Prayer and Meditation: The Self-Care Advantage for Artists & Creatives.
In the weeks following the roll-out of shelter-in-place mandates toward flattening the curve against COVID-19, the practice of self-care has become an increasingly important tool for creatives in combating stress and strengthening immunity against the virus—as they continue to retool their platforms to virtually engage with audiences. The state-mandated social-distancing and self-isolation protective measures have also presented an unexpected opportunity for introspection and heightened self-awareness for some artists—providing time and space in support of self-exploration and self-discovery. Unfortunately, these same protective measures have ironically worked to compound existing stress for many creatives, adding new levels of distraction and frustration, resulting from weeks of immobility. As the market continues to evolve and adapt to protective measures, and cities and states prepare to reopen businesses and venues, how can artists and creatives continue the gains made towards self-awareness, amidst the chaos and noise of marketplace instability and change?
For many creatives, the practice of self-care can be enhanced by the practice of meditation, prayer and relationship with the Creator. As the source and author of creativity, the Creator seeks engagement with artists and creatives towards the continued wellness, growth and multiplication of their talents and gifts as an extension of his creative power—as outlined within Christ’s teaching in the well-known Parable of the Talents.
One of the prospective advantages of an artist's relationship with the Creator is in his understanding and empathy towards humanity--who share his spiritual likeness and image--and his full knowledge and awareness of the constraints and limitations of the human body and mind, as well as the unlimited potential of the spirit conjoining them. The transparency of that relationship also affords creatives the added opportunity for self-examination against the diagnostic reflection of the Creator’s insight, and the opportunity for the voice of their experience to be heard and acknowledged amidst the noise of uncertainty and change.
The following psalm, authored by King David, provides an inside look into the relationship potential between artists and the Creator and speaks to the Creator’s capacity for empathy and understanding of the human experience:
“Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;
From far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
You know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
You already know what I will say,
You are all around me on every side;
You protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;
It is beyond my understanding.”
As the apex of his creation, the Creator is well aware of the situational challenges humanity faces, as well as the potential for conflict between the body, mind and spirit. To this end, he is well-versed in addressing the external threats to an artist growth, as well as the enemy that can arise from within, in the form of fear, anxiety, and worry that can work to counteract their creative power. When artists and creatives come into relationship with the Creator, he is able to provide mentorship and encouragement in critical moments, as they face professional and creative obstacles and difficulties, as well as obstacles of limiting beliefs and doubt—as paralleled in the following excerpt from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Phillippians:
“Don’t be afraid of your enemies, always be courageous, and this will prove to them that they will lose and that you will win, because it is God who gives you the victory.”
When creatives come into relationship with the Creator through the practice of prayer and meditation, they can maximize their self-care regimen towards increased and continued self-awareness and benefit from the constancy of his strengthening, encouragement and insight.