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2011 ANZATA Conference

Here is a link to information about the next Australina and New Zealand Arts Therapy conference held in Brisbane. The conference will be held from the 11th – 13th of November 2011.

http://www.anzata.org/assets/Uploads/professional/conferences/qldprogram.pdf

Personal Shrine making workshops

personalshrine_logo2

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People have created shrines for thousands of years to celebrate and honour connection to spirit, nature, significant people and important life events; in short, anything which holds meaning and deserves remembrance, such as:

  • Worship and Prayer
  • Love and Gratitude
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Healing and Wellbeing
  • Birth
  • Death
  • Relationships
  • Creative Visualisations

Our lives have become so busy that we often forget or/and have difficulties to make space for what is meaningful in our lives.

In this workshop you get to explore what really matters to you whatever that may be and create your own personal shrine to bring that into focus.

You will learn how to create a beautiful shrine from a pre cut cardboard template which is quick and easy to assemble. We use paint, collage, and found objects to decorate and embellish your sacred space.

We explore together colour, symbols and imagery to enhance the meaning of you shrine. These processes are accompanied by group sharing’s and reflective self explorations.

Shrine building is a creative process which will inspire you, hopefully in an ongoing dialogue, to focus and remember and engage with your hearts voice. These shrines can easily be repainted and redecorated again as your focus changes.

If you like to know more about shrine making and/or would like to purchase a shrine making kit visit:

www.personalshrines.com

Shrine Making Workshop Dates:

5th and 6th of November 11 @ The Twed River Art Gallery/Murwillumbah

For booking ring 02 66702790 or visit  Tweed River Art Gallery

26th Nov and 3rd of Dec @  Byron Community College/ Mullumbimby

9 am and 4:30 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM ART ROOM IN LANEWAY BEHIND CAMPUS

For bookings contact:

Byron Region Community College (02) 6684 3374 or admin@byroncollege.org.au

Other dates are possible and groups can be tailored to specific needs.

Brain Plasticity

Here an other youtube about the Mind and Brain and how lasting changes can happen through mindfulness by Dr. Rick Hanson. He is a presenter at the Buddhism and Psychotherpay conference held in Sydney on the 13th and 14th of August. You find information on http://www.buddhismandpsychotherapy.org/ You also find more information and resources on R.Hanson’s website which is http://www.rickhanson.net/

Arts in Healthcare Conference

73 Cents Mural - Nurse turned away from the patientHere some information which may be of interest about this area. The people who sent this information have a very informative website regarding arts in healthcare.

Arts in Health Conference: Call for Papers

The Society for the Arts in Healthcare is now accepting abstracts for
presentations at our 23rd annual international conference, Arts &
Health: A Global View. The conference, one of the foremost learning
and networking opportunities in the arts in health field, will be held
in Detroit, Michigan, USA, May 2nd through 5th, 2012. Presentations
will be accepted in several areas, including: Practice, Healthcare
Environments, Research and Evaluation, and Experiential Workshops. For
complete information and to submit your abstract, please visit
http://www.thesah.org/template/page.cfm?page_id=21. Abstracts must be
submitted by September 16, 2011.

Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity

brain-technologyWhat exciting times we live in! Science is questioning the most fundamental believes surrounding materialism. To question the very structures we have built our life around, opens us to new choices not previously imagined.

It seems like whatever we can imagine already creates new neural pathways in our brains. I am not an expert in these matters but have certainly taken a great interest. To me it confirms that we don’t need to continue feeling like a victim to our circumstances. Most of our blue prints are established in early childhood, when our brains were most impressionable. Some of these obviously are not serving us anymore as our circumstances change. To see and learn how we can change these unwanted and ingrained patterns is of course at the core of what most therapists would like to help their clients with.

I have had an inquisitive mind since I remember. I knew that if I could become aware of what drives my impulses and emotions I could then have some sort of control and choice in my life. In the process I also discovered that a deep acceptance of our experiences and feelings naturally invites changes. It seems to be a paradox but both are important for successful interventions in therapy.

The latest brain research explains these processes, making them more tangible and understandable from a biological point of view. This is fantastic news as we will be more motivated to learn how we can improve our lives by being mindful.

Our brains are a bit like a computer, we can learn to use it more efficiently if we understand the functions of it. Knowing that we have the choice of letting it run on automatic (running on the old programming) or using our power to change. With awareness and mindfulness we can reprogram our neural pathways and install better and more suitable programs for our present needs and situation.

What is remarkable is that now brain researchers are explaining that the brain and the mind may not be the same thing. It means that science is actually acknowledging consciousness.

It emphasises that we can look at how our brains and bodies are functioning but we don’t need to identify with anything in particular. And here of course we come very close to what spiritual teachers have taught us all along: that what we are is in essence beyond our thoughts, feelings or emotions. It is the awareness which encompasses all phenomena.

