How is it when we become undone. When the container that holds perceptions of who we are and how we fit into the world is broken, all that is left are sharp edges that no longer seem to fit. Do we pick up the shards and try to rearrange them in new order, finding the courage to redefine ourselves again or is the shattering complete and unrecognizable.
This is my contemplation as I appreciate the glass mosaics that were created in a workshop I lead, which was provided through the support of the Terrace Mental Health & Addictions Advisory Committee (MHAAC). This workshop was one in a series which will culminate in ‘Random Acts of Mindfulness’ – an exhibit at the Terrace Art Gallery in October of 2016. The exhibit will coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week, a national event which focuses attention on mental disorders. During that month the MHAAC will host a series of educational/public awareness events at the Gallery exploring Stigma and Mental Illness.
We as individuals and as a society are continually challenged to ‘be mindful of thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours towards individuals with mental illness.’ This is the main premise of the exhibition. Not one of us walks a path, whether it be in our own life or with a loved one, where we are not touched by the struggling soul trying to make sense and find a place in this challenging world. Despite this, the stigma against mental illness is a real barrier for individuals to feel accepted and appreciated for the gifts we all inherently possess.
Just as we gingerly pick each piece of glass, find a new place, rearrange it according to its own unique beauty, so too can we create a new way of walking in the world. We cannot do this without the support of our loved ones, our communities and the institutions that surround us.
Become involved in your local Mental Health initiatives. Pay attention to thoughts and actions when you feel limiting reactions when confronted with people or ideas on mental illness. Our creativity is one of the ways where we can redefine who we are and how we want to be.
Thank-you to all who came out to create and especially for the vision of the MHAAC.