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Everything forgivable?

An account of pain, anger, depression and forgiveness of the unforgivable!

When you forgive the burred anger surfaces, tears run with pain … when the tears stop, freedom arrives and a new day heralds.

Art can heal

An account of a 17 year old girl’s recovery from depression and mental healthy with the help of ART.

On a personal note

When I was a university student, I was going through a lot of challenges and difficulties. Among many, I had to learn to study and to retain information; I had to sustain myself so I had a full time job along with my full-time school schedule; I had a boyfriend who was engaged to somebody else; and my family was too dysfunctional to give me any support.  I was under immense amount of stress and I could hardly keep my head above water. 

I remember that I was back home with my family on winter break studying for exams when one evening I started to vomit excessively.  I could not think straight and I was shaking uncontrollably. The next day, I was taken into hospital and was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown. 

I was suggested to take time out but I did not want to do that because I was a late-boomer anyway so I started uni at the age of 21 instead of 18. It did not want to prolong my suffering.

My aunt is a therapist with whom I had spent countless hours as a child. She knew how much I used to love making art and so she suggested to use art to uncover my demons and terrors.

As soon as I started, art-works of the most morbid nature started to flood out of me. I was lucky. I did not need therapy, I only needed to reintegrate ART into my life. ART became my Healer and Saviour.

Unlocking Creativity – Transforming Lives

Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being

There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence that proves art enhances brain function. Art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world.

Quite simply, the arts are invaluable to our proper functioning individually and as a society.

“The arts are a critical component of healthcare. Expressive art is a tool to explore, develop and practice creativity as a means to wellness.” ~ Wellarts Association

Art Changes Consciousness

Jacob Devaney wrote “When you observe a profound piece of art you are potentially firing the same neurons as the artist did when they created it thus making new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration. This sense of being drawn into a painting is called “embodied cognition”.

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Do you find yourself craving a little creativity in your life?

It turns out, tapping in to that creative energy can actually improve your overall health. Simply engaging in creative behaviors (even just coloring in those trendy adult coloring books) improves brain function, mental health, and physical health.

The theory of cognition postulates that being creative is actually a basis for human life. Basically, being creative is pretty important!

Let’s look at the various health benefits to creativity, and break it down from there.

Increases happiness.
You’ve probably heard of flow — it’s the state you get in when you’re completely absorbed in something. Have you ever been working on a project and completely lost all sense of self and time? That’s flow. It reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate.

It’s not just being in flow that helps your happiness. Repetitive creative motions like knitting, drawing, or writing help activate flow, and are all tasks that create a result. And when you succeed at creating a result, no matter what it is, your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you. Whether or not you’re aware of your increased happiness, the hit of dopamine you get after being in flow will drive and influence you toward similar behavior.

Reduces dementia.
Creativity goes beyond just making you happy… It’s also an effective treatment for patients with dementia. Studies show that creative engagement not only reduces depression and isolation, but can also help people with dementia tap back in to their personalities and sharpen their senses.

Improves mental health.
The average person has about 60,000 thoughts in a day. A creative act such as crafting can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant.

Creativity reduces anxiety, depression, and stress… And it can also help you process trauma. Studies have found that writing helps people manage their negative emotions in a productive way, and painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put in to words.

Boosts your immune system.
It’s time to start taking journaling seriously. Studies show people who write about their experiences daily actually have stronger immune system function. Although experts are still unsure how it works, writing increases your CD4+ lymphocyte count, the key to your immune system. Listening to music can also rejuvenate function in your immune system.

Makes you smarter.
Music lovers, this one’s for you. Studies show that people who play instruments have better connectivity between their left and right brains. The left brain is responsible for the motor functions, while the right brain focuses on melody. When the two hemispheres of your brain communicate with each other, your cognitive function improves.

It’s pretty amazing that doing the activities that make us feel good (see that dopamine rush) are genuinely good for us. Grab a pen and start writing, doodling, or coloring. Get your hands dirty with pottery or gardening. Listen to some music, or pick up an instrument. Whatever you decide to do, it’s time to start getting creative!

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Do you enjoy your life?

HOMAGE TO A GREAT MAN: Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson: Finding Your Element

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In Finding Your Element, author and educator, Sir Ken Robinson, offers viewers a guide to finding and being in their element. He provides basic principles and tools to help guide them to do the work they enjoy with a sense of contentment and purpose. He believes that you can thoughtfully and strategically make changes in your personal and professional life as you Find Your Element.

 

Finding your national talents is crucial for being happy. It is not only about knowing what you are good at but finding in what way to use this talent to truly fulfill you and make you happy!

 

The magnificence of failure aka Redefining success

Have you tried but failed?

We all have in some ways or another. 

I am a bit like Edison – 1000 failed experiments – I have initiated numerous different products and services that so far all have failed to take off and become ‘successful’.

From a certain angle, I am the epitome of failure.

I am often ‘homeless’ (I move around a lot) and need to rely on the kindness of friends and family. I have started numerous businesses that either failed or were taken over by others who molded it into something completely different from what I had intended it to be. I created products that simply did not find the right audience. I formed inspired collaborations that could not generate enough momentum to survive. All my attempts (so far) to create something that is embraced by many, that pays my bills, that is

It is also true that I become frustrated and feel discouraged sometimes. At the same time, I accept that with every trial and error there is a great learning curve. Not only have I learnt immense amounts about my inner world but I also connected with thousands of people from all over the globe. Maybe, in terms of the world, I am not successful because I have not yet come up with a product or service that the world could appreciate. It still does not make me any less of a person.

My courage, my exceptional ability to start anew, and my adaptability are my greatest achievements (so far). They are not particularly visible to the world but they are immensely valuable to me.

The world has its own definition of success. Most people buy into it. By those terms, my life may look like a failure. But I only see magnificence. I do not let others define my successes or who I am.

I am proud of myself. I think that I am a unique person, who is willing to learn, to develop, to refine, and to move on. I overcome hurdles. I never give up on myself, on the greater part of me who is a crazy inventor, a creative, and an utopist. I endlessly strive to make the world a better place! 

That is my success.