Those of us who live amongst the red rocks of Sedona are truly privileged. We are immersed in beauty at every waking moment. Good Morning America recently listed Sedona as the third most beautiful place in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people flock here each year to bask in the natural magnificence that surrounds us. And it’s healthy, too! But it’s not just the beautiful landscape that has a healthy effect. Art, nature, beauty, and culture can heal, reduce stress, aid in thought and meditation, and engage the body and mind. In fact, a recent study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that “a healthier cultural life may be an indicator of a healthier, happier life in general.” Now that’s something we all can live with... and live with longer!
This just goes along with everything I’ve been saying for a thousand lifetimes: art does the body good.
Of course we are typically drawn to beautiful landscapes; beautiful people; beautiful things. It’s only natural to want beauty in our lives. We constantly are in a state of beautification. We manicure our lawns, clean our homes, build additions, fix; remodel; refurbish, style, paint, sculpt, draw, design – all to make our world a better place, with a healthier ambiance. And because of this we can live longer, are happier and find peace within ourselves and all around us.
So what’s my point?
Art is very important in our lives. The arts teach us to understand our visual culture and build communities. The art we create is not just a way to make a living – it’s a way of living. It’s sharing a piece of our soul. Artists of all walks of life create from the very depths of their inner beings and express themselves by sharing how they see their world. We can peek into the hearts of those around us and connect ourselves and our own feelings in the process. And as it turns out - it will keep us healthy, too.
I spoke of “time” last week. This week, take the time to paint or draw or sing or play. Engage your mind and body in the process of creating art. Take the time to make something beautiful. Write a poem, write a novel or finish a screenplay (this is something I need to do!) - But no matter what - make sure you actually do it (I’m speaking to myself here, too). Time is short and life can be longer if we slow down, open our eyes and become a bigger part of the beautiful world around us. People say I look ten years younger than I actually am. Perhaps it’s my active lifestyle and because I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life... or maybe it’s because of my art... and keeping that in mind - a painting a day, will keep the doctor away!
Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.
About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.
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