Since I’ve been on WordPress, I have met some of the most intelligent, talented, and compassionate bloggers. People who are passionate about helping others. People who have become the change they want to see. Meet Jo Murphy. She has a master’s degree, Master in Education (Creative Arts), and is currently working towards recommencing a Ph.D. Her passion is the development of Communities of eLearning Inquiry and Practice.
Jo states thatExplorations of Positive Intelligence and Collective Intelligence and the concept of Noosphere as first developed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ have inspired her as she prepared to publish a middle years Creative Arts Text called Global Citizen. Her work is on sale at Amazon. Jo’s concept is brilliant and innovative. A few paragraphs in my post will not do her work justice, so please visit her blog Global Citizens Art. I can’t recommend it enough.
Jo also uses her compassion, talent, and other educational skills to work with refugees. Through art, she helps those refugees, who’ve had traumatic experiences, to understand their situation and assists in bringing some healing and closure to their grief. For example, she’ll take personal images, e.g., happy memories, and make jigsaw puzzles from those images. I see it as symbolic: putting the pieces of someone’s life back together. Jo states in her blog:
“I have started with Jigsaw creation because it acts as an analogy. Over and over again students will experience the bringing together of disparate pieces to become a unified whole. As this technique emerges, over a period of time the idea behind Jacobs Process will “take”.
“Whenever you think this is all becoming overwhelming think of a hard jigsaw and remember that eventually the pieces will all fit together to form one larger unified story (image).
Using the arts for curtailing anxiety, and healing trauma, has been effective for me, especially if I’ve had flashbacks that can take the wind out of my sails. Sometimes I look on or offline at creative images.
I generally look at abstract art, fractals, and nature photos. Viewing images of clear, turquoise waters has a calming effect on me. I visualize myself lying on those sandy, white beaches, feeling the warmth of the life-giving sun on my skin, and hearing the repetitive sound of the waves as they lap gently on shore.
Sometimes I listen to upbeat music that can increase my brainwaves to a pleasant alpha/beta brainwave state (sensorimotor rhythm – SMR). This process is called a cortical evoked response a.k.a. frequency following response.
Basically, when rhythms that resemble natural internal brainwave activities or brain states are presented to the brain, the brain synchronizes its own electric cycles producing comparable states of mind. Source.
So when I listen to music with beats at regular intervals (isochronic), my own brainwaves can entrain to the musical beats. To bring my brainwaves to the desired upper alpha to SMR (sensorimotor rhythm) range.
One of my favorite therapeutic outlets now is making videos. It’s fun looking for the right music to use for a specific project, as well as searching for images. Below is one of the first videos I made while I was learning Windows Live Movie Maker. The colors and imaginative shapes in the images, the positive message from one of my favorite quotes, and the beat and uniqueness of the music help lift my spirits. I can experience endorphins. Endorphins reduce the sensation of pain and positively affect emotions. As Jo eloquently stated:
“pieces will all fit together to form one larger unified story.”
Header image courtesy of Morguefile.com