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Building Resilience (A Function of Arts Education)

We humans have an interesting relationship with change. In some ways we are not happy until we create it and at other times change can feel altogether unbearable. But, there's powerful wisdom that comes with experience and reflection: if we can pull ourselves out of emotional attachment or fixation on the minutiae, a bigger picture tends to emerge and we can start to trust that temporary setbacks are actually necessary steps toward desired growth.

It's like the Steve Jobs quote " You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." If we can learn from the great leaders of our time (whose lives are often a testament to ancient wisdom like this well shared Sufi story), we can come to trust that we don't have to know all of the answers to the questions in our lives.

With the right tools, we can learn to trust ourselves amidst uncertainty and lean on the character we are developing in the process.

So, what are the tools that help us develop this perspective? How do we learn to trust that the challenge of unexpected change is in fact a transition point to a welcome new beginning?

Like most skills: it's a process and a choice. You decide it's worth it and your decision delivers you to the next step on the map of your process. The process? It's emotional and creative education.

It's what we're all about and we know first hand in the power of starting this process as early as preschool, but we also believe that it's never too late to begin.

Humans need the opportunity to develop creatively. Creative education is instrumental to our well-being because it provides a framework for cultivating new perspectives. When explored in community, creative education provides the opportunity to build strong habits of mind, emotional intelligence, and abilities that are processes themselves; experiences like courage, belonging, awareness, and confidence.

Expanding education to include the arts incorporates more opportunities for mindfulness and connects us more fully to our natural capacity for compassion.

We learn to interpret, infer, and question. We learn what motivates us, what we need, how we can meet those needs, and how to find fulfillment of our desires. In short we get to map out the heart of who we are. This is the process of social-emotional education and it's the real work behind any artwork.

You see being an artist is about more than making great art; its' about leading from the heart.

Through our ability to exercise spontaneous creative thinking and doing, we become more flexible, resilient, capable, and trusting. We develop greater confidence to make and tolerate change. We learn to diversify our perspective and strengthen our ability to regulate our nervous systems.

In today's world, these skills are foundational to anyone's idea of success.

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