This project idea was born from the Postsecret phenomenon that was created by Frank Warren. His initiative asked people to create a postcard that shared a secret they were carrying, in hopes that it would allow people’s voices to be heard. The response has been overwhelming. Since 2004 Frank has received over 500,000 postcards!
Based off of this idea, this initiative is to get teens in Lake Country talking about issues that they are experiencing here, whether it’s mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional. The project would see 50-100 youth (or more!) aged 13-18, creating postcards over a 6 week time span, with supplies and collection boxes made available to them at the Art House, the Boys and Girls Club Teen Lounge and the LC Alliance Church Youth Group. The intention is to mount the show in the pop-up gallery space in the Art House on Friday, May 13th and invite the community to come and see what youth are saying. We believe that all youth in Lake Country would benefit from this project, as would Lake Country as a whole, and we would consider this a success if even one teen felt more connected in their community.
This project is part of a larger youth event happening the weekend of May 13th, 2016 which also includes painting of the sidewalk to strive for a more inclusive community, food and music.
The thought is that they will get to anonymously express themselves using art as the medium. The word anonymously is stressed as we believe this is a crucial point in getting kids involved; it allows them to reveal their secrets and have their voices heard without judgment or criticism. The postcards can reflect any emotions or thoughts; they can be intended to be funny or serious or anything in between. It is amazing the amount of emotion that can be conveyed on a simple, small postcard. The hope is that by doing this project they will:
By getting young people creating and expressing themselves, and then mounting the show for the whole community to see, we may start to see where our teens have needs, as well as find ways that adults might help. We recognize that letting out secrets in this manner may bring up issues, both for those creating them and for those who read them. We intend to support the community by having information and resources provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) available at the gallery during the event, as well as posting them to our website and Facebook page.
Grief is a funny thing. We all have experienced it, we’ve all been through it. No one is immune to loss; yet it’s not something we readily talk about. We rarely discuss how it makes us feel or how it manifests for us. Maybe because it is such a personal journey, maybe we cannot find the words, or maybe we are afraid no one wants to listen. Science tells us that there are 5 stages that we pass through: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross). But it isn’t a straight trajectory by any means; it’s multi-layered and messy. We bounce back and forth between the stages and sometimes we get stuck in one area or another; everyone processes grief and loss differently. Okay you say, that all makes sense, but what does it really look like?
Well, recently my family and I passed through the third anniversary of losing our loved ones. Yes, you read that right, we lost two precious family members in one single day. This year was a little less tear filled than previous ones, but still significant enough that we all, in a totally unconscious, undiscussed way, dressed up in our best clothes and treated each other with the utmost of care and consideration. The kids washed and brushed and tidied themselves without being reminded. We all hugged each other a little closer and our smiles for each other were a little tighter than normal. The day was bright and sunny, just like the day they left us. Everywhere were reminders of them and it was definitely emotional and draining. I found myself outwardly doing the things I needed to do and putting on a brave face for the world, but inside was a mishmash of thoughts and feelings and memories as the day progressed. Interestingly, I came across two articles about grief and loss that day that really hit home with me. Both of these articles do an amazing job at explaining grief. Written with beauty and love and wit and obvious experience, these two different perspectives give an emotional, raw voice to grief.
The first one reminded me of that there is still beauty tied up with grief and it gave a powerful explanation of what it feels like. Love doesn’t die, nor does grief, it just takes another form read more.
The other is from the perspective of a parent losing a child, but is written in such a moving and simplistic way that it would be useful to help explain grief and loss to children. read more
Grief is a part of life, we cannot escape it. But we can embrace it, and with it, honour all of our lost loves.
Have you ever seen an older adult doing something fun, looking vibrant and being active? What is the first thing that crosses your mind? Is it thoughts like: that looks odd; or, never thought an older adult could do that; or funny, I never knew an older adult could have so much fun; or, Wow! I want to be that fit, active, vibrant when I am that age?
Regardless of your thoughts, it is interesting to listen to your inner dialogue. Your inner voice will tell you a lot about how you perceive aging, activity and having fun. Positive perceptions of aging will inspire some folks to change their lifestyle in a positive way by watching older adults. Others will have their lifestyle and activity affirmed, as they believe, their current activity level will keep them physically well and having fun as they grow older. Many may not even consider what is required to have daily fun, and to look and feel, physically well.
Listening to the inner voice and creating an inner dialogue with yourself about how you would like to grow older is a positive step towards healthy aging. Do you remember, as a child, having an imaginary friend, whom you talked and played with … as adults we often forget to imagine, dream and communicate with oneself. Entering the “playground” as an adult is an important step towards positive mental, emotional and physical well-being. Applying a positive perception to growing older and seeking out fun activities and creating your own personal playground will create a resilient attitude towards adversity and will promote positive mental health strategies, for life long health.
Here is a video that inspires me and reminds me how to be creative, have fun and to “Never Leave the Playground”
We all know that we need to eat more fruit and vegetables but how do we make this happen? The Provincial Health Officer’s Annual Report 2005 called Food, Health and Well-Being in British Columbia has the following suggestions:
Eating at least 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day may be the single most important food change most British Columbians can make to improve their health. Some simple ways to do this are: