When I packed up my life in South Africa, said goodbye to everything I knew and boarded the aeroplane with my two kids and partner to come and start a whole new life in a new country, I did so feeling like it was meant to be. I felt it was a spiritual journey, that the Universe had my back and that, because of this, I was taking a step in the right direction.
Three and a half years down the line, I can’t decide if it was the right thing to do or not.
Which leads me to the obvious uncomfortable questions:
If it was the right thing to do – like it felt at the time – then why does it feel so wrong?
If it felt like the right thing to do, when in fact, it wasn’t, then how am I supposed to know in future what the right thing to do is if my intuitive feelings can’t be trusted?
Because there doesn’t seem to be any good, obvious reason why I need to be here, of all places. Whatever spiritual awakening and advancement I’ve experienced since arriving here, in this cold, damp, frigid country, is not due to being here, but rather thanks to art.
The uses of art extend beyond pleasure
To help me cope with the heartache and homesickness that comes with leaving my country of birth, I turned my attention to art. In the last three and a half years I’ve painted, sketched and written more than I have in my whole life up until now put together.
Art has become the balm that I spread on my wounds. Without it, I don’t know where I would be now. Art in various forms has pulled me out of very deep, dark places, helped me to digest life when it didn’t seem to make any sense and provided a light at the end of the tunnel when the tunnel seemed to carry on forever.
The necessity of discomfort for creativity
A few years ago, I heard a South African singer/songwriter say that any discomfort is good for an artist. We need this sense of dissatisfaction that comes from leaving our comfort zone to fuel our creative thoughts, to help us create and in so doing, heal our hurts and bring us to a new sense of happiness.
But of course, this happiness can’t be complete because then our creative spark would have no more kindle to light it. So, if I landed somewhere easier for me to be, would I have needed to turn to art as a coping mechanism?
Would I have understood the importance of creative expression for my overall health and happiness?
Probably not. So the challenges really do make the journey.
If you’d like to develop your skills as a writer, then check out my new course on Skillshare. It’s called “Intuitive Development for Writers” and in it, I share my four favourite ways to harness my intuition on a daily basis as a writer. Simply click here. http://skl.sh/2utbbbr
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