Welcome to the site of The Art of Wellbing™ a new curriculum designed to transform habits into effective means of healing and wholeness through arts experience. Our mission is to inspire the development of standards and practices of wellbeing for individuals and institutions by leveraging the convergence of Science, Arts, and the Humanities.
The Problem: To satisfy human needs we develop habits that can impair our well-being
We live at time of global economic and political turbulence driven by technological change in communications and science. This turbulence has put pressure on individuals, institutions, and societies, pressure which threatens our psychological, sociological, and physical well-being. Our slowly evolving human selves struggle to adapt to the fast, non-human pace of disruptive technological forces. To deal with these stresses we often develop habits that, unbeknownst to us, stop being useful, degrade our humanity, and impair our holistic wellness.
Often such habits prevent us from seeing the humanity in ourselves and others, thereby diminishing our capacity for compassion and other similar markers of well-being. These unproductive habits can obscure the catalysts, or mediators, of our well-being and thus limit our ability to expand our health and too often serve to reduce it.
We have developed a conscious (rational) way of looking at things which often separates subjects from objects, facts from values, past from present, present from future. This can be useful for analytical purposes. But it can impair our ability for deeper experiences, deeper perceptions, for compassion, for understanding and expanding our well-being. Heightened experience, as found in the arts and nature, is often an integrative (complete) human experience and draws from our unconscious and its values. Such integrative, rich experience can help us develop critical integrative judgment which can serve to re-educate and deepen perception, and expand our values while improving our well-being.
Our well-being is a function of how well we relieve or otherwise accept the tensions in our relationships with ourselves, others, and our environment. Relief can be simple or not. For example, tension created from spilled milk can be relieved by wiping it up; tension created from metastatic cancer may be relieved only by acceptance.
Artists care especially about the experience of how tension is resolved. It is in tension and release artists see potentialities to create stories, performances, objects, meals, crafts and other expressions of our humanity. They bring to living consciousness an experience that is unified and total…a rich, complete experience.
The AWB Solution: Leverage rich experiences in arts and nature to foster new habits of well-being
The Art of Wellbeing (AWB) is a program of study that leverages the convergence of Arts, Science, and the Humanities to sharpen our perception of health and well-being. Through integrative experiences in the arts and nature, AWB fosters new habits of healing and wholeness that can be used personally, professionally, and communally. For those familiar with these experiences AWB offers new perspective and appreciation, for those unfamiliar AWB opens new pathways for wellness.
A few examples from the latest scientific research has shown that rich experiences, such as those offered by AWB, can
- Enhance sense of well-being, improve emotional resiliency, reinforce neuronal connections, improve memory, protect and ward off cognitive impairments (Mayo Clinic, “Creativity,” 2009)
- In medical settings: improve observational and diagnostic skills and physician empathy which improves clinical outcomes (STAT, “Why medical schools are training doctors in literature and art,” 2015)
- Improve memory, spatial reasoning, language skills (Guardian, “Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument,” 2016)
- Promote health, prevent disease, increase community based activities, reduce risk factors that drive need for long-term care (NEA/George Washington University, “Creativity and Aging,” 2006)
- Engender a more meaningful work place by increasing employee creativity (Creativity Research Journal, Cohen-Meitar & Carmeli, 2009)
AWB Program, Audience, and Objective
AWB seeks to inspire a conversation on wellness and create tools and programs utilizing integrative experiences in arts and nature to transform and enlighten our social institutions and ourselves by
- Illuminating the salutary synergies that the arts, science, and humanities bring when experienced as an integrative whole and not merely as separate disciplines
- Promoting collective participation to effect social and institutional change
- Transforming existing institutions and
- Creating new institutions
- Building communities of trust by engaging in safe arts and nature experiences for
- Public and private companies
- Commercial and Not-for-Profit institutions
- Inspiring individuals to increase mindfulness and awareness, improve judgment, and expand values
AWB uses encounters with Art and Nature, to improve our perception of well-being by examining the catalysts, or mediators, of wellness which affect our physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health.