Monday, February 06, 2006

When a door opens...

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Continuing with earlier posts of Artist's Happiness Challenges (Sept. 2005), this collage was in response to a "happiness challenge" about doors closing and opening. Think about when doors have closed in life and then when doors opened, subsequently. After some thought create a collage on this theme. There is some anxiety about the unknown open door, but a lot of hope and strength come to mind when you actually realize that there have been many doors shutting and many new ones opening. (for a pdf of first 6 challenges, see

On an art therapy e-list, in answer to the idea of looming climate change and out of control human behavior, I suggested we help ourselves fall in love a little more with this earth, with our fellow beings, and even with ourselves. (If I were to start up my own tag game, see previous blog, I would phrase these as questions, how do we...)

Diana Milla said:
1. Lose the telescreen, I mean television. You will suddenly be blessed
with stretches of unstructured (free!) time, you will be surprised to
rediscover a sense of privacy--in your home and in your mind, which will
gradually cleanse itself of soul destroying waste matter. If you need
further encouragement read, or reread, Orwell's 1984.

2. Buy original art that you love, preferably while the artist is still
alive. Trading and creating are good, but buying art is different. Most
fine art is extremely undervalued, while most consumer goods are
outrageously overpriced besides carrying the moral burden of human
exploitation. I can't think of any purchases I've made that have brought
more deep pleasure and lasting value than paintings or other works of
art. No, not wearable art, or other utilitarian art---I mean art for pure
aesthetic enjoyment. When you buy an artwork, its value is increased. I
think that buying art is subversive because only the rich are supposed to
be able to afford it...the rest of us are expected to make do with
overpriced mass produced trash that we mostly don't need and that
diminishes rather than improves our quality of life.

And Christine Doyle of Quebec said:

I think gardening/farming is definitely a great way to "fall in love," as
Lani says, with the earth. And all the food you raise doesn't have to come
by transport truck to your door. A government pamphlet recently reported
that meals, in Canada travel an average of 2500 kms to the plate! Holy
smokes! You might be interested in the writings of U.S. agricultural
economist, John Ikerd. I've blinked his paper "Reclaiming the spiritual
roots of farming." Here's the address: He is
a prolific writer and offers many thought-provoking papers about agriculture and our relationship to land and it's cultivation. I see parallels between the way we cultivate the earth and the way we cultivate ourselves.

It also seems to me that these things are all steps towards becoming whole again. We reclaim our ability to care for ourselves directly, with our own bodies: we grow a garden and feed ourselves; we use home remedies and preventive care to maintain physical health. We devote time to creative activity to nourish our spirit, and help us in the day to day resolution of life problems.


So anyone want to play "Tag, your it!" How do YOU learn to fall in love with this earth a little more?
And with your fellow beings?
And with yourself?"


soren said...

did you write an actual post about happiness challenges, or did you just mean your post about other art challenges? I'm not an art therapist, but I try to use art as my own therapy, and I wish I had some kinds of art therapy challenges to give myself!

Lani said...

There are six art challenges based on the work of positive psychologists which are really very enjoyable and VERY interesting to do. You have to go back to September 2005 to find them.
Or I could email the pdf file for you.