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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

September Letter from Publisher: Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Aug 31, 2021 08:30AM ● By Jordan Peschek

Creativity colors our world. It fuels innovation, inspires curiosity, drives connection. It also promotes healing.

Look around downtown Milwaukee and you will see murals, sculptures and paintings that brighten the streets, indulge the senses and boost connection. The Jumpst(ART) Downtown initiative has engendered a deep sense of culture and community with pop-up art projects throughout the city. The mural of iconic “You are Beautiful” stickers on Plankinton Avenue offers an inspiring reminder of self-love. The Massimals MKE: Rainbow of five bears in Cathedral Square encourages appreciation for, and inclusion of, diversity. Art has transformed Black Cat Alley from an austere alleyway into a vibrant spot to snap a photo or take a yoga class hosted by MKE Yoga Social.

And of course, art enriches us in so many other forms: events hosted by MKE Film, showings at the Marcus Performing Arts Center, exhibits at the Milwaukee Art Museum, performances by the Milwaukee Ballet, and music of all kinds at Summerfest just skim the surface. When we embrace these beautiful opportunities, we unearth profound joy and gratitude for others and the world around us.

Children enter school as question marks and come out as periods. ~Neil Postman

As children, we turned sticks into swords and linens into forts. Sidewalks transformed into chalk masterpieces and sand grew into sandcastles. We amused ourselves for hours with imaginative play and yard games. It felt like fun, not work. In this ever-changing world, inspiring children to be creative helps foster adaptability, confidence and growth. The innate wonder and imagination in kids can often be stifled by formal rules and lessons if we aren’t careful. The article “Creative Kids” (page 18) inspires us as parents, teachers and role models to encourage creativity and appreciate one’s unique talents and interests.

Likewise, it is very powerful to express our creativity as adults. Creativity comes in many forms, of course: visual art, music, movement, dance, spoken and written word, and so forth. Whatever the medium, creativity can promote healing on both an individual and a community level. Art therapy helps many people process through trauma and age-related illness. It can help those with physical illness cope with pain and other symptoms. It can foster a sense of purpose, value and belief in oneself and in others. For instance, Integration Healing Art Therapy, in Milwaukee, offers art, yoga and mindfulness classes as an integrative approach to help people heal. Our feature article (page 14) dives deep into art and creativity as a means to enrich our lives in these ways and more.

We ALL have an aptitude for creativity. I encourage you to tap into that this month. Try a new recipe, take an art or yoga class, try a sport or activity you normally might not. Listen to a different musical genre or take a walk in a new place.

Explore the novelty of new experiences and have an amazing September!

Jordan Peschek RN-BSN, Publisher