I was moved and inspired by seeing the calming effect of creativity on people I have supported

Dave Alldred is a Peer Recovery Practitioner in our Western Isles NOVA service. He’s great and he’s sharing his thoughts on the impact of creativity on wellbeing.

At times, people tell me they’re not creative, but I like to think we all are.

I have never seen myself as someone who can paint or draw. But part of the ongoing See Me box-making project, I have tried both of these. 15 years ago, I would probably have politely declined the opportunity to be part of this fascinating endeavour, a decision that would no doubt have been based on limited chances to develop these skills in my youth. I’m not alone in this; many of us failed to show a natural flair for something in childhood, so weren’t encouraged to take it further.

Now that I’m older and slightly wiser, though still with much to learn, I realise the value in trying new things, whether I’m good at them or not.

My attitude towards the box-making was this: ‘I am going to learn something.’ And do you know what? I did. I felt the joy of painting with lovely, talented people, sitting on a mini tarpaulin, dodging showers, having a proper giggle. I experienced the soothing pleasure of meticulously trying to recreate a photo of beloved South Harris in watercolour form. I delighted in the whimsy of portraying precious times with a loved one in pencil.

I was moved and inspired by seeing the calming effect of creativity on people I have supported.

My colleague, Mark, shared a poem with me recently, featuring this quote from The Real Work by Wendell Berry:

The mind that is not baffled is not employed, the impeded stream is the one that sings.

I think that is beautiful and true. It might be that you haven’t yet discovered your creative gift, but maybe now is the time to search for it. This is a challenging time, but I hope it leads to us all saying with pride: ‘I Am an Artist!’

Thank you, Dave, for your wonderful blog.

Dave and the Western Isles team can be found on FACEBOOK

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