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Unveiling the Masterpiece Within: A Christian Counselor's Guide to Nurturing the Artist's Mind, Body, and Spirit

April 1st, 2024

This blog post is a heartfelt tribute to all the remarkable artists who have graced me with their trust as we journeyed together through the peaks and depths of their creative landscapes. It is also lovingly dedicated to those who have courageously poured their souls into their most profound and transformative works, even if they have not yet found the strength to share them with the world. To you, I offer my unwavering support, validation, and awe for the extraordinary gift that resides within you, even in moments when its brilliance may be obscured from your own view.


As a holistic online Christian counselor and a BIPOC therapist, I have had the privilege of working with a diverse range of creatives, from musicians and painters to authors, influencers, rappers, and filmmakers. Through these experiences, I have witnessed the delicate balance artists must strike between creativity and melancholy, brilliance and inner turmoil. The very sensitivity that allows them to create works of profound beauty and meaning can also leave them vulnerable to the world's harsh realities.

Many artists I counsel grapple with the fear of sharing their creations, knowing they may face criticism and judgment, yet they are driven by an irrepressible need to express their truth. The pain and trauma that many carry from their past can serve as both a burden and a catalyst as if the Divine Creator is using their suffering to mold them into vessels capable of conveying the soul's deepest cries and most profound realities.


At the core of our being, we are all created in the image of a creative God, imbued with the capacity to bring forth beauty and meaning. When artists honor this sacred calling by offering their gifts to glorify the Creator, they become a source of immeasurable blessing. However, this heightened sensitivity and creative spark can also come with its own set of challenges.


In my practice, I have worked with numerous artists who have been diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder – a phenomenon I refer to as the "Kanye West Syndrome," illustrating the flipside of creative genius that artists must learn to navigate. Throughout history, creatives like Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo have transformed their anguish into timeless works of art that continue to move and inspire us. Their stories and creations have encouraged me to channel my own experiences and mental struggles into my own artistic expressions.


As a counselor of color who deeply values the creative spirit, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges artists face in a world that often fails to comprehend and appreciate their cultural expressions and perspectives fully. While it is important to recognize that not all creatives struggle with trauma or mental health issues, my observations through both media and personal connections have shown that many do. This is why I believe it is crucial to engage in open, meaningful discussions about the experiences of creatives, illuminating their stories, their challenges, and the ways in which we can cultivate a more supportive and inclusive environment that nurtures their artistic endeavors and overall well-being without going straight into diagnosing their brilliance.


So, how can I help as a holistic Christian therapist? By providing a safe, empathetic space online for artists to process their experiences, express their gifts, and find balance. Together, we build their support system, set boundaries, practice mindfulness, and leverage their faith to stay centered and strong. We validate the beauty of how God made them while developing skills to navigate the intensity.

 

Here are four ways to help artists with their mental health, including those struggling with addictions:

 

1. Encourage professional support

One of the most crucial steps for artists facing mental health challenges or addictions is to seek professional help. Encourage them to work with a licensed therapist or counselor who specializes in treating creatives and understands the unique pressures they face. Many artists resist seeking help due to stigma or fear of losing their edge, but assure them that therapy can actually enhance their creativity by providing healthy coping strategies and clarity of mind. If addiction is involved, urge them to consider trauma-informed rehabilitation programs or support groups like Celebrate Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous.

 

2. Foster a supportive community

Artists often feel isolated and misunderstood, which can exacerbate mental health issues and addiction. Help them build a network of supportive friends, family, and fellow creatives who appreciate their artistic journey and can offer encouragement during tough times. Connect them with artist groups, workshops, or online communities where they can share their experiences, learn from others, and find collaboration opportunities. Having a sense of belonging and purpose can be incredibly healing for artists struggling with self-doubt, anxiety, or depression.

 

3. Encourage self-care practices

Artists often neglect their physical and emotional needs in pursuit of their craft. Encourage them to prioritize self-care practices that nourish their well-being. This could include regular exercise, healthy eating, sufficient sleep, and stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing, or spending time in nature. Help them set boundaries around their creative work, such as taking regular breaks, setting realistic goals, and learning to say no to projects that drain them. Encourage them to cultivate hobbies and interests outside of their art to maintain a balanced life. Self-care is not selfish; it's essential for preventing burnout and maintaining mental health.

 

4. Provide spiritual support

For artists of faith, their relationship with God can be a powerful source of strength, inspiration, and healing. Encourage them to lean into their spiritual practices, such as prayer, worship, reading scripture, and fellowship with other believers. Remind them that their creativity is a gift from the Source of Creativity, God, and that they are called to steward it for His glory. Help them find a community that welcomes and supports artists and connect them with mentors who can provide Godly guidance and accountability. Encourage them to surrender their struggles to God and trust in His love and grace to sustain them. Offer to pray with them regularly and share uplifting bible verses that speak to their identity as beloved children of God.

