Customs customs customs: January usually involves New Year’s resolutions; either you make them or resolve not to. I read the custom dates back to Babylonian times four thousand years ago! Statistics are not too impressive as to their effectiveness. It seems up to 80% fail with a significant decline after the first week. So why make them if they don’t work? It seems 46% still keep to their goals after 6 months; that is 46% more than those who didn’t take the time to think of what they wanted to improve in their lives. Now that is seeing the glass half full instead of half empty.
I don’t make resolutions; at least I don’t call them that. I tend to recap the year on paper, which involves a type of creative mapping (mind-mapping). I spoke about the process in a previous posting. The tool is useful as it creates a kind of blueprint of the year, which I follow with a prospective blueprint of the year to come. In the latter I include all that I expect to see happen in my life during the next twelve or so months. I keep these word drawings and consult them only at the end of the year. In so doing I can pat myself on the back or realise I’ve gone off track.
One of the strategies to make such goals successful is documenting. I document only once a year. I don’t, as they suggest keep a journal, or diary which helps to keep track of the steps taken and the terrain covered. You don’t however want to make the process so tedious that you will give it up altogether; be reasonable with what you can do. Another strategy for success is breaking the big goals into manageable steps and rewarding yourself along the way. Mind-mapping helps you do this as you think the process through on paper.
I’m always surprised to realise what I wrote down stuck even if I never looked at it over the months. Why? because I suppose, it was thought through when I created it. It’s more of a general map than a specific plan. So how did I fare in 2009? In the financial area of my life I did not do so well at curbing some of my feel-good spending, nor in finding new living arrangements (buying). But I managed to take in many different art workshops, lectures, include friends, go to art galleries, make a lot of art….in sum take my art seriously as I had written, travel, while my plans to complete my PhD are right on track. I’ll give myself 7 out of 10. Am I too harsh?
So what is my main focus for the year 2010: SLOW as in slow living, being mindful of my life, of what I do, of what I choose to devote my attention to. The concept is based on the slow food movement initiated by Carlo Petrini. Slow Food is an extraordinary international movement with a philosophy based in pleasure of the palate and a mission that links eco-gastronomy to taste education, preservation of biodiversity and sustainable communities. Take a look at the sensory education for children page with their links to a number of resources. I was once actively involved with slow food Quebec.
A slow movement has emerged from these initiatives all over the world. « The Slow Movement aims to address the issue of ‘time poverty’ through making connections« . Last year at this same time I was haunted by a very strong impression of time slipping through my fingers, feeling I was late and behind in everything I did. Dr. Dosey calls it « time-sickness » the inability to find our own rhythm and relax. Overly active personalities like me are especially prone to overdoing and therefore prone to constant levels of stress. The concept of time speeding up is not new; from the technical modernisation portrayed by Charlie Chaplin’s in Modern Times (1936), to the technological trappings of the 21st century, it just could be that your Blackberry is spending more than your monthly allotment of minutes; it could be literally feading on your biological clock. This is serious stuff!
Carl Honore has written a number of books on the ills of our speed crazed societies and the benefits of an alternative culture of slowness as delineated by the slow movement.
From the slow movement other aspects of slow have emerged. Slow Art is a concept based on taking the time to look at works, sharing and discussing with other viewers, but also initiating neophytes to trust their own senses and thoughts about what they see and feel. The concept is not fixed and for some it evokes skill and experience that is felt through the viewing of these objects. And yet for others, sustainability is also part of the package. The Slow Art collective describes their vision of slow in the following manner:
Slow Art prefers materials plucked from local contexts and gleaned from the surrounding environment. If Slow Food promotes locally grown produce, organic materials and long Sunday afternoon lunches, Slow Art is the artistic equivalent. Processes are privileged over finished products; materials are sourced from the immediate environment and surroundings. Life and art are both regarded as durational, ephemeral experiences that coalesce over time.
And there is the so called slow making or slow craft if you will. A manifesto of the slow maker is found here. The last two are especially important in my practice as an art therapist; they are:
6. To foster, utilise and pass on skills that enhance the making process (the importance of transferring these skills so they become portable, so the children and families take them home)
7. To enjoy and relish the way of slow making (which means enjoy the process!)
Slowing down the pace will be a big challenge for me. However there is much to gain through a deeper experience of what we choose to do. To be successful I will need a lot of ‘pleasurable slow making’ and a community of supporters, which is another strategy to support re(solutions).
Now if only all organisations could get on the slow leadership boat.
Catégorisé dans Société.Publié le 05 jan 2010