I just found out the other day that they told my parents I would be lucky to last another year. Then they gave my original kidney two years before I would have to go on dialysis. My kidneys actually ended up holding out until I was I had to go on dialysis when I was 12, spent four years on dialysis, and then got a kidney transplant in I went back on dialysis in January JW: And how do you keep your spirits up?
SB : Writing is my outlet. I started writing early. It just started coming out, so I focused on writing. Instead of screaming or getting angry, I sat down and wrote. JW: When you write, is it poetry or journaling or…? I found that over the past, my writing is a stream of consciousness. I just write. I never took a poetry class. I just let it come out. I just sit down and whatever comes out comes out. JW: What do you do with the terrible ones?
I will fill them then burn to release it. JW: You mentioned how writing is a release for you, can you speak more about what that process is like and what that feels like? And the process? Most of my writing now is on my phone in random places. There is no process. I write wherever. Even when I am driving, a line or thought I want to write on will come to me and I try to remember it so I can write it down later. JW: Tell me about your paintings. SB: I dabble in painting. I picked up acrylics six or seven years ago. I pick the colors and throw it out there and see what happens.
And if I look at the canvas and feel like something is missing from one area, I throw another color there. JW: What kind of music do you play [when you are painting]? SB: It depends on my mood. JW: You and I believe there is healing value to artistic expression.provalemascu.tk/4462.php
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Based on your experience, what would you tell a cynic? SB: I think they are doing it for the wrong reasons. JW: Do you have artists — be it painters, writers, photographers, and on — who speak to you? Everything he wrote was raw. If you look at his personal life he was a mess but some amazing things came out of that.
Beat poetry has also influenced me. JW: I know you have a foundation as well. I questioned my life several time and its direction. I want to use my passion for film, as well, to raise awareness. Best way to reach people now is social media. Why not use it to build awareness?
The response is huge. I talk to patients all over the US and Canada. I would love to be financially stable but this work is my passion. Kidney disease stats are alarming. If we educate before so that people take better care of themselves, multi-tiered level — local, national and global—and be a resource. No one really is highlighting the research. JW: You mentioned film. What are you doing in that genre? SB : I started a documentary about my journey. January is our launch date to start monthly broadcasts to highlight patients and put face on the disease -- who they are and how they deal with disease.
We will start with North Carolina patients, though my desire is to grow to national and global level. We will highlight those living their lives to the fullest, and difficult stories. JW: Scott, this has been both enlightening and inspiring. What would you like to share as we close? SB: What it comes down to, at the end of the day, is this life is more about what you have done and what you leave behind. There are people who are healthy and do nothing with their life. They take their health for granted. We live in a culture where we can emphasize life as legacy and helping others.
JW: Thank you. Yet she is so much more than her training and job title. Sarah is a prolific painter. Her most recent show, a series of pulp fiction inspired self-portraits, focused on the painful process of overcoming heartbreak. She is an avid photographer, tee-shirt screen printer, and found-item archivist. She sings old-time jazz and rock and roll with her band, The Old-Fashioneds. How did you become the luminous being that you are today?
They were both very creative people. My dad is still alive, and he continues to be a really creative person. Or are there pieces of self-doubt or self-esteem that come into play there? Or all three? What I see in you are the paintings you create, your music, the hilarious things you post on Facebook. Do you feel that way? I think we often think of creativity in regards to the end product: a painting or sculpture or novel. SJ: I love that. How do I meet each moment of consciousness in a way that tickles me? How do I note those moments of consciousness in ways that strengthen me and, in turn, strengthen others?
How did you bring that into your life and what does that look like for you? It was a buzzword in my profession and it sounded like something I could use to help my clients. CB: What were some of the changes you noticed? SJ: What I noticed first was that I noticed more. Giving myself space to breath calmed my mind a little and allowed me to notice more about what was going on in my body, in my head, around me. I discovered things I liked better, and taught me what I wanted to focus on more.
I learned how to play with my attention span, and where to place my attention. As a recovering perfectionist, I was much more avoidant of things than I was aware of. Mindfulness pushed me to be a little more flexible, or to try things I might not excel at, which opened up new worlds for me. I think a lot of women, in particular, walk around with a tight-fitting suit of armor, trying to hold ourselves in, trying to contain ourselves.
