Art and Connections ….
Intention of this post is to share and simplify the concept of resilience – add more wellness to our everyday lives
My story of choosing resilience
Personalising the concept I always knew the meaning of resilience – yes – it seems simple and easy – but there are times when I have struggled to be resilient in some circumstances.
I have needed to break things down for myself –what are my values goals and experiences that are meaningful to me.
I have found immense value in the power of words and language
Making scripts , using words to describe the current context and my goals
Breaking it down to personalised snapshots has helped me to embrace resilience and wellness.
The power of words : Using words as how it has helped me to internalise the concept of resilience ….
Resilience for me is about
Being able to manage ourselves, being calm even when we have new challenges
Finding positive and meaningful ways of connecting to our experiences. Feeling healthy and happy within ourselves
Having the readiness to take on new experiences.
In my next post I will share a visual of how resilience happens ….so you can get creative in crafting your own journey of resilience …..
Swimming for fitness , music and art are some of my interests that adds to my reservoir of wellness ….
I write this with conviction …… as having grown into a better version of myself through my creative ventures.
The intention of sharing this is- you might want to find a simple way to identify and connect to the artist within you.
Art creates a forum for meaningful talk…. and helps us to connect and relate to our social world. As a young mum, I introduced both my boys to art at a very early age – as a family we had and continue to have heaps of fun with paper, pencils and lots of colours.
Here is the story of my Love4acause
Initially I did my art for fun and I realised that I loved it so much. The bonus was my family and friends were appreciative of my art. My friends who have received my piece of work as a gift were sincere in their appreciation. This motivated the start of my community artwork project. I began to make a portfolio of my art. I contributed some of my work as cards to some of charities close to my heart.
I began a community page called Love4acause in 2011- the year I organised a fund-raising event for Totara Hospice ….This was a simple sweet and most rewarding experience.Am still so thankful for the support and encouragement from friends old and new. The event was hosted at one of the local schools with performances from David House Music School and Jaye`s Dance Studio performing…
Art build on new and existing connections
- Connecting to positive kind friends helps us create nurturing experiences.
- Nurturing kind experiences help us to stay connected to ourselves and
- Grow into better version of ourselves….
- All of us have a unique strength – or capability
- Tap into your own strengths
- Take ownership of what brings joy for you
- It could be pottery, or sketching or cooking or writing
- Keep a log of your work
- Create and personalise a gift
- Share it with family your friends
- Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes
- Connect with those who have the same interest
- Enjoy and experience your wellbeing flourish 😊
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give – Kahlil Gibran
I choose to call art as an excercise in quiet thinking …..
Art and Wellbeing
To my dear readers,
In today`s post I write on art and reflection . When I work on my art – I find this an intensely peaceful and calming exercise …. This has a significant impact on wellbeing.
Art helps us to connect with your inner self – you choose the colours you like and create shapes that is unique to your liking.
When we engage in art we grow quiet and still; this quietness is very calming for the brain.
When we spend time in thinking or reflecting – we create a very calming space within us.
Taking time to reflect facilitates qualities and values such as kindness and compassion.
Practising any creative activity that is nurturing allows us to be better thinkers and learners.
Cherish routines that has ample scope for thinking and reflection …. walking, swimming, meditating and of course painting. I love to walk and swim; I take time for ,myself to think and feel sheer joy in painting.
INTENTION : In sharing this, my wish for you is to take up something creative, get immersed in the joy of creating – be it making a delightful meal, or learning a new song or painting your unique picture.
I have shared 3 of my artwork with a wee history of it`s making …..
Faith – was a picture that I created for my friend ; I painted on a coaster – and it turned out right 🙂
Tagore- was an artist, musician , and poet – he was also the first non European to win the Nobel prize for Literature. I have a great respect for him and did this piece of work for my study.
Abel Tasman: Was about remembering our hike across the spectacular Abel Tasman on a beautiful summer day
Taking up art:
- Focus on the feeling of calm when you sketch or paint
- Give your art work a name – even if you think it looks like a scribble – it is still unique
- Keep a visual diary
- Tune into nature
- Use nature as a visual for inspiration
- Familiarise yourself with artworks that please you
- Visit exhibitions, galleries, museums
- Enjoy the present moment &
- Have a lot of fun ….. 🙂
Visual art aids in wellbeing ….and so I say 😊
My love for colours and tryst with art started right from my pre-school days. In my early days I recall vividly that I would just amuse myself working on walls of colours– first a blue , then a green , then a yellow and so on….. Am not sure at what point I delved into simple forms of art – a house with a red roof, a tree and then more….
This is how art evolved for me….The intention of today`s writing is to affirm all of the positives that come from taking up art …..
Here`s to what does for wellbeing…..
The act of drawing or sketching or painting is done mindfully and with care. Art helps one to stay connected with the present
The repetitive nature of tracing on a line is peaceful or
Painting – working on strokes until you get the colour and effects right – is one of the best forms of therapy.
Art is about being in the present moment
Art is therefore very calming and promotes wellness
Art and the brain
Working on act that is calming , quiet and peaceful – is very good for the brain.
How this works…..
Remember we think of the brain as a four layered box – starting from the
# 4 bottom most layer the stem that looks after the fright or flight response
# 3 movement- the layer in charge of movement
#2 the feelings- the layer that takes care of our feelings and
# 1 the learning or the thinking part of the brain
So when we work on art, the stem of the brain is relaxed.
When the stem of the brain is relaxed we feel peaceful.
When we feel peaceful we are able to focus better on our day to day lives
Studies in brain science indicates that feeling peaceful allows for new braincells to be formed.
This allows us to feel strong and well and resilient.