 

With this holistic care for mind, body and soul, artists can thrive. They can transform their pain into creative power. Their faith can infuse their self-expression with deep meaning and purpose. By nurturing artists' mental health, we unleash beauty that touches hearts and changes culture.

 

As an online BIPOC Christian counselor, this is my passion -to help creatives walk in their divine design and share their much-needed gifts with the world. Even when the world does not understand their uniqueness and feels they are on the verge of insanity. They are not alone. I would be honored to walk with you if you are an artist seeking understanding and growth. Visit my website to learn more about scheduling an online counseling session and beginning your journey of healing and creative flourishing. Let's unveil the masterpiece God is birthing in you.

 




"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10

 

As an artist, you are a masterpiece intricately crafted by the divine hand of God. Your creativity is not happenstance; it is a sacred calling, beckoning you to unveil beauty reflecting the essence of the Creator Himself. Embrace your identity as a cherished child of God, for He has ordained a purpose uniquely tailored to you. Within the heart of your existence lies a canvas waiting to be adorned with the brushstrokes of your imagination.

Trust in the knowledge that your talents are not meant to be hoarded but shared generously with the world. As you surrender your gifts to the divine, you invite His guiding hand to lead you on a journey of creative fulfillment. Remember, you are not alone in the challenges accompanying the artistic path. Seek solace in your faith, drawing strength from the knowledge that your Creator walks beside you every step of the way.


In a world often devoid of understanding, your art serves as a beacon of truth, a conduit for expressing the depths of your soul. Let not your pursuit be tainted by the allure of fame or fortune, for therein lies the path to madness. Instead, please focus on the profound impact your creations can have on those who encounter them. As the saying goes, "Art is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable," echoing the transformative power of your work.


So, keep creating, keep shining, and allow the divine spark within you to ignite the hearts of others. For in the soul of your artistry, lies the promise of redemption, and the revelation of God's glory to a world in need of healing.

 

I want to share two creative endeavors from my artistic journey.

 

In a little song called "Blue Collar Fantasy", I teamed up with Shannon Motherwell to bring two of my poems to life. Together with T-Walk Productions, we crafted a soul-stirring song that's become part of a short film I'm still tinkering away on, titled "Amoranza", which I wrote and directed years ago. Now, will this movie ever hit the big screen or any screen? Who knows, but that's not the point. The point is I put myself out there. Will people criticize it? Probably. Will I focus on the sting? No, because I am not here to please people, think Galatians 1:10!


See, I'm all about encouraging fellow artists to go for it, you know? Put yourself out there, quirks and all. Because you never know whose day you might brighten with your creations. It could be that one person who listens to a tune and feels like someone gets them or who spots your artwork and finds a little piece of themselves in it.


The other is another digital art piece and poem from my first poetry book called Wrath to Riches, Justice to Gems.


Stop the Music

Inspired by Ezekiel 26

Stop the music and listen.

Screams of the wounded echo in the continuing slaughter

The sounds of songs filled with pride will be no more

Many tremble at the crashing of their fallen idols that cannot save

Panic and fear overcome the people one by one


Yes! The Sovereign Lord has spoken.


But will you listen to the silence and believe?


Pestilence

Famine

Natural disasters

War


The end of the world as we know it


But will you feel fine?


Fear over faith

Faith over fear


Jesus! Forgive our trespasses 

as we forgive those 

who trespass against us


Please let the sound of the harp be heard once again.


As we fully surrender to You!



Dear God,

We praise You for creating us in Your image and giving us the gift of creativity. As artists, we recognize that our talents come from You, the master Creator. Give us the courage to embrace our unique voices and to use our art to bring glory to Your name.

Guide us as we face challenges and help us to remember that our worth comes from You alone. Fill us with Your Spirit, inspiring us to create works that reflect Your beauty, love, and truth. May our art bring hope, healing, and joy to those who experience it.

Thank You for the honor of being co-creators with You. Help us always to use our gifts to make a positive impact and to point others towards You.

In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.




In Service, Faith, Hope and Love, Diana


P.S. Don't forget to check out The Holistic Counselor podcast.


April's book of the month is about neuroplasticity! Why don't you join me?


And now for the disclaimer to make sure you understand that YOU are responsible for YOU:


Disclaimer: The content provided on "Liberation Lunes" is for entertainment and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The views expressed on this blog are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of any professional organizations with which I am affiliated. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, 911, or 988 immediately. "Liberation Lunes" does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the blog. Reliance on any information provided by "Liberation Lunes," others appearing on the blog at the invitation of "Liberation Lunes," or other visitors to the blog is solely at your own risk.

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