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The creative pursuit is a metaphor for life itself.

Stephen Nachmanovitch's book, Free Play, is a seminal work on creativity, improvisation, and the creative process. In this book, Nachmanovitch explores the nature of creativity and how we can tap into our creative potential to achieve our goals and bring our desires to fruition.

One of the most inspiring quotes from Free Play is, "If we know that our inevitable setbacks and frustrations are phases of the natural cycle of the creative process, if we know that our obstacles can become our ornaments, we can persevere and bring our desires to fruition."

This quote speaks to the importance of resilience in the creative process. Nachmanovitch reminds us that creative work is not always easy, and setbacks and frustrations are inevitable. However, he also emphasizes that these challenges are a natural part of the creative cycle and that we can learn to work with them rather than against them.



When we encounter obstacles in our creative work, we can choose to view them as opportunities for growth and learning. We can use them as a way to expand our skills, deepen our understanding of our craft, and become more resilient in the face of adversity.

Ultimately, Nachmanovitch's quote is a call to persevere in the face of challenges and to trust in the natural cycle of the creative process. By embracing the setbacks and obstacles that we encounter along the way, we can transform them into ornaments that adorn our creative work and bring us closer to our goals.


How do emotions grow from the creative process? Let's say in a 2 month period. Akin to a budding therapeutic relationship between client and therapist.


Trusting in the natural cycle of art-making, dance-making, music-making, and creative writing over a 2-month period can look different for everyone, as each creative journey is unique. However, there are some common emotions and experiences that may arise during this time.

During the first few weeks, there may be a sense of excitement and enthusiasm as the creative process begins. Ideas may flow freely, and there may be a sense of ease and joy in the act of creating.

As the process continues, there may be moments of frustration or difficulty as challenges arise. Doubt and self-criticism may start to creep in, and there may be a sense of struggle or resistance.

It is during these moments that trusting in the natural cycle of the creative process becomes particularly important. It means recognizing that setbacks and challenges are a normal part of the creative journey and that they can lead to growth and learning.

Trusting in the natural cycle also means being patient and allowing the process to unfold in its own time. It means staying committed to the creative work even when it feels difficult or uncomfortable.

As the 2-month period draws to a close, there may be a sense of completion or accomplishment as the creative work takes shape. There may also be a sense of vulnerability or exposure as the work is shared with others.

Throughout the process, a range of emotions can arise, from joy and excitement to frustration and self-doubt. However, by trusting in the natural cycle of the creative process, we can navigate these emotions with greater ease and continue to create with purpose and intention.


Creative arts therapy, play therapy and somatic psychotherapy transcend the limits of talk therapy.

There is a wellspring of intuition within each of us that transcends the limitations of logic and reason. It is a deep, inner knowing that arises from a place beyond thought and feeling. When we trust this intuitive wisdom, we can make decisions that are aligned with our values and purpose, leading us towards a life of greater fulfillment and meaning.


Who would benefit from the creative art and somatic therapies? Disclaimer: They are both different fields of work but have fruitful overlap.



Creative arts therapy and somatic therapy are both forms of therapy that can benefit a wide range of individuals who are seeking emotional healing and personal growth.

Creative arts therapy involves the use of creative expression, such as painting, music, dance, or drama, to facilitate healing and promote self-awareness. It is particularly helpful for individuals who may have difficulty expressing themselves through traditional talk therapy methods. Creative arts therapy can be beneficial for individuals with a range of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and addiction.

Somatic therapy, on the other hand, focuses on the mind-body connection and uses body-centered techniques to promote healing and wellbeing. It can be particularly helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma or other physical or emotional difficulties. Somatic therapy can help individuals develop greater awareness of their physical sensations and learn to regulate their emotions more effectively.

Both creative arts therapy and somatic therapy can benefit individuals who may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally or who may feel stuck in traditional talk therapy. They can be particularly helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma or who struggle with anxiety or depression. These therapies can also be useful for individuals who are seeking personal growth and greater self-awareness. Overall, anyone who is open to exploring their emotions and experiences through creative expression or body-centered techniques can benefit from these therapies.


The overlap highlights where fear may be inhibiting our creative expression and connection. What is life without expression? In layman's terms, it's stuck, held, and trapped. What we hold close can also feel really dear and important. The phases of reconciliation and clarification are anything but easy; the 2-month incubator period is a taste of the pattern which may pop up in various lifetime spirals.


Nachmanovitch also stated, "Improvisation is intuition in action, a way to discover the muse and learn to respond to her call. [...] When we improvise with the whole heart, riding this flow, the choices and images open into each other so rapidly that we have no time to get scared and retreat from what intuition is telling us."


All in all, often, when we are faced with a new idea or creative challenge, we may become overwhelmed or scared, leading us to retreat from the creative process. However, when we improvise, we are able to move past these fears and respond to our intuition without hesitation.

The creative arts and somatic therapies include improvisation as a powerful tool for unlocking our creativity and accessing our intuition busting the one-size-fits-all formula. (Artificial Intelligence can never replace human client-therapist relationship ;) but more on that another time). By embracing the moment and letting go of our fears and doubts, we can tap into the flow of creativity and discover new levels of self-expression and artistic inspiration.





The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves. - Carl Jung

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