Since I got back from North Carolina two weeks ago, I've been thinking about my presentations at the retreat and wondering what impact my message had. This group of women in recovery was the audience I had written Sober Play: Using Creativity for a More Joyful Recovery for. It was wonderful to share my many ideas about how creativity and successful sobriety are linked both to the whole group and to individuals as the weekend progressed.
I was delighted and not all that surprised to hear how many of those women had dreams of being an artist, a writer, a musician. I think most of us do, once we're exposed. Once we hear great music or see art that touches us or read a book that we love, we want to do that too. We want to do what others do and once we start doing it, we want to do more.
But something intervenes, often an external critic, a parent trying to be "realistic," a teacher on a power trip, a friend who doesn't get it and we stop. We don't hone our skills while we're young when it's easier, we don't take chances when we're young, we just stop.
I've no way of knowing how many of those 85 women will step fully into their creativity now. They will still encounter the "realistic," the naysayers, the friends who don't get it. And they will have to battle their inner critics as well, all too quick to pull the you're-not-good-enough card on us. But maybe one or two will pick up that novel, that paintbrush, that crochet hook and go for it. I hope so.