Monday, November 24, 2014

Arts and Medicine. Do it!

"Due to the rapid development of technology in the last 100 years, our attention was drawn to the physical realm, and we lost our connection with the deep and powerful mystery of our consciousness. Re-integrating arts and medicine can restore that connection.

Created in one of our programs by cancer survivor H.McD
The power of our minds and our thoughts are biologically unexplainable in the full capacity they deserve. Our thoughts -- positive or negative -- are what trigger our brains to release the neurotransmitters that affect mood and health. Neuroimmunology teaches us that extensive bi-directional communication takes place between the nervous and the immune systems in both health and disease.

In a simplified way:
If ARTS affect emotions, and
EMOTIONS affect health then
arts affect HEALTH.

We don't question the existence of hospitals, because they take care of our bodies. We don't question the existence of museums, concert halls or arts in other forms, because that's how we express our emotions and address the needs of our mind and spirit.

If humans comprise "body, mind, and spirit," then why do we question the coexistence of arts and medicine?

Why would it be so unexpected to see well-curated art on the walls of a hospital or hear beautiful live music in the waiting areas?

Arts and Medicine. Do it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Speaking from the Heart

What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
T.S.  Eliot -  Four Quartets

No matter where you are in your cancer journey, life has changed!
And we enter what Dr. Seuss refers to as "The Waiting Place".

The last book he published before his death was fittingly a serious tale of the ups and down of life. 
What was Dr.Seuss's last book?  Oh, The Places You'll Go! is one of the two cotenders.  Keep reading to find out more.
"You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting..."

What we often times call the beginning is really marking the end of something.  This “something” can be the end of a job, the end of living in a certain place, the end of a friendship, or the temporary loss of health, the loss of a body part or the loss of a life.  The end is where we begin, where we start anew.  For this to happen we must grieve our losses.  Just as everyone is an individual, everyone mourns in his or her own personal way and in his or her own time.  On the average it can take 18 - 24 months to complete the mourning process - for children much longer.  

The grieving, mourning process allows us to begin again, to open our heart to change and to new possibilities, to start again. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Don't be Afraid to Draw

Here is one of mine done at Penland.
I stumbled upon this on and it reminded me of the surrealist's game - exquisite corpse, which is a fantastic, playful way to draw collaboratively. Try this, when you are feeling down, stuck, or uncertain how you feel.  Gather a couple of pals or family members and don't worry about drawing the face, simply cut and paste an image and start drawing.

so graphic artist Mica Angela Hendricks was working in a brand new sketchbook when her four-year-old asked her if she could work on the drawings too. 
Hendricks wrote about the beginning of the project on her blog:
"Can I draw in that too, mama?” I have to admit, the girl knows good art supplies when she sees them. I muttered something about how it was my special book, how she had her own supplies and blah blah blah, but the appeal of new art supplies was too much for her to resist. In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”
Oh no she didn’t! Girlfriend was using my own mommy-words at me! Impressed, I agreed to comply. “I was going to draw a body on this lady’s face,” I said. “Well, I will do it,” she said very focused, and grabbed the pen."
Ah!  Embrace your childhood artist self and draw.