To come back to our metaphor of having a computer in our heads, there are no bad programs- just outdated ones. It is through our increasing awareness and mindfulness that the need to change arises. Patterns and reactions no longer serve us yet we can feel so stuck in our experience. Now we have extra encouragement from our scientists that the brain can change. A really popular book about this is: ‘The Brain That Changes’, by Norman Doidge M.D.

When clients have a basic understanding of the functioning of their ‘hard drive’ and awareness of the programs installed he or she will have the power to make informed decisions. I believe that it is essential for therapy to be part educational and part experiential.

I know this sounds a little pragmatic and I don’t discount in any way the power of supportive relationships. Evidence shows that empathy and connection is still one of the most important factors for clients to make positive changes. It is the two important factors: love/connection and awareness/mindfulness, which bring more peace and joy to our lives. What science now adds to the equation is that this is actually healing and re-patterning our brains. We now can justify and explain what we intuitively and experientially knew all along.

To practice mindfulness in our daily lives increases body awareness which puts us back into the driver seat, not in the sense of manipulating outer circumstances but in the way we respond to them. Our frame of mind shapes the way we see the world.

The awareness of the sensations in our bodies are really the navigating tools to know what programs are installed. Often we are not in touch with these as we have become over-focused and too dependant on our reasoning and thinking (which is often trauma related.) The amazing thing is that we don’t need to necessarily relive all the past pains. Peter Levine (specializing in trauma resolution) has shown us that with empathetic support and awareness of body sensations our organism regains naturally a balanced nervous system which is essential in living a fully engaged life.

Knowing how a systems runs installs some kind of trust in it. The most crippling factor is often that we are afraid of our feelings and emotions and that cuts us off, not only from the most important navigation tool we have; our bodies, but also from the sense of connectedness to others and the world. This is often the underlying cause of stress, anxiety, depression, addiction and other symptoms, and will certainly effect all our relationships.

It is affirming to have some explanations, not only for the benefits of mindfulness practices, but also for Psychotherapies and all forms of self enquiry. It helps to clarify and demystify these processes and as a result I believe we will be more inclined to be interested and reap their benefits.

We don’t need to be sick before we attend to our mental well being. Our state of mind is the most important factor in being able to experience joy, happiness and well-being in our lives.

It is not what we experience but how we respond to it that creates our experience of our selves. The information our body gives us (e.g. sensations, feelings and emotions) is neutral in itself and transitory. To define ourselves by this information greatly limits us in our responses and views.

These are very liberating facts if we are curious enough to explore them, not only intellectually but also experientially. These ‘understandings’ are moving us from reaction to conscious responding. This is the gift of living mindfully.

Dr. Dan Siegel explains: “Mindfulness creates space between impulse and action.” Dan Siegel has written some very interesting books about mindfulness and neuroplasticity. If you would like a little taste of what he has to say click the U-Tube below.

New Byron Region Community College Courses

11PDA053  Introduction To Arts Therapy

This will start on: Sat and run for 1 sessions from 27/8/2011 to 27/8/2011 between 9:30 am and 3 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM CAMPUS ROOM 3

11VM303  Personal Shrine Making Workshop

This will start on: Sat and run for 2 sessions from 3/9/2011 to 10/9/2011 between 9 am and 4:30 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM ART ROOM IN LANEWAY BEHIND CAMPUS

11PDA054  Introduction To Arts Therapy

This will start on: Sat and run for 1 sessions from 19/11/2011 to 19/11/2011 between 9:30 am and 3 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM CAMPUS ROOM 2

11VM304  Personal Shrine Making Workshop

This will start on: Sat and run for 2 sessions from 26/11/2011 to 3/12/2011 between 9 am and 4:30 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM ART ROOM IN LANEWAY BEHIND CAMPUS

For bookings contact:

Byron Region Community College (02) 6684 3374 or admin@byroncollege.org.au

Personal Shrine Making Workshop

personalshrine_logo2

enlarged shrines

People have created shrines for thousands of years to celebrate and honour connection to spirit, nature, significant people and important life events; in short, anything which holds meaning and deserves remembrance, such as:

  • Worship and Prayer
  • Love and Gratitude
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Healing and Wellbeing
  • Birth
  • Death
  • Relationships
  • Creative Visualisations

Our lives have become so busy that we often forget or/and have difficulties to make space for what is meaningful in our lives.

In this workshop you get to explore what really matters to you whatever that may be and create your own personal shrine to bring that into focus.

You will learn how to create a beautiful shrine from a pre cut cardboard template which is quick and easy to assemble. We use mixed media to decorate and embellish your sacred space.

