Friday, September 07, 2007
Resilience, restoration, and renewal.
Are you happy?
Do you find your life satisfying?
Do you find your beliefs or personal philosophy sustains you?
Do you find that you are always learning new things from the people you work with?
Do you feel connected to others at your work? (Is it a collaborative or competitive place to work?)
Do you feel calm most of the time?
Do you have a good balance between your work and your free time?
Do you feel that you have friends you can talk with about highly stressful experiences?
Does working with those you help bring you a great deal of satisfaction?
Do you feel invigorated after work, at the end of the day?
Have you become the person you always wanted to be?
If you answer "maybe not" to any of these questions, you might like to consider the idea of building resilience. Doesn't building resilience sound like an interesting or encouraging idea? If you are in Ohio at the end of the month, I'll be doing the keynote address for the Buckeye Art Therapy Association's 2007 symposium; Altered Art: Art as Therapy for Restoration & Renewal in Dublin, Ohio on September 28 and 29.
This keynote,14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life: Creating a Mail Art Community to Build Resilience and Happiness, will be examining the increasing need for resilience strategies in our work as art therapists, both for our selves and for the people we work with. With ever increasing work loads and ever dwindling budgets in social services, and with the growing divide between folks who have "enough" and folks who don't, symptoms like "compassion fatigue" and "anomic depression" are on the rise. But fortunately the answers to these problems are within our reach! In fact the answers are probably much closer than you would imagine.
My little talk and slide show will explain the "14 secrets" in terms of resilience strategies which psychologists and trauma recovery specialists have been writing about, how Susan Anand and I incorporated these ideas in workshops after Katrina on the Mississippi gulf coast, and how they are used now in the virtual art room of "14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life," how within this virtual art room we are actually practicing resilience, restoration, and renewal every day, through art making.