With Creating Wellbeing, sharing is most definitely caring. Please get in touch to share how you create your own path to wellbeing. Together, our stories can comfort, inspire and entertain others.
Here are some stories from our wellness journeys:
A family of creative well-beings, India
Dr Mune, Sarla, Dev and Preety share…
During my recent trip to India I was hosted by another fabulously friendly family. Extremely interested in me and my ‘profession’, I told them about Creating Wellbeing. It transpired they also took solace in creative activities, from music to crafts.
Painting with my sister, Birmingham, England
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in an apron and old t-shirt, covered in my brand new acrylic paints, for the first time since I was a child. Shaking off the initial fear and pressure of the blank canvas, I opened myself up to the simplicity of swirling paint around with a brush, experiencing the giddy pleasure of mixing colours and creating something from nothing, in the soothing company of my sister.
Working with the advice not to create a masterpiece to adorn a wall or offer as a gift, but rather just to experiment and enjoy the movement of brushstrokes, I let go of any connection to outcome, and simply became absorbed in the process of painting.
I actually felt a physical pleasure when I saw the pink I had mixed next to a tealy turquoise background wash, and began to relish the opportunity to think in terms of images, icons and symbols, rather than my usual currency: words.
I remembered the awkward joy of trying to draw a hand, and the way in which the mistakes can come to generate a unique artistic style. I soon realised that I had other ideas too, and used the canvas as a space to try things out.
I put my paints away feeling proud of what I had done, and when I came down this morning, feeling like yesterday was a distant dream in the distinctly Sunday haze of work deadlines, I caught a glimpse of the brown eye I had painted, and the blue Buddha and hands, and remembered the simple joy of painting with my sister: Thank you.
Last year I traveled across the world to attend a festival in the Nevada Desert, USA called Burning Man. The week-long event is guided by a few very important principles, making it quite unique from anything I have ever experienced. The principles include radical inclusion, gift economy (no money allowed), self-reliance, self-expression, participation, leave no trace and immediacy. The desert is transformed into a sprawling mega city full of art, music, over 55,000 souls and a free, positive, creative vibe. Seven days later it is disassembled and the desert is once again bare, without a trace of human existence.
Everything at Burning Man is available to all who attend, there is no VIP, no exclusions and no money is required. Everything you will need for the week you either bring yourself, or others will share with you. Radical inclusion and participation means that everyone who attends, contributes to the festival in whichever way they see their talents and creativity fit best. There is no music ‘line-up’, all performers play for free and are there purely for their own and others enjoyment. It is looked down upon if you just buy a ticket and observe, which is the formula for most mainstream commercial music festivals. I really felt that during the week in this space, everyone who participated was considered and treated equally by all, which cannot be said for most societies today. One of life’s important lessons became very clear to me that week – that you only get out of life what you put in. I was lucky to be a part of a great camp which set up an open bar and sushi party for all to enjoy. Contributing to the drinks, bartending and participating in this event was fantastically fun and it felt great to be a part of something bigger and to share the experience with like minded people.
After returning back home to Melbourne after the adventure, I felt very sad and quite lost. Why can’t real life be like Burning Man? Aside from the fact that no-one can survive off such little sleep and extreme heat and dust for more than a week at a time, I couldn’t quite come to terms with the ‘default world’ and why Burners let go of a lot of the principles when they return home such as the art of giving, creativity and respect for others and the environment. So in an effort to share and pass on the vibe that I experienced to others I decided to bring a little of the Burning Man spirit into my home life by creating a ‘free bar’ at our local yearly music festival in Meredith.
It was a communal effort with all my wonderful friends really getting behind the idea and pitching in to build the bar, create signs, donate drinks to distribute, play games and celebrated life with big smiles. The preparation behind the event was almost as fun as the event itself and really allowed us to get creative in new ways, such as making costumes we’ve always wanted to wear but had no place to wear them, and designing themes, drink recipes, music and games. The bar – called the Goon Saloon – was a huge success, and we were able to give away hundreds of drinks to happy revelers until we ran out. We even created a makeshift dance floor and face painting station which was a big hit. Everyone had a ball and we hope that bringing something a little different to the festival would remind people how they too can contribute and create fun, goodwill and positive energy. We received a lot of great feedback and even heard that the idea sparked similar concepts around Melbourne after the festival. Giving – with no expectation of receiving, brings so much more happiness and wellbeing than I could ever imagine, and it is definitely contagious and a step in the right direction in creating a better world.
Connected Underground, London, England
I’m quite a nosy person on the tube. No matter how many objects, pieces of technology, books or newspapers I have to occupy myself I always occupy myself with other peoples’ entertainment.
Today in my usual eye strain extravaganza I was intent to find out what the person next to me was listening to on his iPhone. He was scrolling through a playlist of familiar artists and landed on one I knew I had on my iPod. When he turned it on play and placed it back in his pocket I found the artist, album and song and pressed play so that we were listening almost simultaneously.
It felt strange to be so connected to someone just by listening to the same music in our ears. But in London there can be so little connection between people that instances like this feel so novel.
What was weirder, was that he had no idea of our connection. I felt I was getting an insight to his mood in that moment. Why has he chosen this song? Is he feeling sad ? It’s a sad song for me, but maybe it’s a got happy memories for him. His face wasn’t giving anything away. Thinking of all the possibilities, I heard the song in a new light.
As he left the tube I carried on listening to the album, comforted to know we were listening to the same music as we started our days in the big smoke, getting further and further apart. I had no idea where he was going, he had no idea who I was and we probably will never cross paths again. But somehow through this music, in that moment, we were connected.