“Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.”
Happy new year! Have to taken some time to do a ‘year in review’ ritual? In my family – we review our individual accomplishments, then make a list of things/behaviors/conditions we are ready to release, as well as a list of ‘happy dreams/goals/intentions’ for the year ahead. This year I’m adding a new ‘wish’ the list: doing something that scares me every day! Fear is the biggest joy and creativity blocker ever. Our brains grow every time we take risks and do things differently. If you do nothing else this new year – make friends with change. Explore more. Try things that look interesting. Pursue your curiosities. And experiment with new ways to play. Most of us have forgotten how to be silly. Just the act of laughing can positively change your outlook and your life!
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
Don’t settle. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
The simple collage pictured above is my tribute to Steve Jobs, originality and playfulness. I thought about getting a tatoo of the “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” quote, but my creative alternative is producing a lazer cut rubber bracelet that just looks like a tattoo! Anyone out there have any design ideas? I am looking for a ‘quote product’ production partner. If you’re interested, send a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
2011 was a big year for accomplishments for me: I completed my Master of Science degree, got accepted to Saybrook University and began my doctoral studies. I was also hired as adjunct faculty to teach Creative Process at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. The experience has been amazing! My next goal it to earn my PhD in Psychology + Creativity to become a full professor. As a result of my Saybrook experience and the magical mentorship of Dr. Ruth Richards, I’ve been published in a peer reviewed journal (Neuroquantology) and I launched my first research project in partnership with my professor. My research question was: “How do you define creativity?” The initial findings show many people associate creativity with expression, imagination, and being inspired to bring something new into being. When I think about it, I wonder: “Is there any form of expression which is NOT creative?” What do you think?
keep tremendously interested in it.”
Natalie Rogers has published an all-in-one guide to group facilitation titled: The Creative Connection for Groups ~ Person-Centered Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change, which, I believe, has the power to impact personal and global transformation and healing. Every step of her unique, intermodal expressive arts process is explained in a way which allows readers to take part in the exercises as if they were participating in a workshop intensive. The tools, procedures, and resources designed to initiate creative action have all been included, making it a ‘must have’ book for anyone ready to stimulate growth through expressive creative action.This book is a soulful wake-up call for a world in crisis which requires new ways of seeing, acting, and being to begin the journey toward peace through community engagement. Natalie Rogers writes: “Using creative expression to get acquainted with oneself – one’ values, thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams – is imperative in today’s world” (p. 4). The next step – using expressive arts to build community and move in the direction of inner and world peace – is the goal closest to Rogers’ heart. The underlying theme of the book is encouragement of expressive arts being used in groups as a vehicle for personal growth, transpersonal work, and building a sense of belonging and community (Rogers, 2011, p. 208).
The book is divided into 3 main parts: Part I – covers the theories and concepts incorporated into person-centered expressive arts, and outlines Rogers’ unique system which weaves together movement and expression to fully awaken creativity and consciousness. Carl Rogers’ philosophies for working with groups, in addition to step-by-step facilitation guidelines Natalie Rogers developed over the past 35 years doing this work around the world, are also included. Part II looks at the way groups work. In this section the author shares nearly every aspect of a typical facilitation. She details the processes and guidelines from saying ‘hello’ to facilitating closure, as well as managing the ‘hard’ emotions and ‘shadow’ moments which are bound to appear. Specific examples are shared and participant perspectives are peppered throughout. Section 3 is a showcase of the work person-centered expressive arts practitioners are doing with different populations nationally and internationally. It is a beautiful testimony to the power of this work to heal and make a positive difference. The exercises and meditations in this book, applied, can be transformational. The author held nothing back. This text is as much an ‘expressive arts tool kit’ as it is a guide for multi-modal group facilitation. The resource section is another priceless addition.
“Creativity is like freedom: once you taste it, you cannot life without it. It is a transformational force, enhancing self-esteem and self-empowerment.”
Natalie Rogers, The Creative Connection: Expressive Art as Healing
Elliot Samuel Paul
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