Some of those feelings have really important information for me about who I want to be. We re-evaluate, people die, things change, and sometimes we need to be a mess. Awareness and mindfulness keeps it from becoming a messy mess. Being honest about what is hard is freeing. SJ: What else are we gonna do? I can do the dishes anytime I want. They might not like it. I can choose. CB : In your own life, how have you found creativity to be a healing experience for you? Kinesthetic creating has been what really helps me break free from sticky thoughts, memories, or experiences.
My most recent art show was about the difficult process of healing after heartbreak. I felt fundamentally different after hanging those nine paintings on the wall in the space where I showed them. A corner was turned.
But something major shifted in me, from the inception of the paintings to putting them down in my sketchbook, to posing for the photos it was a self-portrait series which was so hard to do … every part of the process was healing for me. Creativity saves my life in many, many ways. How do those compare for you?
Sculpture Speaks By Lisa Fedon
Music has always been a part of my life. As a young person, I lived and breathed music. I started piano lessons at age four. I never practiced. I know you knew I was sight-reading every lesson. So performing now gives me an outlet for that creative impulse. It helps settle my brain, get energy out, and connect with other people in a fun way. Painting and multimedia work is deeper. The messier parts of being human. I need to create some space for those to be born.
You described yourself as undisciplined. What do you make of that? It makes sense to me. Forcing creativity is not being true to my own process. I need to give myself permission to be who I am and to process how I do. What I need most is space and time to create, spontaneously. SJ: Absolutely. I see that as my purpose, my cause. So when I fall out of balance, the incongruence is that much more obvious. What I encourage others to do, I have to do as well. Some of our readers may be interested in incorporating mindfulness into their lives.
What advice would you give them? SJ: Start with the breath. Put your hand on your belly, take a deep breath in, feel your belly expand, and let it back out. Do that one time. Learn how that feels. Mindfulness is not our natural state of being. I burned hard boiled eggs while writing a curriculum for a mindfulness workshop. So practice. Put reminders in your day to practice, like a mindfulness bell on your computer that goes off every hour to remind you to take a deep breath, or build it into your phone, or have a friend remind you to breath, or Post-It notes.
My cat is my role model for mindfulness, by the way. CB: Cats are amazing teachers. Not only are they mindful, but they never feel guilty about taking an afternoon off to sleep. We have so much to learn from them. So, as we wrap up this interview, what else would you like to add to the conversation? I value leaning into my natural inclination to be creative, without even thinking about it, and to build on those strengths to become more flexible in my day to day life. And I love seeing the infinite ways that people can be creative, to connect with others and learn from their process, too.
To learn more about Sarah J. Summer Snapdragon Journal. Wesley Days, Ph. Jacinta White: At Snapdragon Journal, we believe there is power in art to heal individuals and communities. Wesley Days : I do believe there is power in art to heal individuals and communities. Art has healing components within it. I have both witnessed and participated in conventions that draw on inner beauty, humanity, and raw emotional power.
However, it is extremely difficult to perform these roles. It requires a certain dexterity, adroitness, gratitude, ingenuity and inventiveness. And perhaps what is most difficult, often one must relinquish control to others. Paul Gauguin's binary comes to mind here: "There are only two kinds of artists -- revolutionaries and plagiarists.
Art offers a guide on how to recreate one's beliefs and assumptions to reconcile with dynamic human environs. Pulling from illusion, image, metaphor and gifting to reality. The art of free-form group facilitation can transform difficult conversations and topics into exciting, important, rewarding, and even fun aspects of a person's growth and development. JW : When did you first recognize that art builds community? WD : I recognized that art builds community from my first conscious moments, starting with my nuclear family and into my extended family. Art of all forms was the happiest moments of coming-together; in play, in artistic mimicry, spiritual acknowledgement, in artistic reverence.
On my life journey, one example that comes quickly to mind was working in numerous Somali reconciliation conferences in the Horn of Africa. We talked hardcore politics but always made time for Somali poetry which is didactic and answers profound existential questions. When poetry would enter, it changed the atmosphere of the room. If, as the saying goes, "the first victim in war is truth," then the most important victim in the Somali wars has been their poetry.