We explore together colour, symbols and imagery to enhance the meaning of you shrine. These processes are accompanied by group sharing’s and reflective self explorations.

Shrine building is a creative process which will inspire you, hopefully in an ongoing dialogue, to focus and remember and engage with your hearts voice. These shrines can easily be repainted and redecorated again as your focus changes.

Workshop Dates:

27th and 28th of August 2011

2 days, each day from 10am- 4pm

Cost $147

registration and workshop @  Tweed River Art Gallery

11VM303  Personal Shrine Making Workshop

This will start on: Sat and run for 2 sessions from 3/9/2011 to 10/9/2011 between 9 am and 4:30 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM ART ROOM IN LANEWAY BEHIND CAMPUS

Other dates are possible and groups can be tailored to specific needs.

11VM304  Personal Shrine Making Workshop

This will start on: Sat and run for 2 sessions from 26/11/2011 to 3/12/2011 between 9 am and 4:30 pm

The course will be held at MULLUM ART ROOM IN LANEWAY BEHIND CAMPUS

For bookings contact:

Byron Region Community College (02) 6684 3374 or admin@byroncollege.org.au

Introduction to Arts Therapy

Participants will gain a basic understanding of the principles of Arts Therapy and its uses in different contexts. We will engage in some simple examples of experiential, interactive processes to give you a little taste of different approaches in the field of Arts Therapy.

Saturday, 28th of May 9:30am-3pm Cost $61/Cons. $55 plus $5 for materials.

Contact ACE (Byron Region Community Collage) for enrolments Ph: (02) 66843374

From Victimhood to Empowerment

We all are searching for a sense of control in our lives in order to have a feeling of safety and freedom.Losing control of life, one’s body and emotions can be a fear inducing experience. Any kind of trauma is experienced in that way and we all carry various degrees of it in some form.

I like to explore it here from a more shared existential point of view.

The sense of having to prepare and defend ourselves to unforeseen outside circumstances are at the core of what motivates most of our activities (even our spiritual search is often a getting away from what we don’t like). It is at the core of our survival instinct as human beings. This major existential fact gets mostly overlooked. Most of us are  too busy keeping life under control to explore these existential questions. Though it is exactly the fact of not having the time to look which keeps us on a merry go around. We just keep running, and it is not hard to see how this manifests all around us. What this mind set does is keeping us consistently in a fear induced, victimized position even if we aren’t quite aware of its undercurrent influence. So how can we jump of this merry-go-around of feeling at the mercy of circumstances?

I have experienced three kinds of stages of development moving from disempowerment to true empowerment. At first we are seeing no choices, then we are discovering choices and finally we are moving naturally to a kind of choiclessness.

So the first step obviously keeps us unaware and victimized, a place of feeling totally disempowered. As we are growing older and hopefully wiser and more aware of  our beleive system, we are starting to look for other ways of being and discover that we have choices in how we respond to life’s circumstances. Our responses are colored by our belief system and they create the way we perceive the world around us. We start more consciously to decide what is best for us, moving from goal to goal, realizing that ‘we get better at it’ as we focus more on our inner states.

We learn now even through quantum physics and hopefully through our own experience, that the power of thought effects our inner and outer circumstances. Some of these discoveries (like the movie “the secret”) are quite radical and hard to comprehend for some of us, but I think most people experience a sense of relief by knowing that perhaps we can wish for what we want and manifest it. We can change circumstances, by paying attention to our ‘inner’ world.

Both first two stages hold some kind of fear in its core, even though the second stage greatly enhances our life experience.

Within the third stage we move towards a kind of choicelessness. The enjoyment of the moment has moved to the foreground so that the outcomes are not the main focus anymore, but the quality of life in each moment has become central. As we are finding more joy within we naturally are loosing interest to continuously manipulate the outside world.  And strangely enough by truly not needing to change, change is happening in a more perfect way than we can imagine.

Therapy, mindfulness and meditation have a few things in common, some of them are that they are self-reflective and paradoxical.

Richard Hicner, a psychotherapist writes about the paradox in therapy:

“The only way to get to where you want to be is accepting where you are even if where you are is not where you want to be.”

In my life, changing outer circumstances never created a long lasting solution for peace.I don’t have the answers of how long it takes to ‘change one’s mind’ but I am passionate to explore ways for myself and with people in therapy to minimizing trauma and fear and maximizing peace within. It is a rewarding journey towards a greater sense of freedom and joy.

School holiday workshops for children

Monday 27th   10am-2pm

Create your own special treasure box

(children need to bring photos of people, animal or objects which are important to them.

Tuesday 28th   10am-2pm

Mask painting. Create an animal or character you would like to be.

Groups are held in Brunswick @ mycrayonheart. Directions will be forwarded after enrolement.

More school holidays activities and information @ www.mycrayonheart.com