Wellbeing and creativity. Two seemingly elusive words that are akin to reaching a state of enlightenment. Virtually impossible you say? Maybe not…
To me, wellbeing and creativity are about connection, community and practice. The science tells us that wellbeing is beyond a state of happiness – it’s about resilience, finding meaning and fulfilment, and building relationships through social connections. Creativity, and the Arts do the same. The Arts have shown incredible resilience in a time of immense change and uncertainty. They’ve helped bring us back to ourselves, and each other, to feel renewed and hopeful. That’s the essence of creativity, pulling together different ideas to refresh perspectives and delight in meaningful storytelling.
So, how can you combine wellbeing and creativity in your classroom?
Share knowledge and stories through deep, reciprocal and respectful listening
Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann reflects on Dadirri a practice of deep listening from the Ngan’gikurunggurr and Ngen’giwumirri languages of the Aboriginal peoples of the Daly River region in the Northern Territory, Australia, that also translates to ‘deep water sounds’ or ‘sounds of the deep’. Please read her powerful words about this beautiful, grounding cultural practice.
What ways can we listen deeply to ourselves, our bodies and spirit, to each other? Reflect for a moment and think about what this means to you. Actually do it. For me, it’s texting a friend the ocean-wave-emoji followed by a question mark, the response an immediate YES. We have a regular practice of jumping in the ocean together, getting a coffee and talking about our favourite books or what we’ve been going through lately. It’s a practice I am so grateful for, slowing down to listen deeply to my body and sharing this with someone in the beautiful place we live.
In the classroom: make a playlist of everyone’s favourite songs to listen to while you work or invite community members into your classroom for tea to share stories and culture. This reminds us to build empathy and find connection.