Sunday, February 10, 2013

Career Vision Board

As I said in last week's post, while at Kripalu, I took several workshops; among them, one that was about following your dreams and another that included making a vision board. I have been all over working on the dream journal this week and decided to make a vision board about what I said I would do if I could do anything without the possibility of failure. What I said in that group was an idea that came to me as part of a project in my expressive therapy and social action class. It's funny, because it was my last class of grad school, an elective, so my main goal was getting my three credits and moving on with a shiny new degree. But the organization I made up, has stuck in the back of my brain, just kinda drifting around someplace near the occipital lobe. Just chillin', wandering to the front every now and then, saying hi. You know how it is.

So, what I imagined was a holistic center with office space for therapists, body workers, physical therapists, etc. who share a common goal of using the whole body and mind to create wellness. This place would be open to the community and offer yoga classes and expressive therapy groups of all kinds, depending on need, in addition to having individuals who do their own thing to help others, renting space in the upper floor or floors of the building. I want to create and work in that place someday.

So I made a vision board about it. It looks like this.

Making this has made me really excited about that idea. As I am driving to work, I imagine groups I would want to offer the community, exhibits we could have, benefits I would give people who were a part of the process. And I feel happy. In a way, this is not a plan that I ever considered impossible, because I invested my inheritance with this in mind someday. However, as I cut out words and images and simply collaged about it, it started to feel more real and possible. Although this idea has been with me for almost two years, I have officially transfer it to my seven-year career plan. This is what I am working toward.

For more about vision boards go here.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yoga Retreat

Last week I went to Kripalu for an R&R Yoga Retreat with Mallory. In addition to delicious organic vegetarian meals and plenty of yoga, we had a choice of several workshops each day and some of them felt like being in the best part of grad school again: drum circles, collage, medicine and movement... Good times.

One of the workshops we went to was called "Realize Your Dreams" (I think). First we were asked if we could do one thing and were guaranteed we would not fail, what would it be and we announced it to the room full of fellow traveler strangers on R&R retreats, which was super uncomfortable for me, but has gotten me thinking more about what I told everyone. Then we were given a handout with a list of categories for a dream journal and asked to think of goals for each area. The list is as follows:













A part of me was really excited about the idea and the other part of me was like, "Stop it! How many goals and projects can you juggle? You got enough going on already," but I just can't say no and couldn't stop thinking what I would do with dreams in a journal. I can even rationalize, because I have goals in most of this areas already. It's just organization and format really. Right? So after a couple of days of thinking about it and telling myself no and trying to thought block ideas for taking on another project, told myself yes and went to Michael's and bought a Smash Book to act as my dream journal/scrap book.

It has always surprised me that I am not a scrapbook person, because I love taking photos and I love working with paper. For the first page, I glued down an envelop and I am making simple cards with collage images and goals. I will work on each of the pages with details regarding each of the goals. This is what I have so far.

I am pretty stoked about it. And... I am still keeping up on my daily calendar modifications, so so far so good. This is a fun idea and it has created a sense of positivity and feeling like all I reach for is possible. Maybe so possible, I might someday tell you what I said I would do if I could not fail.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Being Serious

You have been warned. This will not be the funnest, most art therapy rich post you have ever read, but because I set a goal of writing every week, I will share with you what is up in my professional world.

I have a fantasy and it goes like this... Someday, I would like to have my own practice, my own space and my own approach. I feel like I have mentioned this before, probably within the past few weeks, but in case not, I want to work with people using a whole-body, goal-focused approach to create a greater sense of physical and mental health and general well-being. The three main components will be attention to and pursuance of spiritual self (in terms of being creative and feeling a sense of higher purpose or meaning), physical self (in terms of greater health and recognition of body as our only form of transportation through this life, therefore requiring care and upkeep), and mental/emotional self (in terms of understanding strengths and limitations and comforting one's inner voice).

In the interest of figuring it out, I have an extensive to-do list which includes many levels of my own education. Goals for this year are to get my AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) Certification on February 8, LMHC in April and prepare for ATR-BC on a date not yet determined. This requires a great deal of studying. Many of my peers are also in study mode, so I introduce you to a sweet app called gFlashPro which is a flashcard making app that I have been introduced to this week in order to help my studying.

It looks like this when editing and creating cards.

And it looks like this when in use.

The non-AFAA cards came with it as samples. When in use, you tap the cards you know and those you don't, so you can continue working on what you don't know. I think flashcard are helpful and I would recommend them for studying for any exam. This app makes them portable and interactive. You can also add sounds and photos.

On the current act of being an art therapist, I am starting a new group intervention this week. I will tell you more as it progresses. The guys are still using their gratitude journals at the beginning of each group and have gone a full two weeks of seeming to like them, which is not bad. Also, I have been able to keep up on my altered calendar. I rushed through it and could be happier with my effort, but a little sloppy art everyday is better than none.

Lastly, shout out to another app called blogsy, which I am using on my iPad for the first time. I love you iPad and if this looks okay, I also love you blogsy.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Altered Calendar and Gratitude

I have a confession. You know how medical students sometimes go through a phase of hypochondria when they are learning about all the things they may die from someday? Okay, I don't know if that is true, but I have heard rumors. I think psychology types go through the same thing. We diagnose our friends and ourselves. Mental illness is everywhere. As for me, I would give myself ADHD and I am kinda in a constant mild state of mania; not like spending all my money or running naked through the streets mania, but trying new things and feeling giddy on the regular mania. It's a gift really. Hallelujah. Blessed be.

The ADHD tendencies on the other hand, can be troublesome. I would like to be more organized and less distracted, so I was excited to start a new project with my calendar this year. I am making an "altered calendar" and I also came up with a plan that I have been using on work and personal goals. First, I underline one thing (maybe more for work depending on deadlines, but I try to keep it as minimal as possible) that I must do. I make one priority in my schedule and do not allow myself to move on to what I would rather be doing. In my personal life, this has made me study everyday this week rather than do a hundred other things to avoid it. At work, it has made me turn in large reports on time or early. It's been a productive week and I feel good about my self-diagnosed ADHD management. I tell you this, in case you also struggle with time management and doing what you are supposed to be doing rather than everything else possible in the whole wide world.

I have two agendas that I use. One at home for my personal beeswax and one at work for my professional self. As for the one at home, I have spent the end of each day drawing over the day with something about the day, so it becomes a visual art journal at the end of the year. This also means I am forced to create everyday.

My Personal Agenda, Week One
I love fresh beginnings, so I spent some time thinking about structure I can add to my group when the kids got back from vacation. I decided that for the month of January, and maybe beyond, we will spend the first five-ish minutes writing or drawing in a gratitude journal. I have a lot of guys who hate everything, so the rule is they must think of one good thing at the beginning of group twice per week and document it in their journals. Afterward, they may voice all of their complaints, if they like. To decorate their journals, I brought stamps. The guys were all over that. They loved stamps so much, I think I will continue bringing them for each day. We don't always have a lot to work with, so these are just a few pieces of legal sized photocopier paper, folded in half with staples. It was so simple and the guys were very pleased to make them. I started one, because I feel with my kids, it's important to set an example, because they often feel they have rules and demands others don't have, so when I make them work, I work. When they have to play and I am around, I play as an equal participant. These are a success so far.

The Journal I Started Working on During A Group
A Photo from Today, Just Because