Art Therapy

Art is my cure to all this madness, sadness, and loss of belonging in the world & through it, I’ll walk myself home.           -Nikki Rowe

At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise form a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrty.                -Rachel Naomi Remen,MD

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Art is therapy, it is freedom at best. Nothing compares to the beauty or liberty we enjoy when given the opportunity to express ourselves. Everyone benefits from art, even when personally, they believe otherwise. We ourselves are art, so how is it that the United States Education system, or any country’s education departments for that matter, rest easy by stripping away those opportunities given to our children.

According to an article in the NY Times’ titled As Schools Trim Budgets, The Arts Lose Their Place, by Susan Chira, two-thirds of public elementary schools have no art or music teachers. These arts are vital in the development of the very skills employers say they want in order to offer lucrative job opportunites and teach sensitivity to other cultures. Yet we continue to see diminished numbers of such growth and stability in the art education departments. How can this be?

Yes, we know that parents are more than capable of purchasing art supplies from any corner Dollar General store or Walmart BUT, where should children be TAUGHT or EXPOSED to the fundamentals of art and its appreciation?

Has art lost its value? Or have we lost ours?

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Let us S.I.P

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Cultural ENTHUSIASM

There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than ever been seen.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.

-Sun Tzu, The Art of War

CULTURAL ENTHUSIASM

Extinguishing Fear to Ignite Love

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Our world is full of differences. Different tribes having different features, speaking different languages in different places, since the beginning of its creation the earth has boast of its diversity. With its many splendors of beauty and power, the world has evolved, but have we?  We change our hair, we change our locations, and even in marriage or other religious customs, we change our names. So how is it that we continually resist differences amongst our fellow earthlings, why do we resist change?  What we were accustomed to doing millions of years ago, may not be necessary today, yet we continue those customs. From infanthood to adulthood, we were taught who we ARE through the eyes of our parents, peers, and teachers. We were taught things about ourselves from others perspective, but how much did we experience and learn about others?How receptive are we of DIFFERENCES? We learned that girls are prettiest with straight blonde hair wearing pretty pink dresses on Easter Sunday prancing and playing with dull but daring young boys in blue slacks and white dress shirts. Our ideas and ideals were taught to us. We learned that our brave but uncivilized native American dwellers savagely danced their spirits free in the War on Independence to establish the Land of the Free except for African slaves.

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We so violently painted brown and black soil with black and white blood. The earth received its return, the dirt we once were and ironically the dirt we’d become. We learned that hip hop is black and opera is white. Gay is a person, not happy or right. We learned to SUSPECT young boys but IGNORE black art. We learned to MAKE AMERICA GREAT again through immigration deports. But have we learned that what we FEAR in ourselves only tears us apart. No headscarf, robe, or banner, no religion, or non-religion is to blame. Rather it is our lack of proper education, our need to “keep it real” and our lack of enthusiasm that extinguishes our zeal. If we learn to embrace, encourage, and motivate our differences then and only then can we accommodate a world so different but reverently the same.

So we challenge you today to acknowledge what makes YOU different and what makes YOU great. Pass this challenge along, watch humanity extinguish fear and set love ablaze.

Yours truly,

S.I.P

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Teen Driving

Do you remember your first day behind the wheel, the excitement, the freedom? Assuming you survived Driver’s Ed or your Uncle Ed’s old, rusty Oldsmobile, driving was life. As a teen, you were forced to follow not lead. You went where your parents or some “responsible” adult drove you. Sadly, you had no control over the situation. If Mom’s quick supermarket errand turned 30 minute shopping spree with a solid two hour TalkTime didn’t motivate you to drive, the lecture about chores did. Why unless you planned to foot it, you had no choice in the matter. Endurance was key to survival.  Either way, truth is we all wanted IT so…. bad. We would do anything and I do mean, ANYTHING, to get our irresponsible hands onto those precious keys of freedom. Something about hot, moving steel just revved us up.

But were we REALLY prepared for that work up?

Did all the lectures of safe driving truly prepare us for what lied ahead?

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How much of that information did we ACTUALLY apply in times of crisis?

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Many educators and psychologist believe the driving age for teens, in particularly, for males is much too low. They believe that the adolescent’s brain is NOT mature enough to handle all the responsibility that comes with driving. Not only must drivers be aware of how to operate a vehicle in perfect weather but also they must be well-informed of how to do so in UNPERFECT conditions. For some states, any remote sign of precipatation and  the entire state  becomes a DEAD ZONE.

So, what are parents to do?

Lil’ Suzy was promised a graducation gift and Lil’ Johnny wants Dad’s old Mustang.

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If educators and other professional believe the driving age is much too low, then why aren’t government officials addressing the concern?

Should we (teen parents) speak up?

Do we be the VOICE of reason?

Or should we just stay silent and make the statistics a LIAR?

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Let’s S.I.P!

Conscious Humanitarian Politics

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Is is true? Can I love my country AND hate my government, all at the same time.

Well, literally speaking, NO!

Why? Because, a country is established by resources such as land, labor, and finances for the purpose of government.

However, many citizens of America feel that the catch phrase best suits their particular FEELINGS.

