This article, in an edited version, appeared  in the Orange issue of Open magazine in Summer,  2008
If you bring forth that which is within you,
Then that which is within you
Will be your salvation.
If you do not bring forth that which is within you,
Then that which is within you
Will destroy you........ gnostic gospels
Strong words; but surely you remember the happy little kid you once were who loved to build tree houses or make paper airplanes or cut out paper dolls. What has happened to that flame of creativity which once resided within you?

Life is so busy, we often forget to acknowledge our inner longings.  We multitaask mindlessly, eating while we read, phoning while we drive, worrying while we sleep, being constantly "on", forgetting to honour our deepest callings.  We wonder why we feel frustrated, angry, or just hungry for something, but we are not sure what it might be.

It is no accident that in medieval times, the colour Orange was the symbol for endurance and strength, the colour of fire, orange coming from the red of passion tempered by the yellow  of wisdom.

Perhaps we are ignoring our own passion and wisdom when we say, "What! Me draw? You have got to be kidding!" We forget about the satisfaction we got as a little child when we took pencil to paper and knew we were artists!

In his book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Encounters with Addictions, Dr Gabor Mate talks about everyone's need for creative expression. He recognized the huge impact of his own call to writing in healing his addiction to shopping. In response to this passion he has written several books, in which he has shared what is inside of himself (

Judith Rosenburg was inspired to create Spark of Brilliance when she was her won son slowly recovering from mental illness through creativity. She had delivered his beloved charcoal, paints and drawing papers to his hospital room. With each drawing he grew stronger as he re-connected with his inner self. Spark of Brialliance, a community based mental-health initiative in southern Ontario, promotes healing through creativity. A few years later, now, thousands have joyfully participated in the creative workshops and healing community of the Spark of Brilliance. (

As a psychotherapist, I listen every day to people's sadness and pain. I support them in bringing to light their stressors. Out of this comes an awareness of what needs healing in their lives, before it destroys them. Over and over again, I find if people can connect tothe creative spark within themselves, they begin to recover. And as for myself, I love nothing more, at the end of a day of listening, to soothe my own soul by writing, painting, drawing or picking up my craft work.

So you think you are not creative?

Try some of these suggestions and tune in to how they make you feel- you just might get hooked and realize your own creative genius:

  • The next time you are making a tuna sandwich, add some chunnks of red pepper to delight the eye, some green parsley for hope and a slice of orange on the plate for passion and wisdom. Voila, you are an artist! Savor each mouthful.
  • The next time you sit gazing at a beautiful flower, grab a pencil and sketch it quickly. It doesn't matter if your creation looks like a flower. In paying attention to light and shadow, we observe more intently and you will feel the flower beauty through you. You might be pleasantly surprised with your little piece of artwork.
  • The next time you are relating the story of your day to a spouse, or friend, add a little twist of humour or wisdom and see how you feel. Creativity comes in many forms.
  • When dressing for work, add a colourful scarf ( orange for creativity and energy is a great touch) Allow yourself some fun and flair. Dressing need not be boring.
  • Take a new path home from work.
  • Observe with the curiousity of a child.
  • Add the colour orange to your sacred space. See what it brings.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up - Pablo Picasso

Enjoy!! And remember that this moment is the only moment you have. Create it well. Savor it. Have fun.