Lawyering is a creative act. Further, the act of creating can nurture our well-being. Let's be our own muses and cultivate our artistic/creative dimension.
Choreographer Twyla Tharp says, "Creativity is an act of defiance. You're challenging the status quo. You're questioning accepted truths and principles."
Athletes and other performers often step into unfamiliar creative arenas to activate different parts of their bodies and brains, to make them better at their day jobs. NFL athletes Steve McLendon and Lynn Swann took ballet lessons to become better football players. Boxer Vasyl Lomachenko credits Ukrainian dance lessons for his fierce footwork. Adam Clayton, bass player for the band U2, wanders the hallways of art galleries in the cities where the band is performing, to clear his mind before a show.
Let's hand our inner artist a paintbrush, a blob of clay, a set of fingerpaints, a disposable camera, some soil, an instrument, and say "Go experiment." We just might unleash a wildly creative spirit within us, one that will help us solve stubborn legal problems.
Also, according to Dr. Girija Kaimal, a professor at Drexel University and a leading researcher in art therapy, "The act of creation can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood." Further, we don't need to be "real" artists to make this happen. According to Dr. Kaimal, "There are no differences in health outcomes between those who identify as experienced artists and those who don't."
Artistic Dimension Resources:
For a deeper dive into cultivating our artistic dimension, consider exploring Chapter 7 of The Flourishing Lawyer.
Exercise: Author of the book The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron, recommends we take ourselves on "artist dates"—solo weekly excursions with our inner artist. What artistic or creative activity could you pursue this week for 15-30 minutes?