A bit about Endorphins :
Studies also show that when you enjoy an activity such as art – the brain releases a happy hormone called endorphins.
Endorphins help in having a happy healthy brain.
So let`s Reach4Art – one moment in time ….
In this post, I am writing some simple truths on how our brain works …. This is based on the books I have read and the knowledge I have gained in my study and work around learning, wellness and behaviour
Knowing how the brain works – has helped me immensely in my own wellness .
The brain is a powerful organ in our body; It is connected to our head -and so looks after -how we think and how we feel and then how we act
The Brain as a four layered box
Think of the brain as a four layered box- Each layer of the brain has a function and a role to play
The Stem of the brain The bottom most part of the brain is called the stem of the brain -the stem is very sensitive and it picks up any threats or insecurities that we feel-
Movement The thirdlayer – just on top of the stem looks after our movement .
Feelings : The second layer of the brain looks after our feelings. This part of the brain is also called the limbic region. Feelings of sadness, fear ( being scared) ,anger and happiness happen in this region of the brain
Learning The top most layer of the brain looks after how we think and how we learn.This part of the brain is also called the cortical region or the prefrontal cortex . Scientists say that this part of the brain can change and become stronger when we learn or when we enjoy new experiences.
Sadness, fear ( being afraid) and anger are feelings that impact on your wellness. This means these feelings increase your stress levels and therefore not good for your health and well being.
When there is an increase in stress levels , we tend to become unwell
The three feelings that are not good for your wellness are also not good for your brain . This means when you feel sad or angry or scared , your brain is not going to be working at it`s best.
What happens to our brain when we feel sadness, anger or fear ( being scared ) ??
The brain is powerful organ of our body
The lowest part of the brain is the stem of the brain. The stem of the brain is highly sensitive ,It acts like a siren whenever we feel uncomfortable or not ok
So when we feel sad or angry or scared , the stem of the brain picks up the signals.
The stem then releases chemicals that travel up to our thinking part of the brain.
Just to make it easy lets call the chemicals as” clouds”.
So when we feel angry – angry clouds are released into the brain that travels up to the thinking spot.It sits on the thinking spot and prevents us from learning and thinking clearly .
When we feel sad- sad clouds are released into the brain and it hits the thinking spot and prevents us from learning and thinking.
FEAR OR BEING SCARED
Similarly when we feel afraid or scared or in fear – we have these worried clouds that hit the thinking sport and stops us from learning and thinking clearly
It is okay to feel angry or sad or scared – these are emotions that we are always going to feel at different times in our lives .
CHECK IN AND BE MINDFUL
What we need to be mindful is – we need to keep these 3 clouds or feelings ( anger, scared ( fear) and sadness in check.
How do we keep them in check .- because for some of us – we have these feelings visit us almost everyday??
STEPS TO KEEP THE 3 CLOUDS AWAY
Make a plan
Follow simple excercises that allows us to feel stronger each day
Talk to a person that we trust
Think of or imagine a happy picture
Find a safe and quiet place
Focus on breathing
Listen to music
Choose to be kind
Objective : The primary intention is to offer “tools of wellness” that improves individual well-being.
“Tools of wellness” adds immense value to one`s journey – how we engage and present ourselves at a personal level -in our day to day lives has a significant impact on our professionalism.
The art of keeping well – self-care , taking care of yourself , the prime need for safety is an inherent need for all of mankind.
Having been through intensely challenging experiences , I have found that practising the principle of connectedness has been immensely valuable.
Connectedness is about staying close to oneself , immersing in new experiences and forming healthy connections.
- Staying close to myself includes-my interests , my values, the things that make me smile…
- Forming trusting connections through diverse new experiences has been most affirming in seeing myself through being safe , well and happy
The primary aim is to share my creative wellness space
- As a resource kit elaborating on “ tools of wellness” that has enabled me to walk through the challenges of my personal journey.
- In doing so, I aspire for each of my readers to tap into your wellness potential – to reflect , to relate and to foster resilience.
Why Now ???
I am fortunate to do what I love and love what I do – day after day.
Having grown from my life and work experiences- I have always wanted to share my knowledge and make my contribution to community wellness and resilience in some small way.
So this year I made a plan to run a wellbeing workshop for women at the Nathan Homestead. Participation and entry to the workshop was free and numbers needed was 8. I made a very personal note to myself that the workshop will begin even if I had just one person attending the workshop.
This was a community event and this was to begin in Term 2.
However, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the wellbeing workshop being postponed indefinitely.
There has been so many disruptions to people`s lives –and so many of us have had to face the impact of the pandemic –ranging from job loss to not being able to say good-bye to loved ones.
Instead of waiting indefinitely to run my wellbeing workshop, I made a decision that now is the time to share my knowledge on wellness and resilience through this blogpost.
The intention is to cue you my readers in making constructive creative choices in your wellness journey. I am mindful that my writing style,perhaps my cultural nuances and experiences might not always resonate with all of your views – however even if the ideas shared here adds value to one person`s wellness, I would take that as my personal milestone- with utmost humility and gratitude.
“He that does good to another does good also to himself , not only in the consequence but in the very act. For the consciousness of well-doing is in itself ample reward” – Seneca
I will in a later post elaborate on the significance of finding meaningful experiences -and its impact on individual wellbeing . For now , I will add my verse ….on walking the Milford Track early 2018
Purpose Driven Connections
About traversing finest walk in the world’ …
It started with
The lure of all things pristine
blue greeen hues
The wooded terrain
The Climb to the steep and
Thence the descent
Through the heavily cobbled track
what kept the smile is
of the human spirit
At its’ finest….
Venturing on a cause
giving back to the universe
Just a fraction of the
the eyes behold