Healing Arts Report

Practices for an Evolving Life

They Don't Tell You How

“You need to love yourself more.” “You shouldn’t feel that way.” “Always put other people first. Don’t be selfish.” The one thing that is missing from all this good advice is telling you HOW to do it. We introduce you to practical tools using your own character traits to support you in creating practical answers to those questions. Read more here.

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Two memoirs tell about times of extreme personal growth in the author’s life. Sunny Side Up is a window into the early 70s when certain young adults were searching for a way to head off society’s path bent on materialism. The Transparent Feather tells of a dying author passing the torch of writing to her new friend cum student.

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You can love yourself and other people as well. At Healing Arts Report we explore fulfilling personal development that at the same time serves to create the shift to a peaceful new world paradigm.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―C.G. Jung

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Working Together

[br]The first time I was aware of a healthy and meaningful shared experience was in high school orchestra. Those conflicted teenage years often had me feeling so sad and alienated that I often felt being in orchestra was saving my life. The students I met there were different from the ones I grew up with in my little neighborhood. They had different perspectives. Nor were they like my preconceptions about them. They were interested in questions about the meaning of life, not just about personal preferences and gossip. They were humorous and perceptive and appreciated aesthetic subtlety, something that just did not enter conversation elsewhere.

In addition to the pleasure of making music together, I remember a couple of times when we finished practicing a piece, all of us sitting in silence and staring at each other in wonder. Something happened that we were all aware of– a sense of something entering us from beyond.

Another experience that impressed me, but not with quite the same feeling of personal engagement, because it was so anxiety provoking. Our class at a post graduate school had the task of entertaining and preparing room and board for as many overnight guests as there were students. Since we did the cooking and cleaning, and participated in the gardening project the guests were coming for, we had to do our hosting at the same time that we worked.

I couldn’t imagine how we would manage. It was so overwhelming that all I could think about was my little portion, really not unlike playing my part in the orchestra. However, I wasn’t thinking in that way, not until after the success of the event. All everyone had to do was play his roll, and no more unless the person playing supervisor made other needs known to us.

There aren’t many situations in my life where I have a sense of that cooperation even though it happens everywhere and all the time, the scale usually being too big to notice–a farmer growing food, a truck hauling it to the grocery, the workers shelving the items, the cashier ringing it up, the bagger preparing it to go, and so forth.

I had just a small taste of that pleasure recently working with Nancy Farmer on our book trailer for Sunny Side Up. I supplied some old photos while she supplied her expertise in telling a story on video, and we both worked on the wording. By the end, I no longer knew who contributed what to the evolution of the script.

A few years ago i had a similar experience working with Mo Omeh when we finalized my book covers. I showed her my original art and told her what didn’t yet satisfy my intent. We went back and forth a few times until we had what we wanted.

Around the time Nancy had finished the trailer, a friend reminded me of one of our teachers, Henri Bortoft, who spoke about the word competition having originated from the Latin competere meaning ‘to seek together’ or ‘to strive together.’ It’s an interesting contrast to the ‘battle’ competition means now, and wonderfully expressive of, to me, the more meaningful results created when working together.

Have you had an experience working with others that changed how you saw the world?


One Response to “Working Together”

  1. This reminded me of a similar experience…I had three brothers, no sisters, and lived far from other girls, so had no close girlfriends. As an adult, and an attorney, I went to the formative conference of the Va. Women’s Attorney’s Assn. and worked together with other women: a first for me with women! Not having had good girl friends, and having experienced catty women and ones who were interested in being more accomplished than I, it was really an eye opener to be at the Va Women’s Attorney’s association initial conference. The prevailing attitude throughout was enthusiastic, passionate, determined to form a group that could make a difference, not only for women attorneys, but also men AND women who were not being heard by courts, particularly if they were not wealthy, and had a court appointed attorney. We DID make a difference; we worked hard to get more women running for office, for submitting female names when a bench opening occurred, and we got women on the bench, and from there, to the VA supreme courts. The whole feeling at the conference was of support for one another, a real effort in accomplishing our goals. When we found that when someone was running for a judicial appointment, we contacted the local VWAA’s local office and asked to come before a committee on judicial appointment to answer questions, speak before the local group, etc. Attorney statewide committees sought appointments of our members on the committees (I served on three different statewide committees, being chair of several, etc.) I helped establish a local group of women attorneys who meet for breakfast once a month; another composed of women attorneys and women psychologists and therapists, which was a great learning experience for women of both groups. The therapists began to understand what we were doing, and we learned about the psychological bases for things we had not understood before, such as our clients dragging their feet about signing property settlement agreements when we had gotten them ALL they wanted, which turned out to be a hidden agenda based on their feelings that a hostile, argumentative atmosphere with the husband was preferable to settling, as a signed agreement often meant that the relationship was over and a final decree often followed. At any rate, I found I formed close relationship with other women for the first time in my life.

    Posted by Patricia Barton | ,

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