My short answer: LEGIT – I’m living proof! [The operative word here being living.] I hope you’ll bear with me during my long answer as I explain how and why I so firmly believe in the importance of regular participation in some form of artistic expression.
The catalyst that got me all excited about this matter is a blog post made on January 25, 2018 by one of my favorite inspirational/motivational bloggers, James Clear. He wrote a post titled, Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity. In his blog post James states:
“,,, the process of creating art doesn’t just make you feel better, it also creates real, physical changes inside your body.”
His post is based on research done by the American Journal of Public Health from an article titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. This article states that:
“… there is evidence that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer of the creative efforts of others or as an initiator of one’s own creative efforts, can enhance one’s moods, emotions, and other psychological states as well as have a salient impact on important physiological parameters.”
“Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.”
“… the biochemical effects of the brain’s functioning show that all the cells of your body are affected by your thoughts. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., a renowned cell biologist, describes the precise molecular pathways through which this occurs.
I almost got a bit teary-eyed when I read James’s post because I’m literally living proof that ALL of these assertions are true! The reason why I started designing jewelry was because I needed a constructive and productive outlet through which I could discharge the toxic energy I had begun to generate due to my growing dissatisfaction with being in (what I deemed after working in it for a few years) a toxic work industry (as opposed to a toxic work environment). In other words, I needed to find a healthy way to chill out after and outside of work before I agitated myself into a mental/emotional breakdown, a stroke or a heart attack! The gory details:
For 11 years and 4 months I worked as a Bank Teller. The intellectual demands required are not excessive because much of the work involves carrying out specific regulatory routines. Attention to detail, the ability to multi-task, and the ability to quickly “read” and accommodate people are the skills that best serve Tellers because the demands of Customer Service present the greatest challenge. For the most part, the physical working environment is usually pleasant, but Tellers are in the most vulnerable position within the bank because they are the general public’s first point of contact. In other words, Tellers are on the proverbial Front Line. As such, WE are the bank employees who end up face to face with robbers. For that reason, we are ALWAYS under pressure. [I got robbed once, but because I followed established cash handling and security procedures, the criminal was apprehended in a timely manner and no one was harmed.]
Ennyhoo, I quickly became VERY good at my job. I LOVED the work, the working environment, the people I worked with and even most of my customers. When I started out I knew nothing about the origins of the Banking Industry, but like virtually every other person in our country, I believed whatever narrative was being put forth by the Main Stream Media as explained by “expert financial authorities”. I was under the impression that the Banking Industry was an honorable and noble industry. In hindsight (in my opinion) I was WRONG. Mind you, I’m not berating myself; live & learn. Then teach.*
After about 4 years in, and prior to the onset of my state of extreme dissatisfaction, I decided that the time had come for me to “move up” in the company. So, in preparation of my attempt to do so, I spoke with coworkers from different departments within the bank to learn more about the various positions that appealed to me so that I could develop a broader perspective of the mission of the company. Everyone I spoke with was very supportive, forthcoming and encouraging. Then, on my own, I started reading about the history of the Banking Industry.
It was then when my ignorance ceased to be bliss. It was then when my rose-colored glasses shattered. It was then when I began to scrutinize my company, the banking industry and my own life in relation to those two business entities. It was also the beginning of my dissatisfaction with the state of all three of those aspects of my existence. My growing dissatisfaction catalyzed the toxic energy that had begun to fester within me, and that toxic energy grew to manifest itself in my life (& body) in the following unpleasant ways:
- heart palpitations (including several emergency room visits)
- rising blood pressure
- digestive distress
- tense muscles (shoulders always up to my ears)
- a pinched nerve
- night-time leg cramps
- chronic joint pain
- chronic lower back pain
- low-grade chronic depression
The point I’m getting at is that if I had NOT managed to find a creative, constructive and productive way to discharge & redirect the toxic energy festering within me, at the rate my body was turning on me, there were only two potential outcomes for myself, both TOTALLY undesirable. In the first scenario I envisioned myself being handcuffed and escorted off the premises by the local constabulary because my self-control had completely eroded, I took a nutty and “made a mess”. In the second scenario I envisioned myself being carried off the premises, feet first & face covered by the local paramedics.
Folks: as corny or melodramatic as it may sound, I KNOW that my finding a creative outlet [Jewelry Design] literally saved my life!
So PLEASE – find your own creative outlet. Paint, sew, sing, teach, dance, workout, cook, style hair, learn a new language, travel, garden, write, clean & organize, take photographs, learn to play an instrument, knit/crochet, design jewelry, plan parties, organize neighborhood cleanups, help other people to help themselves – ENGAGE REGULARLY IN A CONSTRUCTIVE ACTIVITY THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD.
Doing so could literally save YOUR life.
Until we chat again, go forth & Birth Something Beautiful!
*If you want to learn more about the Banking Industry, check out the following links. I found them to be very informative.
Ellen Hodgson Brown, J.D.
Book: Web of Debt
Book: The Public Bank Solution
G. Edward Griffin – Author, film producer, political lecturer, American conspiracy theorist
Mr. Griffin is a writer and documentary film producer with many successful titles to his credit. Listed in Who’s Who in America, he is well known because of his unique talent for researching difficult topics and presenting them in clear terms that all can understand. He has dealt with such diversified subjects as archaeology and ancient earth history, international banking, internal subversion, terrorism, the history of taxation, U.S. foreign policy, the science and politics of cancer therapy, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations. Some of his better known works include The Discovery of Noah’s Ark, Moles in High Places, The Open Gates of Troy, No Place to Hide, World Without Cancer, The Life and Words of Robert Welch, The Capitalist Conspiracy, The Grand Design, The Great Prison Break, and The Fearful Master. His most recent book is entitled The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look At The Federal Reserve.