted and organic goods.  It’s my opinions this is due in great part to the worldwide “green” movement that has finally become more mainstream.  More and more people lean towards purchasing or creating upcycled, sustainably made, handcrafted goods and supporting local or independent business.  We have seen websites such as Etsy and Artfire pop up in recent years and become extremely successful in providing an outlet for both artists and buyers.

This resurgence of the arts and craft movement came about for much of the same reason it emerged during the late Victorian period in England.  At the time, England was the most industrialized nation in the world.  Because of industrialization, people yearned for more organic, quality goods, particularly in the realm of architecture and home decor.  Now, as then, the arts and craft movement was a call to social reform.  And now, as then, the movement did not promote a particular style.  It wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th century that this same movement took hold in the United States and began popularizing high quality handcrafted goods that included furniture, rugs, baskets, pottery, jewelry, silver and home and garden decor.   However, by the 1920’s the arts and crafts movement had essentially ended in the U.S. as the country rose towards industrialization, capitalism and the nation-state.

As noted previously, I believe we are all born with the innate desire or more precisely, the need to create, but for too long we have been taught to achieve and work for financial gain alone.  Like many others I’m sure, I grew up with that “live to work” notion.  The thought of taking time to do something simply because it was enjoyable was something I viewed as unproductive, almost sinful.  As a result of skewed thinking like that, many have ended up using all their time working and acquiring so that there is little time to get in touch with their creativity.  But maybe, just maybe, you’ve always had a secret yearning to write a book.  Or perhaps you have always wanted to learn to play a guitar but just never made the time.  Maybe something as simple as wanting to redecorate your bedroom has been on your mind, but you’ve just never gotten around to it.  These stifled desires, these urges to change something, to learn something, to do something are simply your muse calling you.  I’m asking you to pay attention.  And do you know why?  First of all, it’s never too late and you’re never too old and the sooner you get started the more pleasure you’ll add to your tomorrows.

The creative process can and does put you into a state of being one with your muse.  As an avid crafter I know firsthand that when I’m designing a new piece of jewelry or sculpting a lump of clay I am more often than not, totally immersed, and connected to my muse or if you prefer, my spirit or god-spark.  In the creative process one often loses track of time and space and the process becomes a meditation.  It can be a very focused and peaceful experience or it can be very exhilarating and passionate.  Once you’ve stepped into that dimension of creative experience there are no boundaries.  You have complete freedom to take risks and express yourself.  You might start out with an idea and midway through become so inspired that you create something totally different and even more wonderful than you had previously imagined.

It’s no coincidence that the more you exercise your creativity the more creative you become.  It’s a process that fuels itself and in return it feeds and nurtures your soul.  It is an essential part of the journey to authenticity in which we come to respect our inner nature and express ourselves to the world.  We learn about and build confidence in ourselves and overall improve the quality of our lives.

Wherever your creative path leads you, be it poetry, music, painting, knitting, sculpting or cooking, you are bringing beauty and love into the world that wasn’t there before and couldn’t exist without you.  Give yourself permission to be creative for the simple pleasure of it.  Do something you love!  It is a gift only you can give yourself.

© Sallie Cooper 2013 . Guest contributor Sallie Cooper resides in Wapakoneta, Ohio with her partner Mark, their two dogs, Reggie and Juju, and Oden the cat.  Sallie enjoys being creative in a variety of ways including (but not limited to) writing, crocheting, jewelry design and healthy cooking, the latter of which her partner Mark enjoys the most.  You can read more of Sallie’s meanderings at http://homesteadheart.blogspot.com .

5 thoughts on “Arts, Crafts & Nurturing the Spirit

  1. I often get the urge to be creative but am “afraid” it will look like crap. I guess I am not to good at getting better through practice! You have inspired me! I think I will make that time out chair I saw on-line!

  2. I love this article. I believe the same, we are all born with a natural instinct to create and every day madness can pull you away from that. That’s why there are such souls as yours to remind those who have lost it to find it again. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    Amber

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