Art Therapy..Billy Can Help You Balance Your Brain.

Getting into Balance

Getting into Balance

“The creation of Art is not the fulfillment of a need [like food or shelter}— but the creation of a need.
The world never needed Beethoven’s 5th Symphony until he created it. Now we can’t imagine a world without it.”
Louis Kahn

Look at the quote above and take a few moments to think about it’s meaning to you. It is talking about the intuitive needs that we have to bring a peace and joy into our lives by listening to music that sooths us from the “noise” of the practical voices in our head that say things like…. you need to… get to work…you need to…pay the bills… you need to… you need to you need to….etc.
Striking the balance between the practical side of our mind and the intuitive side is key to a balanced creative life. Are you living a lopsided life? When are you going to let creativity be a bigger force in your day? Did you know that studies show 90% of all activity is habitual… things like brushing your teeth, checking the clock to see what time it is… eating and snacking… talking on the phone…etc.
Those habits are mostly things we do with little or no creative thought whatsoever… almost robotic.

Creativity demands a new process of thinking and can make you step out of your comfort zone by stimulating your brain to problem solve in a new and unusual way. It also can be explained as taking a new approach to re-creating the familiar.

Did you know that when you are in a creative, intuitive state of mind, that all other thoughts, like worry and even pain, are suppressed. Have you ever painted a picture and could not believe that 4 hours had gone by? A little distressing to that pot of beans you just burned…or the clothes that have re- tumbled in the dryer all that time… but not to you. You were enjoying what is clinically called pure bliss!
Come up with creative ways to experiment and rejoice in letting the intuitive side of the brain take over…. here’s a good example: Sing the “name-game”; remember it? Billy Billy Bo Billy, banana fana fo filly…fee fi mo milly… billl-y… Do you think it is silly? Good! If it makes you laugh or smile at yourself, it has done the right thing. It has broken the cycle of seriousness and judgment that we impose upon ourselves 90% of the time. You see being oh so serious is a habit too!
Don’t fear taking the risk of allowing the intuitive side of your personality come through. Start with a creative challenge. Think about it and then just DO IT! Don’t talk yourself out of it… “maybe later” is the first argument your practical, habitual brain is going to throw at you. {I don’t have time or the money” will be the second one.] Think … “I am going to go fling some paint on a piece of paper and I really don’t care what it looks like!” AHA! Now your cooking. …creative balance is starting to bud in that brain already.
Here is a list of things to think about and then put into action.
1. Acknowledge the importance of process over product.
2. Experiment and rejoice in the efforts- not results.
3. Learn to visualize and generate new images based on a memory and not on a technical reference. What did it look like in your memory of your grandmother’s flowerbeds? What did you best friend look like when you were 8? Draw it … paint it.. or cut out pictures for a collage that appear to be similar to your memories. These are examples of creative challenges. Set up one or 2 to do each week.
4. Quiet the critic that says I don’t know how… experiment , persist, learn from your mistakes, and then practice and even pretend until you do KNOW how.
5. Any kind of exercise takes commitment, make time, you have it…. you just haven’t made your mental balance a priority for your health and well-being.
I am always surprised at the number of folks who spend $100’s of dollars on doctors, gyms, and special diet foods but won’t spend any money on their intuitive mental health needs. Art Lessons, music lessons, quilting groups, scrapbooking, singing in a choir, cooking classes… all healthy for the brain. All use the intuitive side of the brain in balance with the practical, analytical side.
Please do SOMETHING that is unusual today….It does a body [and your brain balance] good!
Remember that to create one’s own world takes courage…but you only have to do it one step at a time. Tell yourself to get out of the way… and let everyone else do the judgment, censorship, and belittling. After all they may see it as their job. [Especially since you seem to have gone a little over the edge because you keep walking around insanely singing, “billy, billy , bo – billy, banana fana fo filly…fee fi fo filly….billy.]
Enjoy the balance… and the creative therapy. Jamie


  1. Thanks for the therapy exercise…There just are not enough hours in the day to try all the ideas you give me. I am so glad you are doing the internet lessons and appreciate YOU, your talent and teaching abilities! The only website I have is with the Plaza Art Gallery, but plan to get one soon.

  2. Mary Lynn says:

    Jamie, thank you very much for this post. It is filled with wonderful information, and I am going to start following some of your suggestions! I praise you for your artistic abilities, and the way you share your thoughts and insights with others!

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