18
Jan
2016

Make space for beauty in your life and work

Life is busy. Trying to fit in work, household chores, family responsibilities, time for fitness, time for socializing… but, you need to add one more – time for beauty.

Most of us first think of beauty as it relates to physical attractiveness. Beauty is SOOooo much more.The first definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:

“the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness.”

Music is a likely place where you have experienced beauty. At some point in your life you’ve experienced a “musical chill” – that emotional connection to a well performed selection of music. For me, that is a moment of intense beauty. Planning for it doesn’t make it happen. Being open to it can increase the chances. What would happen if you created more opportunities for beautiful music in your life?

What would happen if we allowed beauty to be a part of our music therapy sessions?  Promising our clients will experience beauty or see something as beautiful during a session is wrong. The question is more one of making space for it.

This question had it’s beginning while attending the 2015 American Music Therapy Conference. in a session titled “Music Therapy Goals Can Be Understood Musically, Too!”. Music therapists Brian Abrams, Kathleen Murphy, Kristen O’Grady, Noah Potvin, and Laurel Young shared perspectives on ways of adding “music” back into our goals and our work. Without diving into the depths of this conversation, let me say it was very thought provoking.

How does understanding music therapy goals musically relate to beauty? Flash back to a conference in the 1990’s.  I remember Bryan and Leslie Hunter presenting on music therapy in childbirth. Even though in advanced labor, Leslie commented on the beauty of the music.  Aah, sometimes a client can experience beauty in a session.

Am I mad to suggest such an idea? Maybe?! Consider this thought shared by Henry James in “The Middle Years”:

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” 

This year I am on a personal journey exploring beauty. Wanting a greater perspective, I’ve invited others to share their thoughts on qualities of beauty. I decided to invite others to explore beauty with me.

As a part of that, I’ve shared a starter session plan for exploring some aspects of beauty with older adults.  I’m also inviting people to sign-up to be a part of this journey. Please join us! Together, we can make 2016 a #YearofBeauty.Join a year of beauty

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