Friday, November 26, 2010
Last week I went with my 78 year-old mother to a theatrical performance rehearsal at a local senior center. It was a heart warming experience to see seniors take on acting, dancing, singing and fashion modeling. It gave them an opportunity to shine, push the boundaries of their limitations whether health challenges or emotional and use their creative imagination to express what was laying dormant deep down inside of them. I watched as each participant practiced their part over and over again until it reached a more acceptable level of perfection.
The great scientist, Albert Einstein, said that imagination is more important than knowledge.Creative expression through the arts is a product of imagination and plays an integral part in manifesting your soul's greatest desires. Then why is art (visual or performing) the first thing eliminated from the curriculum when the education budget gets low? It is because we have little or no regard for its tremendous impact on a child's development. Yet, the most recent research indicates that kids participating in arts-based organizations exhibited an intensity of certain characteristics, including motivation, persistence, critical analysis, and planning. After comparing youth in arts programs with the national sample derived from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey (a large-scale longitudinal study of high school students conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics), it was concluded that the youth in the arts programs are: 25 percent more likely to report feeling satisfied with themselves; twice as likely to win an award for academic achievement; and 23 percent more likely to feel they can make plans that successfully work from them. The arts in schools is not supported because peopled don't understand it's inherent value and the important role imagination plays in shaping our reality.
Can you picture your life without the visual arts such as graphic design, painting and sculpting? How about the performing arts such as music, song and dance? If there was no art, we would resolve ourselves to strict numbers, logic and reasoning, known as left brain activities. Art has no limitations or boundaries. Thus, the very essence of freedom lies in the creative expression side of the right brain where going beyond one's own comfort zone, taking risks and having a sense of fearlessness allows the soul to grow. Creative expression in the various forms of performing and visual arts is the language of the soul. Throughout the ages the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Native Americans and many of today's indigenous cultures around the world have used art as a way to express and communicate the language of the soul. Today, you don't have to travel far, however, to experience it's impact. Just attend an African-American Pentecostal or Baptist Church and you will witness people in the congregation dancing down the aisles to soulful voices, pulsating drum beats and ramming tambourines struck by the "Holy Ghost" and speaking in "tongues." Then look around the church and you will see it's beautiful architecture, spiritual ornaments, statues and stained glass windows. All of these elements create a colorful environment that enhances our experience of worship adding flavor to our soul's journey. The soul is forever wanting to express itself. The next time you take a shower, just stand under the running water and begin to sing a song. What is the song that you are singing? Is this a message from your soul?
Another way the soul speaks to us is through our imagination. Manifestation of our soul's desire starts with a thought that is "imaged" and held in the brain's storage bank, the subconscious mind. How many times have you driven a car and seen images play out in your mind, not of the road, but of a past or future idea or situation? These images are held within your subconscious mind. Before you know it, you have missed your exit or the car has driven you down the wrong road as a result of habit. In these moments, what most don't realize is that depending on the intensity of our focus upon the image, the repetition of the thought, and the strong emotional attraction we have for that idea or situation, we are able to manifest it into our reality whether good or bad. This is how imagination works.
We want our children to grow up to become physicians, engineers, lawyers, computer programmers, accountants, etc. As parents we feel that these occupations deliver a more stable and satisfying financial foundation. Much of the soul dies with our music still playing inside us. When we don't take the path less traveled, secretly the lawyer who really wanted to be a dancer, or the engineer, a sculptor end up financially secure, but unhappy and unfulfilled. It is never too late, however, to satisfy a craving for the arts. Luckily with today's technological advances such as Apple Computer's Garage Band youth and adults can more easily pursue and participate in artistic endeavors, whether imaginary encounters with games such as Rock Band or more serious enactments that lead to fulfilling art careers.
Additionally, there are various arts programs for youth and adults including seniors in your community. Check your local papers or surf the Internet for a variety of arts programs offered by nonprofit and profit arts organizations. If you reside in the greater Washington Metropolitan Area, you can attend year round educational workshops that will prepare and educate you and your child for the arts such as "Imagine Youth in the Arts" (http://www.imagine1211.com/), Pin Points Theatre (www.pinpoints.org/EDUTAINMENT.asp), 855 Studios, the Midnight Forum (http://www.midnightforum.org/), or Charmione's School of Protocol.
Attend Imagine Youth in the Arts Day Workshops, Christmas Bazaar and Live Performance on Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 9:00am - 12:00pm (workshops) and 5:00pm - 10:00pm (Christmas Bazaar and Imagine theatrical performance) at the National 4 H Conference Center located at 7100 Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, MD. http://www.imagine1211.com/
Coming Soon The Magic of You series explaining in layman's terms the interconnectivity of science and spirituality ages 11 and above and Archangels, Angels and Spirit Guides coloring book. http://www.anchoredinspirit.com/