How The Simple Act Of Creating Must Create Physical Health by Laura Koniver, MD

I met Laura on Etsy last fall when she offered to sponsor a Thursday Giveaway & Saturday Studio Tour on this blog. (Click the links to visit those posts. Also, if you have a moment, stop by her online shop  http://www.koniver.etsy.com). A kind, talented and very interesting person,  Laura describes herself as "A former physician turned artist and homeschooling Mama..." She is also a thought provoking writer. If you get a chance check out her blog, http://heartsongfineart.com/blog. It is  a peaceful place full of insight and eye candy. 

Lucky for us Laura stopped by to share her thoughts on creativity & health. After you've read this piece please take a moment to leave a comment. I think we could get a fascinating dialog going here. Now I'm going get out of your way. I'll meet you at the bottom of the post where I have some info about a new random drawing. (By the way, All photos are courtesy of Laura Koniver MD.)

How I view health now...
or... how the simple act of creating must create physical health.

I took the scenic route in becoming an artist.  The really looooong way around.  The kind of path that took me through medical school, residency, and a bit of clinical practice as a physician before I had children and realized my heartsong was to be a mommy and an artist.  That kind of long way around.

For many years, I tried to merge my two lives... there must be some way (I kept banging my head against the wall) to be an artist who can still heal people medically.  Right?  It should make sense.  I thought about becoming an art therapist.  Maybe medical illustrating?  I invented some new medical/art therapies including casting the human body and then painting it as a work of art mounted on a canvas.  Labels... labels... Must. Label.  Myself.  Something.  Am I a physician-turned-artist?  An artist with a medical degree?  A temporarily side-tracked doctor?  

 And finally, FINALLY, I realized what I intuitively knew all along... creating *is* healing.  Cut out the middle man, no need to invent a new medical therapy...  To create at all, in any form, is to create health.  The very act of creating allows health to flow.

 Creating is life.  Being alive is to create.  There just isn’t any other way around it.  All you have to do is sit there and breath, and you are creating.  

Because never, in the history of ever, has there been another person like you, living this moment of time, breathing this breath of air that you breathe... so everything you do is new and unique.  And never, in the history of ever, will there be another being exactly like you, living this moment of time, breathing this exact breath of air... So the very act of being alive is to create something new and irreplaceable.  

But, you can take it a step further and a step further every moment.  Because the more you create, the more life force you draw through you.  So even though just taking a breath is a creative act, creating something more out of the moment will draw more life in you and through you, and more health to you.  

The healthiest thing you can do is to create and allow your life force to flow through you. 

One form of creating is no better or superior at creating health then another form of creating.  Being a painter or an author or a poet is no more healthy or creative then creating a new meal, decorating a room, cutting your son’s hair.   All work can be creative.  All work can be meaningful.  

In fact, classic artists like painters and sculptures can be the worst at using creativity in their daily lives.  As pointed out in the book The Path Of Least Resistance, Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life by Robert Fritz, artists typically sequester the act of creating to just their chosen art form.  But creating is something we all do, we need to do, just as naturally as we need to breath.  It can not be sequestered away.  It can not apply to only one area of our lives.  It is life.

Most people live with a problem solving mind frame.  And even though this is extremely effective at what it does (solving problems) what you are left with is the absence of a problem.  This is far different then creating something that wasn’t there before. 

To create is simply to make something new where there wasn’t anything before.

If you are going around problem solving your life... you will be left with a void... no problems, everything solved... but nothing created.  

 And what usually happens when you have an empty space to fill?  Our minds are great at jumping right in with *helpful* things like nagging suspicions, nit-picky chatter, jealousy, gossip, finding something else to be dissatisfied with... even a new symptom or a re-emergence of an old disease pattern comes back once the problem is solved, because you have not actively *created* something to take it’s place.  In short, you are creating a new problem to have something else to solve.  

What if, instead of solving a problem and getting rid of something, you decide instead to create.  To make something new that wasn’t there before.  To bring into your life, and this world, a new situation that is exactly how you want it to be.  

This is not staying still, battling off problems, living in the defensive.  This is taking a step in the direction you want to go.  This is creating.  This is art.  This is filling a blank canvas with what you want to fill it with.   This is healing.  This is the flow of health.

Creating allows life to move with you and through you and allows health to flow.  

 Back to basics.  You can’t *not* create.  You being alive fulfills that contract.  If you are alive, you agree to be creating in every moment of your life, every fiber of your being.  

So what do you want to create?  If you block creation by problem solving, your energy stagnates and creates dis-ease.  If you create instead of problem solving, you allow the flow of life to sweep you off your feet and into the future of your dreams.

So, what do you think about Laura's ideas? Please leave a comment - I'd love to hear your feedback. Also, your comment will enter you in the newest random drawing (to be announced here tomorrow). So, be sure to pop back & check out the new prize donated by Laura. You'll also be given a chance to have a second entry in the random drawing (which will be held on 7/15). 

