The Mandala ( the Circular form) which I have shared in other sections of my blog, is a great tool for inspiring right brain thinking and reflection during our creativity based staff training sessions.
As people engage with the rhythmic movement of adding colour and meaning to the individual black and white templates, the process is akin to a mind-massage that facilitates access to parts of the brain we may have lost touch with in education settings and workplaces that don’t engage the hands equally as the eyes and ears for training purposes.
This is especially so in the western system whereas other cultures, i.e. Aboriginal culture, engage hands and creativity as part of the process of telling stories, generating ideas and transmitting knowledge. This multi-sensory engagement is core to every day life.
In some cultures creative expression and development is not reduced after early childhood as happens in some aspects of the western school system where the arts are often not considered as important as the sciences and therefore colour movement, dance, story telling, art and the application of the imagination are diminished over time. Creativity does not conform to a pre-existing template and systems that are outcome oriented are often not able accommodate creative expression and exploration.
The system we are brought up in has enormous influence on how we think and create.
Sadly many people are living their life with the belief (belief ) I am not Creative, in spite of shared experience we all had as creative, imaginative, ‘magical’ children who were not bound by pre-existing templates during times of play and invention.
You can read a little story about what happens to the ‘magical child in exile’ by clicking here..
Feedback after the creativity based training includes statements like this:
- I was amazed at how much more information I absorbed even though I was not always looking up
- thank you for giving us permission to go in to our own creative space and contribute without having to sit still all day in the one position, i am always the biro flicker in workshops because my hands get bored sitting still all day
- Wow! That was fabulous! I am going to share these tools with my daughter and grandchildren
The following are samples of some of the work that was created during a series of Cultural Inclusivity Action Plan workshops.
The four themes that were central to the day were
- Our Place
- Workplace Balance
You can see the theme is written on the Mandala and the individual creative input is an unique and diverse as the participants and the Community they serve.
We honour the traditional owners of this great land when we implement processes that Aborginalise the western mindset by engaging with traditional cultural practices of art, creativity, story sharing, talking circles and FUN! (Thankyou Dana Shen for introducing me to the term Aboriginalising ways of learning and information sharing).
This kind of training setting is a along way vastly different from sitting in a row of chairs or around tables and watching but not actively engaging with information. Slide shows, pie graphs and classroom style information sharing lacks the creative engagement that occurs when hands are given access to creative processes and the information is presented in a way that evokes the imagination and new ideas.
Each Mandala has a developmental theme and is used as both a creative and discussion tool as
- an individual process,
- in the small group talking /action plan group and
- as a larger group we have poster size replicas which, by the end of the day become the centre of an action-plan installation art.
You can see how wonderful it is to create the ART of Vision / Action over the tired old butchers paper sheets that tend to be rolled away and disappeared forever once the workshop is over….