Creativity Can Rebuild A Community

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I have had the pleasure of being invited to teach art classes in High River, Alberta over the past several years. The year I first went to High River was the year they had the flood. Two weeks before the flood, I was teaching a watercolor class at one of the local churches. I was stunned to see the devastation of the massive 2013 flood on the news. 

The river overflowed its banks spilling into the community wiping out many homes and businesses. Peoples houses were damaged or destroyed by raging flood waters and mud. What remained untouched was the soul of the community. The town of High River found the courage and strength to embrace their fears and begin to rebuild.

In a sense, rebuilding can be equated to the creative process. Creativity requires one to move outside of ones comfort zone to take action. Creativity requires from us an enlarged inner perspective on how to solve problems. It requires us to abandon our conventional wisdom and see things from a different perspective. It asks us to trust the process regardless of outcome. Creativity requires commitment to action and completion. In essence, the creative process can be a blueprint for dealing with life’s challenges. 

A year later when I returned to teach again, it was evident the community had begun to rebuild. The soul of the community was alive and well. It had taken on the mindset that underlies the creative process; a mindset of faith and confidence that it was capable of seeing beyond its limitations and circumstances in order to see projects reach fruition. 

Last week, I returned once again to High River to teach one of my classes, “Courageous Journaling”. This is a class where students create without boundaries and learn to listen to their instinct and let it guide them through the creative process without focusing on outcome. Here are some photos of some of their amazing work.

Imagine how different our world would be if we all became creative thinkers! We would embrace the unknowns of life instead of fleeing from them. I challenge you to put aside your conventional thought processes and focus more on a broader perspective mindset. Arm yourself with faith and confidence that  whatever challenges may come your way in life, you toss fear aside and embrace the journey much like the community  of High River had to do. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the outcome. 

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