Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Creative Commons


Collage by Lani
Do you know the Creative Commons? Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." Personally I really like the whole creative commons approach, taking into account that ideas are like living things that can and should grow and change and be improved on.

It's like the old common land in the center of a village where you could take your sheep to feed them on the common grass. I like that image. I would love to be a part of such sharing, so from now on any material here will be part of the village grazing land, the Creative Commons. If you want to borrow some sheep or ideas or images, just give the 14 Secrets Folks credit AND let us know what these ideas do for you, where they take you.

So here's an example. Gioia sent the 14 Secrets folks an email full of great relaxation techniques. I take them and add images for a zine or slide show. You look at it, get some ideas and try them out too, perhaps with a group of people. You might put them on index cards, add images to the other side, making sure that images make you smile, and create a little endorphin activity in your brain!
Like art seeds being spread, ideas can be shared generously.
Edward's poppies.
Relaxation Techniques and Ideas from Gioia Chilton, MA, ATR-BC
(text is hers, images are added by me and they are totally optional)
Take a Pause: (about ten seconds)
* Identify anything that is presently annoying you.
* Tell yourself, "I don't have to become too tense over this."
* Take two easy deep breaths (counting from 1 to 4 as you
inhale and exhale).
* Ease any tense spot quickly, to the best of your ability.
* Stretch and resume your activity.

References

Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center


Lani's collage
Body Stress Scanning: (about two minutes)
* Take two deep easy breaths and exhale each slowly.
* Scan your body to find a tense spot and relax it as much as
possible (i.e., forehead, jaw, shoulders, back, hand).
* Do two brief yoga exercises (do them slowly):

Head Rotation. Rotate your head slowly around in a circular motion,
once or twice in both directions.

Shoulder Roll. Slowly roll your shoulders forward and backwards a
couple times in each direction.

* Recall a pleasant thought, image, memory, or feeling for a
few seconds (as long as you want).
* Take one more deep, slow breath, exhale slowly and return to
your activity.

References

Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

This image is a collaborative image from Gioia and Lani
Focusing on an Image: (about ten seconds minimum)
* Simply focus on a favorite fantasy or image, either one that
you have chosen previously or something that occurs to you
spontaneously.
* As you think about, or feel, this image, take deep slow
breaths and return to your activity when you are ready.

Reference

Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

Prospero the Bergamasco
Find One Thing To Appreciate: (about ten seconds minimum)
* Simply pick out one enjoyable or beautiful aspect of your
environment, wherever you happen to be. In some settings it is
easier, but you can almost always find something to appreciate.
Examples include a patch of a favorite color, a nice piece of
furniture, art, another person, a sound, or a personal object (i.e.,
a pen, your ring, an attractive purse, etc.).
* Focus only on this object to admire it for a moment and
breathe deeply and easily as you do it. Return to your activity when
you are ready.

Reference

Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

Lani's Collage
Appreciation game: (about 5 minutes)

Take a moment to be intentional about your appreciation for your
friends and family. Make a game of it by in turn, telling your
partner, friend or child what you appreciate about him or her.
Appreciations can include the "little" things, like the way someone
smiles, the scarf they wear, or the sound of their sneeze! Car rides
are a good time to do a round of appreciations, have fun with it.
My daughter calls this activity "saying my loves." Don't forget you
also get to be appreciated as well, every day. You also don't have
to wait for others to notice, you can appreciate yourself anytime!

More of Edward's Poppies
Drawing breath (3 minutes or more)

"Imagine that the bottoms of your feet are open and that energy from
the earth can be received through them. With your eyes closed and
your feet firmly on the ground, inhale slowly, visualizing the energy
that you are bringing into your body from the earth. Consciously
think about breathing into your belly rather than your chest. Exhale,
watching the energy within you going back through your feet and into
the earth. Repeat this for a few minutes. Try to think of the in-
breath as strengthening and empowering you, and the out-breath as a
force that cleanses and purifies you.

Stop, open your eyes, and slowly try drawing your inhalations and
exhalations on paper. Let yourself intuitively make lines and shapes
across the paper and use colors that represent the quality of your
breathing." (Malchiodi, 2002, 135-136) Continue as long as you like.

Reference

Malchiodi, C.A. (2002) The soul's palette: Drawing on art's
transformative power for health and well-being. Boston: Shambhala.

Lani's Collage
Color exhales (2 minutes)
*Uncross arms and legs and sit in chair, feeling the chair below you.
*Take a deep breath and exhale.
*Identify an area of tension in your body.
*Imagine the tension is a color.
*Take 3 deep breaths, on each imagining the air you inhale is pure
white light mixing with the color you chose to represent the tension.
*Exhale, releasing tension, three times.
*Each time imagine that the tension color is being released, becoming
progressively lighter and less intense.
*Take one last inhale breath of pure while light and exhale pure white
light.

Reference: Linda Chapman. MA, ATR-BC, Personal communication,
November 18, 2006.

Mandela drawings (5 minutes or more)

Simply draw a picture in a circular space, with any art materials.
Drawing mandala pictures can be a great way to relax, for adults and
children. A simple paper plate or cup can be used to trace a circle
on any size or color paper.
*Try color pencils or oil pastels on black paper
*Use images inspired by spiritual traditions
*Try drawing a spiral to symbolize one's transformative
journey

Some people make Mandela journals, keeping a circular stencil in a
journal and drawing one or more each day. A friend of mine used
hers as a prayer journal. A portable blank book can turn a spare 10
minutes into a chance for creative renewal anytime.

Reference

Malchiodi, C.A. (2002) The soul's palette: Drawing on art's
transformative power for health and well-being. Boston: Shambhala.

1 comment:

holly said...

These are wonderful! Thank you for posting such soothing meditations and relaxation exercises. I appreicate it.