Every few months I revisit a goal I set for myself a few years ago: to make and consume more art. This piece of writing is in reflection and pursuit of that goal.
On Saturday I had the opportunity to see Aladdin on broadway for mother's day and I was dazzled from start to finish. As I beamed under my mask I was wowed by the enormous cast, stunning colors and over 350 costumes (!) with seemingly infinite swarovski crystals that put every skating dress I've ever worn to shame.
The entire show sparkled.
Then I remembered that art has a beautiful way of creating more art.
After getting home from the show I settled in on the couch to do something I rarely make time to do - watch a movie. I miraculously sat still from start to finish as we watched Dear Evan Hansen, another musical that's been on my list for years. It was sad and raw in stark contrast to Aladdin. I am still thinking about it.
Art makes you feel something.
Today I woke up and drove home for three hours listening to, and belting out, some of my favorite show tunes on spotify. For 175 miles I joined the cast of Legally Blonde, Rent, Hairspray, Les Miserables, and a dozen others.
And with each song that rolled off my tough I found myself filling with gratitude for having grown up in a family who values the arts, in proximity to Manhattan, and affords me more opportunities than most to see some of the world's greatest shows.
And since art creates more art, I hurried home to write and I drafted much of this in my head on route 80.
I filtered through a lifetime of touch points with the arts from sidewalk and playdough to more than 10 years spent playing the cello, I hobby a regret setting aside.
I remembered elementary school art classes, riding by bike to my local community college to take a summer drawing course, and the brand new box of crayons I unwrap and promptly smell each Christmas.
I smiled and remembered seasonal coloring contests orchestrated by Grandpa and the hand-drawn coloring pages to be completed and submitted for entry by the assigned deadline; each complete with a stamped return envelope.
I suspect we all won.
Shortly before he passed away I received a thick envelope in the mail with every submission I ever mailed in, he kept them all.
I thought about dancing in my kitchen and the African dance class at Montclair State that pushed me out of my comfort zone.
I thought of the performing artists who I had the pleasure to work with as a Synchroette and the ways their expertise and precision enhanced our skating.
You see, somewhere along the way, we stop pursuing the hobbies that aren't commodifiable. We are told, explicitly or implicitly, that if we aren't good at something then it's not worth doing.
I vehemently disagree.
So I've spent the past year reading about therapeutic art techniques and incorporating them into my reiki sessions and workshops.
Together we color, draw, write, move and visualize our favorite selves. Then we become them.
As a result, when we tap into our innate creativity. We activate our sacral chakra, our pleasure center and the home of the divine feminine.
That's why when we make and consume art we can't help but feel good.