Christine and I were discussing legacy the other day. We were taking a different conversational path to figuring out why we created VisualsSpeak/Exploring New Options and the visual approach to facilitation we have developed.
It is important to note that the Art therapist does not interpret but rather, supports and encourages the client's creative process of exploration. This is a shared, verbal dialogue which links creativity, empathy, and affectivity together. As a result, there is a strengthening of the real experience of being connected, listened to, and understood.
Sharing meaningful exchanges without criticism or judgment builds respect, trust, and emotional safety. When creativity links with empathy (compassionate capacity to feel other's experience) and affectivity (capacity to give and receive love), you strengthen a sense of belonging in the world, which is the real experience of connectivity.
I often get stuck when I am coming up with ideas for my blogs. I stare at the blank screen and wonder what I should say. Using visuals I can get clear and come up things to write about. This is how I do it.
This article, which was suggested to me by Karen Dietz (she has a very interesting topic: Just Story It) shows the importance of imagination, which is a skill that encourages creativity. The article focuses on the act of storytelling and how the skills of imagining can be of use, but I think these skills are transferable to any act of creation.
Here are some extracts from the article:
The Skills of Imagining At the moment of telling a story, the storyteller imagines the story and then describes it to listeners. The first ability of storytelling, therefore, is the storyteller’s ability to imagine – to “re-member” or re-embody the scenes of a story.
Skill 1: Imagine Vividly Imagination draws from sights, sounds, gut and muscle feelings, emotions, and more. Imagine in every sensory mode. Imagine all the emotions felt by each character. The more vividly you imagine, the more vividly your listeners will imagine.
Skill 2: Let Your Imagination Act on You Imagine without holding back! Allow yourself to be changed by what you imagine. Imagine in such a way that you are yourself energized, moved, and even transformed by what you imagine … without trying to tame the images or to separate yourself from them.
Skill 3: Thinking in Images Thinking in images includes allowing unexpected images to appear. It also includes the ability to notice images that come to mind in response to complex challenges (such as deciding on an audience’s needs or responses). If skill #1 is about vividness and skill #2 is about a relationship to images, this skill is about flexibility and openness. It involves not just seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling what you remember or imagine, but also being in touch with what those images could become.
This part becomes quite interesting if you think of innovation. In fact, the author of the article says he “has learned to welcome such unexpected images and to regard them as helpful responses to the complex input he receives unconsciously from the listeners. When he trusts the images and tell the story whose images came to him unbidden, he usually learns later that it was even more appropriate for the group than what he had planned to tell.” And we know that innovation is also the art of improving, transforming, renewing…
We’ve all had the experience of feeling overwhelmed. It’s not a pleasant state to be in. There are a million things to do, but we can’t seem to be able to pick one and get it done.
Watching a client go through this is frustrating. He may sit there quietly not being able to describe what is going on at all. Or she may be talking so rapidly that the sentences run together in an ever increasing blur, which only increases the overwhelm.
There are different approaches to dealing with a client in this situation. Using visuals can help people quickly get past the overwhelmed stage and back on track. Let’s talk about just one approach so that we don’t get, err, overwhelmed with ideas.
Before we begin to talk about the method, there is something you can do to help your client get centered right now.
What a powerful short video on visual thinking, how our brain functions, and its place in human history. The video itself is a great story. Visual thinking is the backbone of creating and telling compelling stories. All great storytellers convey images and sensory material to their audiences -- no matter what the media. This video makes it clear we all have the raw material to work with. Sharing visual images through storytelling takes lots of practice to do, yet we can all do it. I like this piece because it makes visual thinking explicit.
"Dan Roam (Author of "The Back of the Napkin") gives a complete overview of the history and definition of visual thinking, and a bonus of the history of the human species in 5 minutes."
Via Karen Dietz