Personally speaking, have you drank the bitter waters of American politics all to be left abandoned in a dry and wearied land of dismay? Has the after taste been harder to swallow than the death of hope itself?

For those who serve our nation by land, air, or sea, they may FEEL the heaviness of such  a quote as listed above in the photo, but what difference would it make. They are bound by oath to fight the good fight in and out of season. They, above all others, are most prone to this disposition and for this reason, we are asking everyone to take a moment to reflect.

What are your true feelings regarding your country?

Why do you feel that way?  What knowledge (FACTS) support your feelings?

Is it better to be a lover or a fighter?

What options serve to the greater GOOD for all involved?

How can we remain PATRIOTS while abiding in a seemingly NATIONALISTIC government?

Where do we find balance?

Without further ado, let’s do what we came to do,

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let’s S.I.P!♥

 

The Perils of American Girlhood (Part III)

This week’s topic addresses the challenges our girls are facing in our nation. While the public attempts to push for equal rights and opportunities for all, the nation continues to undervalue the rights of our children. Yes, children have rights too! Our young girls should be educated as to what these rights are.

But most importantly, who should be responsible with that tasks. The answer is quite simple, EVERYONE!

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Children learn best when taught best. As for our girls, they learn best from exemplary role models within their home environment. So it is the family structure which carries this significant task of ensuring our girls are supported during this delicate moment of life. WE see now more than ever the need for our girls to become fully aware of these challenges. Every day some little girl’s life is being destroyed. Everyday there is someone tearing down their beloved spirits, either verbally or nonverbal abuse. It is time NOW we take a good hard look at what we, AMERICANS, are doing to our youth ,in particularly our young girls.

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We understand challenges can be overcome but we must first identify what they are. We must look closely as to how we can better prepare our girls for survival. Yes, survival. They must learn to survive and thrive.

I hope that you have already become of aware of these challenges by either (1.) Reflections (Part I) and (2.) Research (Part II), as a part of this series.

 

Here below are just some of the challenges our girls are facing:

Physical Challenges:

  1. Premature Development
  2. Declining Health

Intellectual Challenges:

  1. Gender Biases in Academics (Math & Science)
  2. Intellectual Disabilities

Socioemotional Challenges:

  1. Peer Pressure & Bullying
  2. Declining Family Stability

Although these challenges are NOT subject to only girls, we believe to teach a girl is to teach a generation. Due to the fact, it is the girls who grow to be women and these women are the beginning point for all education. Education of life, love, and liberty so let’s begin teaching our girls the value of self, the value of dignity, and the value of education beyond the classroom.

Let’s lead by example, not just by word. Let’s be the light they see in this dark, dark, world.

Let’s S.I.P!

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Note: This is the third post as a part of a three- part series.

 

 

The Perils of American Girlhood (Part II)

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What is girlhood?  According to Oxford, girlhood is the state or time of being a girl. This definition is by far, the simpliest, most indistinct explaination of the term. We’re sure those you who have been blessed with the opportunity of girlhood personally, would find the Oxford’s definition quite vague and unappealing.

But what if we were to reevaluate or redefine this term based on past experience and observations, how then would you describe girlhood?  Would you associate it with the most joyful, liveliest moments in a young girl’s life? Or maybe, the darkest, most vunerable, or confusing time of life?

If seen through the eye of a young girl, the entire defintion would be more much definitive and thereby much more engaging than that described by Oxford Dictionary. So before going any further into this topic, we ask that you to take time this week  to create your own definition of girlhood. Of course, you guys, “MEN” may think it’s not important for you to participant, however it is contrary to the fact that girlhood is not exclusive to women. Fathers, uncles, male cousins, and grandfathers, all play major roles in the lives of a young girl. Therefore your participation and specific point of view would be much valued and highly appreciated.

Once read in its entirety, please scroll cursor up to the left-hand side of the blog topic (The Perils of American Girlhood, Part II)  and click on the  leave a comment section to participate in the our discussion.

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And without further ado, let’s S.I.P!

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The Perils of American Girlhood (Part I)

“Childhood is the most beauiful of all life’s seasons.”

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Growing up  is tough! For girls, in particularly minorities, this old adage is true. The  predisposed jeopardy within our communities has debilitated childhood innocence. Gone are the days were children could look to their parents as a life models. We have sacrificed much needed quality time and attention for materials and possessions.

We have meshed the boys and girls into a generalized classification of childhood, not realizing that the two are similar yet are different. They learn differently. In comparison to their counter parts, our girls require different administration of  educational skills and knowledge if they are expected to become strong, resilient, and adaptable women. These contrasting needs are evident from birth to grade school and  into adulthood yet we continue to provide generalized education.

According the US Census, females outnumber men. If this is true, we must acknowledge, address, and understand the detriment placed on our young girls when those contrasting needs are not meet.

We need our girls and our girls need us.

We must give them every opportunity to discover their talent, skills, and abilities as girls before hurling them into the challenges prominent in womanhood.

What distinctive needs do our young girls lack?

How can we better meet those needs?

Where do we start?

Who is most responsible for ensuring those needs are met?

Let’s S.I.P

Note: This is the first part of a three part blog series.