Shirley MacLaine has noted, “Art is about energy, positive and negative.
“All art has the power to heal because it helps us see who we are, and what we resist.”
From the book Positive Energy by Judith Orloff M.D.
The photo is MacLaine as Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias (1989).
She has a great line in the movie:
“I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.”
Our moods such as depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem and others can interfere with creativity.
The Dalai Lama claims “the very purpose of our life, the very motion of our life, is towards happiness.”
But many of us aren’t so sure about that.
A number of writers and psychologists think too much focus on the pursuit of happiness may be limiting how well we develop as creative people.
See more in my article: More Happy, More Creative?
Psychotherapist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She also writes about the emotional and creative pleasures and challenges of their inner lives on her site Creative Minds Psychotherapy.
Here is an excerpt from one of her related articles:
What might happen if you dared to look at your reality? What if it gave you the courage to really live your life?
Sometimes you don’t want to look at your reality. With or without awareness, you may be trying to avoid or escape certain aspects of your life.
While you pretend not to see what is going on, reality is still happening to you, and refusing to see it is depriving you of the opportunity to actively create your life.
Does this sound like you?
We all avoid facing our reality from time to time, as a temporary and necessary coping strategy.
But, when it becomes a way of living, it’s a different story…
How do you know you are avoiding your reality?
Have you caught yourself constantly pretending that “everything’s ok” when deep inside you know the truth?
Are you tired of trying so hard to put on a happy face and be positive?
While being happy and positive is highly desirable, it can also be a defense.
Being happy and positive works when your life reflects your internal reality, but pretending to be happy and trying too hard to be positive can be a defense against facing what’s really going on in your life.
If you find yourself being frustrated, moody, irritable, angry, resentful, tired, disconnected, and inefficient despite your efforts to be happy and positive, it may be a sign you are using “being happy and positive” as a way to protect yourself.
This unhealthy defense is keeping you apparently happy, not genuinely happy.
No matter how hard you try to avoid the way you really feel, eventually you’ll trip over your reality or find that you are totally stuck.
Facing and working with your reality, no matter how challenging it is, actually allows you to be positive from a genuine emotional space.
That healthy positiveness that creates solutions, possibilities, and opportunities for your challenges.
Sometimes, people force themselves to stay in a positive mode until they fall apart and end up damaging their relationships, or career, or becoming physically ill.
Although falling apart is tough, it is also an opportunity to start the transition from happy as a defense to a more real happiness.
In times of falling apart, people make big transformations by owning and working with their reality.
You don’t have to wait to fall apart to start facing and working with your reality.
Continued in her article The Art of Facing Reality