The Creative Wellness Project: Part I What is Creative Wellness?
I had a cute little “Glow Up Series” which involved interviewing my favorite poets and yogis all mapped out and ready to launch for your reading pleasure . It unraveled when I read the beautifully honest response of Philly’s beloved slam poet Jasmine LaShae. When I asked her, “Do you have a creative wellness practice? Something creative that you do to encourage yourself to take better care of yourself?” her response was a rather frank, “No. Admittedly I am not very good at taking care of myself or actively practicing wellness. I am at this point in my life where there is a lot of instability, stress, overwork, and just overall lack of routine. Being so busy and constantly pulled in several directions, I haven’t been able to find the time to take care of myself. I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Leave it to a poet to mess up ALL my well laid plans. I’m kidding…sort of. Seriously though, I’m actually inspired by Jasmine’s candid response. My spirit was moved to change directions. I renamed my series “The Creative Wellness Project”. I want to explore, challenge, and expand upon the idea of creative wellness. Dear reader you’re probably thinking, “What does creative wellness even mean? Like is that even a real thing Tracey Coretta or did your womanist poetess wild woman writer brain just make it up on the fly?” It is actually a term that’s used in the wellness and mental health community but here’s my very own definition.
What Exactly Is Creative Wellness?
Wellness is the process of becoming aware of and taking responsibility for improving and maintaining your well being. The six common dimensions include social, occupational, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional health. Creative Wellness takes it a step further by finding new ways to explore this mind, body, and spirit connection. When you become acutely aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they all contribute to your health you're going to be more likely to find exciting and innovative ways to engage in holistic wellness practices.
A good example of creative wellness is the Golden Sutras: The Yoga of Jill Scott an event I’m hosting with my sister yogini Jazmyn on Sunday, October 18th at Diamond Hot Yoga in Philadelphia. The event touches on the physical, spiritual, and emotional dimensions of wellness by incorporating meditation, movement, and music mantras of Jill Scott into a vinyasa yoga flow. Participating in a yoga event like The Golden Sutras also touches on the social aspect of wellness. Since you’re practicing with other people who value both their health and the arts you get to socialize with likeminded people.
Creative wellness requires you to think outside the box. Case in point, if running isn’t something you enjoy that doesn’t mean you should sit on your couch every day and give up on physical activity. Creative wellness encourages you to explore other avenues such as an African dance class with live drumming. There’s often a strong sense of community fulfilling the social aspect of wellness and the drums and music help connect with the spiritual aspects of wellness. Creative wellness puts the fun back into your health practice (think running around all day as a kid with your friends) and helps you view your self care not as a chore but as something to enjoy doing on a daily basis.
Love you with all my arT,