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Reclaiming My Creative Mind


One of my regular Co-Counselors, an artist, encouraged me to participate in the Reclaiming Creativity Zoom series with Emily Feinstein (International Liberation Reference Person for Visual Artists). That was a good idea and good encouragement for me.


As an adult woman of African heritage, I’ve always had the idea that I can do a lot except for being creative. I’m an admirer of other people’s artworks but not a creator myself. That’s what I thought. 


It was a huge challenge and contradiction [to distress] for me to participate in the creativity meetings led by Emily. What was I supposed to do there? I began discharging about being creative even before the workshop began and could understand a bit more about my early hurts and my belief that I’m not creative.


Because of Emily’s honest, warm, powerful, and joyful way of leading, I immediately felt at home in the group. I could feel that she had no doubt about our goodness. I could decide not to hold back.


As a Black child born in a colonized country, it was difficult for my parents, who were working hard to survive, to give me enough attention. They had no time to play with me. They were making sure their children would have enough food and could go to school. Playing was not an option for them. As a Catholic child I was expected to take care of the adults. I did not understand this and withdrew more and more into myself.


Expressions of playfulness, looseness, and open-mindedness were less and less appreciated. This was painful, and I felt alone. Gradually I believed that my life was only good when I was serving and caring for others. It felt like I was losing myself and with that the creative child in me.


In the Reclaiming Creativity series, I discharged deep hurts about not feeling good about myself and feeling alone and separated from others. I reached for that disappointed child and more and more got an image of how she was before she gave up. I could feel her goodness, the fun she had, and her expectations. I could feel her unconditional love.


When I was counseled in a leaders’ class, I could reach out loosely and playfully to my little one [the young me]. I could feel the lightness, the enthusiasm, and the joy in myself as I reclaimed my mind. My counselor and the others danced with me while I was client. Wow, it was quite a healing process, and it still is. 


Thinking I’m not creative is a discharge issue. I decided to never again say that I am not creative. I will keep healing the pain of feeling insignificant. I want to continue to dance with that little child in me. I now have a bigger picture of what creativity means for me: trusting my mind, being open, loving that little girl in me, and feeling that I’m connected.


Marlène Melfor


Arnhem, the Netherlands


Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of artists


(Present Time 201, October 2020)


Last modified: 2020-10-13 08:55:17+00