Art builds community by learning to trust creative impulses, seeking spontaneity in one's work, losing self-consciousness, developing confidence and trusting others in taking risks, enhancing powers of observation and concentration, and strengthening self-discipline. JW : Tell us more about the work you do specifically using art as community building. WD : The unique side of my work is in its embodied performance and improvisation within an African aesthetic to produce what Yale Scholar Robert Farris Thompson describes as a spirit-driven, body-fed, An community sustaining "exaltation," a boundary-jumping quality.
The performance-based facilitator creates on multiple planes simultaneously investigating, empathizing, persuading, inventing and distracting. Art unpacks the almost incomprehensible complexity of identity. Often in facilitated exercises, I ask participants to present different aspects of our identity through various channels with each partner, under the assumption that such a task is easily performed. Yet, it should be recognized that identity is not akin to box of crayons open to meticulous selection and extraction of distinct units.
Still, my work explores all the levels of our identities and delivers them in unfamiliar contexts, a process which, above all, accentuates the fact that identity is a complex, chaotic web of qualities, events, emotions, preferences, etc. This amalgamation that is our identity is always subject to transformation. As a chaotic system, the slightest, most trivial event can radically alter our identity in ways that we could never have expected.
In terms of conflict transformation, the chaos and complexity of human identity and the processes of identity formation, play a significant role in determining the manifestation of particular methods and outcomes. Apparent are the ways in which situations conflictual or otherwise transform one's identity and simultaneously how one's preexisting identity shapes new circumstances marked by varying degrees of conflict. We embark with the bold intent of discovering what and in what context, or rather how and why "seemingly insignificant" events served to drastically transform identity and how the polarities of our identity interact in a balance at the "edge of chaos.
The movement and ritual practices that are drawn upon and created in my symposium will demonstrate the spirit of negotiation in a community striving for coexistence. What, then, is the role of the arts, specifically movement, music, and ritual theatre within a multidimensional approach to conflict transformation? Following along tradition of innovation, as artists at the intersection, my response is a collection of post-modern, hybrid ritual practices designed to stimulate debate about the opportunities for and limits to conflict transformation through artistic methods.
WD : [Quoting Adonis Ali Ahmed Said] "When the Sufi poet enters a world of transformations, he can leave it only by transformative writing; waves of illuminating images which do not bear scrutiny by reasonable or logical means and through which reality itself is transformed into a dream. Where people lose sight of another possibility of existing. People get so caught up in what they have seen or know, they forget to use their imagination, thus forcing the facilitator to drag them into the world of creation. JW: As arts practice continues to gain ground in the US and around the world, what do you see is next?
Or what would you like to see happen next to expand the work of art in community? WD : I will continue to enjoy the proof-of-work going on around the world whether that be an article that shows the neurobiological role of Art in social bonding or experiments in Mimetic Transposition. I would like to see arts practice utilized with block chain technology, decentralized autonomous organizations and smart contracts.
JW : Ha, say more. WD : Well, there's cutting edge technology coming forth that's allowing companies to build equity in a more transparent way. I would like to see that happening more in the nonprofit sector and in community organizations. I wish I could say more but this technology just came out this year and it's very new, so we are all in the infancy stages of understanding its potential. I just want to make sure everyone'sat the table. WD : Right. Equitable access to doing this work.
I so easily see this area being "gentrified. JW : Talk some about space. Locale, room, space are important to me. What are your thoughts as a facilitator? WD : Yes. A facilitation space is an instantaneous configuration of experiences. While at UCLA I was a teaching fellow that taught to undergrads the skills to use artistic mediums in peace building with a special focus on group and partner movement exercises with musicians and interactive theater and ritual group process.
JW : I can imagine how much of an impact that was for participants.
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WD : Special attention was given to the intersections, parallels and divergences among the social constructs of the students themselves such as race, class, language, age, gender and sexuality providing relevant and concrete issues for community transformation through communication non-verbal and dialogue. Very powerful. JW: Wesley, as we close, is there anything you would like to add? WD : In closing, I would like to leave you with questions.