Laura, thank you for stopping by today with these intriguing ideas. I have one last question  before you go:  What are you creating now? 

LK: I'm finishing up a new children's book on this topic, the flow of health and joy, geared towards younger children.  It is a picture book, written and illustrated by me. It is called Jake. A Guinea Pig Finds Adventure. and will be released this fall.    

To stay informed of this book, sign up for Laura's Facebook fan page - http://facebook.com/heartsongfineart 

Other places to see what Laura is up to next include: 


  1. I totally agree ~~ art is healing; it save lives, brings about transformations, breathes life into a being in a way that nothing else can. I love Laura's view, or concept, and had never really thought about the idea of a problem-solving way of life resultings in solutions that diminish our lives (my interpretation). But I so get that, and thus will appreciate artful creations even more now, as they add to our lives, and hopefully the lives around us, as well; rather than diminishing life! Thanks for sharing with us here, and happy creating to each of you!

  2. I agree wholeheartedly! My art has saved my life many times - from using it to escape an abusive father at age 7 to more recently coming through a nasty divorce after a 34 year marriage. I don't think I'd still be here if not for my art, and my writing. I thank God for it every day of my life.

  3. wonderful post...and so true. Laura's blog is a delight. Thanks for the introduction, Stacey :)

  4. Thank you, so much, for stopping by my blog! I appreciate it; nice to meet you! You have simply beautiful items on Etsy - will be back to visit. Also, I completely agree with this post. Once I opened up to creating (without judging), I became more complete in other aspects of my life. Lovely, thanks for sharing...I'll be back - warm regards, Sheila

  5. I can see where problem-solving can take over your life!! So true!
    Creating and enjoying the process of creating is so energizing and healthy.
    I totally agree with her as well.

  6. I normally disagree with the thought that you can't not create, that everyone creates all the time etc since I think there's a big difference between just sitting and breathing and deliberately WORKING, creating art or baking or what have you. However - this text is a little bit provoking to me in the good way. It's always nice when your views are challenged and I found the part about NOT trying to solve problems especially interesting.

    ♥ Maria-Thérèse blog.afiori.com

  7. Very interesting article. I think creating does enhance health, and especially mental well-being. Having started a little creative textiles group with some friends, we are hearing about how having the time to create has helped people who have suffered with depression. Will be interested to see what others say...

  8. Oh my, I have been trying to express this concept of creating for a long time to my friends/family!

    I'm going to come back and read this more thoroughly later. Ironically, I have a doctor's appointment to get to. I'll have to ask if he really wants to be an artist!! LOL!

  9. WOW!!! How inspiring! Thanks for bringing such a fresh and unique perspective!

  10. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and so happy to have found yours as well. Off to peruse your etsy shop~

  11. I am grateful for having people like you in my community -- your ideas help keep me on my own creative track!

  12. I am grateful for having people like you in my community -- your ideas help keep me on my own creative track!

  13. Don't you think solving problems can be creative and satisfying also?

  14. It's so awesome to see all these fantastic comments! Stacey, you sure have lovely blog readers!

    Thank you guys for reading my post and being so kind.

    I just had a thought for mnelson, because they brought up a great point and I had to think about that for a while!

    I totally agree with you, creative problem solving can be super satisfying and work wonders at coming up with unique ways to solve problems. But ultimately, it is still focusing on solving a problem, even if it is a wildly creative way. Which can be totally great! However, solving a problem ultimately is still focusing on the problem, not turning *away* from the problem and focusing on what *is* working, and creating an entirely new thing in and of itself.

    It's all good, though! For sure creative problem solving is critical... I used it today to get out of a traffic jam and home more quickly.

    Sometimes it is helpful to recognize when we are stuck in problem solving mode in our lives, instead of focusing on creating... creating health, creating joy, creating laughter, creating friendships, creating LIFE!!!

    Thanks again to Stacey for lending me her fabulous blog for a guest post... she is the sweetest most amazing blogger I know :)

  15. I think most of our day is spent problem solving. Creating has always been meditating for me, it has been my yoga, maharishi, Valium, I can be in a far far place away from problems and solving.....and I've done a lot of creating all my life, it's been an non-conscious freedom.

  16. How profound! I completely agree Laura! I just saw this post and had to comment- for me, creating to heal is gardening and cooking/baking. I feel so much better when I do these activities. I takes me 'out of my head' and let's me just create, with the end result being beautifully made with my own hands! Thank you for putting that feeling into words!

  17. Oh, yes! I think if I could figure out how to maintain the meditative state I find myself in when I am creating I could leave other health issues far behind.

  18. I love the power of creativity! You have written such a nice post - it is inspiring and motivating. Thank you :)