Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions and Professional Responsibility

I'm a day behind on blogging and still trying to figure out where I want to go with this today. I have a schedule of things to write about in my mind and today/yesterday is a blank page. I feel like I should be writing about resolutions of some sort, but the mood strikes me not.

I am not a New Year Resolver. I see it as a set up for failure and disappointment. I am, however, a Birthday Intenter, which has worked well for me. Unfortunately, I have been forgetting to do that the past two or three years, because of this grad school thing. It's like a 3-year resolution that consumes all other goals and possibilities... a little... possibly... okay maybe not... it's really just been an excuse. I am still perfectly capable of other improvements. I forgot to set intents this last birthday too, but since it wasn't that long ago, perhaps a New Year Intent would be an okay exception.

And for visual appeal purposes, here are some randomly placed photos of an old expressive therapy class assignment about being/doing/understanding expressive therapy.

Here's how this relates to my art therapy journey. I firmly believe that all therapists have a duty to practice what they preach. And art therapists have an additional responsibility to also regularly feed their creative sides. I would not want to go to a medical doctor who smokes, never exercises and eats chili fries and valium everyday for breakfast, because if that doctor said, "Hey you really should consider blah blah blah for your health," I'd think something along the lines of "You're a stupid hypocrite" and that sort of thinking just doesn't foster a good doctor patient relationship. The same goes for being a therapist. If one is telling others how to care for their mental health and find fulfillment in life, one must be doing the same work. Along those lines, I often review anything that could possibly be lacking in my own self care and adjust as necessary.

But self care improvements make bad birthday/new year intentions, because they're not especially awesome. In fact, they're just plain BORING! Intentions are most possible when they are something you want to do anyway. Birthday intentions got me into yoga teacher training, riding my bike 150 miles for MS, taking drum lessons and even buying a house. They were things I already wanted to do, but might have put off without setting the intention. None of those things were necessary; they just made my year extra cool. Happy birthday to me.

As mentioned earlier, I believe art therapists have the additional responsibility to also practice regular creative expression. We're living The Dream after all. So today I ask myself, "Self, in what way will you be living The Dream in 2011?"

It's important to also keep in mind that I am graduating soon and hopefully (fingers crossed) getting a job, so my dream has to be doable and not of the buying-a-house caliber this year. So, five ways to live the dream this year...

1. Take a class at the junior college, adult continuing ed. group or somewhere in either ceramics or painting, because I've never had professional training in either and they're classics.

2. Restart my etsy store, because it helps keep me artistically active and provides minimal income (extremely minimal!).

3. Participate in this, because I just wanna.

4. Donate one quilt, because I just noticed these all sound really selfish and a little balance is in order.

5. Go on a trapeze, because Jung said, "What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Here is the key to your earthly pursuits." I miss the swing set.

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