The questions that I still grapple with. That I will probably take to my death without satisfactory answers. How long can movement and music lower defenses of participants in a co-existence process? How do ritual theater exercises, with music playing an equal part as actor itself, allow persons to see and understand the "other" or "enemy" perspectives to which they were not pre-disposed? How can collective, creative group processes with music and movement form bonds between people at war with one another?
What psychological perception-shift processes occur when music and movement activities are applied to people socialized to hate and mistrust? How does one measure the effectiveness of a particular movement exercise in creating empathy for persons outside one'sown group?
What is the role of a facilitator who uses creative processes and how does the facilitator'straining and experience shape that process? JW : Wow, these are powerful questions. We join you in contemplation and invite our readers to do the same. DuBois description of the necessity of art in our lives parallels a successful facilitation session: "taking us outside ourselves" a matter of trying to create an atmosphere and context so conversation can flow back and forth and we can be influenced by each other. JW:Thank you, Wesley. We look forward to following your work. WD : Peace. And, thank you.
We think of healing as a journey, and art is an essential part of that journey. Amanda Sullivan AS : During a five year period through I lost a lot of significant people in my life. At the time, I was working in a bookstore to supplement my photography business, and I was wearing myself out working all week at the bookstore and on weekends as a photographer.
In , I left the bookstore and let go of my photography business to begin working at Sawtooth. When I came here, I was surrounded by art and artists, and I remembered why I loved photography in the first place, that it was very therapeutic for me as a person. Once I was at Sawtooth, they hit me like a ton of bricks.
It occurred to me that there was a way I could combine my background in counseling my career before my kids were born with my love of the arts. That first day, I left my class and kind of went into a corner because I was so overwhelmed by the response. This class full of women had experienced all kinds of losses: loss of a child, loss of a spouse, really significant losses in their lives.
And I felt totally overwhelmed by the power of it. Some amazing things happened in that class: not only were my students healing through their direct experience with art, I was healing as well. That experienced changed my life. I realized that my passion lay in the process of using art for wellness, healing, and self-exploration.
I started photographing again, not for professional purposes, but for myself. As a writer, I have that same experience as I write through painful experiences. AS: Exactly. Like, for instance, the Zen coloring books that are popular now… they kill me! First, I feel this compulsion to stay in the lines, and second, I want all the colors to match up. I bought one of those books, colored part of one page, and gave up on it.
I buy journals, and begin writing or sketching in them, and then get frustrated when I mess up or make a mistake.
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I can include pockets for hiding notes and can add more paper when I need to. With that perspective in mind, I wanted to branch out from photography in our Wellness through the Arts program. We help our students explore what supports them in getting their emotions out. In a class I held last week, we played with acrylic paints and that was really fun. How do you help students get out of their heads about what it means to be an artist so they can tap into their inherent creativity? I finally told her to get over it. To let it go, and see where it takes you. Just let it flow.
But I think that once my students find that medium that flips their switch, that helps them get into the flow, they stop worrying about the outcome and begin to play, allowing the process to evolve. They may not make time in between our classes to do the assignments because they feel like they have to do for others instead of for themselves.
Recently, we had a couple of snow days and I decided to do nothing all day. I spent time in my PJs, painted in my watercolor journal, and simply let myself be. If all we do is work, there are going to be consequences. I encourage my students to find their way to wellness: what helps them feel healthy and alive?
And I tell them to tend to their own health so they can then be available for others. AS: Totally. I let go of myself for years, and it had really devastating results. I felt like I was spiraling downward. Just last week, I got lost in the flow photographing a dead leaf. I used different lenses, changed the light. I got lost in the intricacies of the texture and colors. This dead leaf brought wonder back into my life. AS: Yes. I also talk to my younger students at the arts-based school about mindfulness. I encourage them to stay present to the moment rather than wasting time and energy in worry.
Its core curriculum includes classical studies and will be preparing its students to develop character, truth and wisdom. This will be the 25 th year in a row that Mr. Tocco has reached out to Elementary and Middle School aged students. Brook Patterson. Judging the contest this year are Elliott W. The presentations were well received and Mr.
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