Embrace Your Physical Limitations with Creativity

By Chris Miller
May 8, 2023

We bring our bodies to the creative process.

One day, as I was presenting my book The Spiritual Artist to a local art group, I shared how a damaging Lasik eye surgery in my 40s changed my artmaking. I realized that because I see light reflections and odd shadows through my left eye, my abstract work had taken on an unusual 3-D effect.

My eyes don’t see the world as everyone else does. Because of this, I perceive depth and shadow differently, and it’s reflected in my art. I realize the gift in this life situation. The unique aspects of my body revealed a fresh, innovative new facet in my creative DNA.

After sharing, I was incredibly moved when an older woman raised her hand and explained that she, too, had physical limitations. She used to paint unbelievably detailed watercolors — but because of a tremor, she could no longer control the brush with such precision and had decided to move into collage work. She also recognized a gift in the experience and shared how her collage work merged new skills with her sense of color and design.

It’s easy to feel your body keeps you from creativity. But our physical constraints, like our physical gifts, only add to the individualized expression of who we are. Don’t let your perceived limitations hold you back from being inventive.

Take a few moments of silence and reflect on your current life circumstances. Is some false belief about your body holding you back from entering a classroom or learning a new art? Instead of asking yourself, “Why did this happen to me?,” ask yourself, “What is in this situation for me?” Don’t stop this process until you have written at least three answers.

Creativity is not limited to only a few. Creativity is the skill we use when confronted with boundaries. Examine your body with fresh eyes and see how your current physical situation can be incorporated into something fresh and new. There is no wrong with creativity.

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