22 April 2020

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH OUR EMOTIONS?

Tonight at 6.30 pm CET on Facebook Live, as every night for 40 nights, we will choose an emotion to explore and then express it with colors and recycled material.

I’ve never talked about it here on the website, but today, on the 40th day, I feel like I can say a few words about the validity of this work, and how I could develop it in the future for companies and schools.

Everything started from a need of mine, Saturday, March 14th. In those days I was observing sudden changes in my mood, a wealth of emotional nuances; I was reading a lot of news to understand, to try to rationalize this situation never experienced before and every news influenced my mood.

Rationalizing” is a defense mechanism that helps manage fear, I know this well and I promise to tell you about it in the next articles, so I didn’t want to limit myself to rationalizing, I wanted to feel it with my belly, with my heart, with everything, otherwise it was clear to me that I would only find a way to get out of the situation by looking for the truth that we may never know.

So, that March 14th I chose to stay present and to live everything: emotion for the concerts from the balconies, applauses at 12.00 pm to support the medical staff, lighted candles, lit torches for the shooting of the drones, sadness for those who can not make it, anger for the plots, suspicions at every news read or heard, worry, euphoria. All at once, which is a lot of confusion, but I’m used to that! When I allow myself to be in total confusion, the only thing that helps me to put order is creativity.

Until that day I had never done a live broadcast with myself as a subject, as much as I love talking I felt I had nothing to say in that way. The concern of “me as a subject” has gone into the background, to use a Gestaltic term. In the first Facebook Live I told everyone I would be there every day until the end of the quarantine! Why did I do that? Because by making a commitment to those who follow the live streaming, I made it to myself as well, so yes, I did it for me.

For days I was considering options on how to make myself useful: I didn’t feel like offering free sessions to support others, I didn’t want to risk being in trouble with strangers. In person I realize if I can accept the client’s request or if it would be better to send the person to another professional, but on the phone or video call in an emergency situation seemed really too much for me. I regularly give video sessions and lessons, but not in an emergency!

The first time, I told everyone of my need to stay in touch with my emotions and to express them in an authentic way. Accompanied by music we started drawing, coloring, breathing, dancing… the work I usually do in fashion schools, this time addressed to a different audience, a mixture of friends, clients, friends of friends, my mom always present, former students and some always welcome curious.

From the second day I chose a book as support, “The Labyrinth of the Soul” by Anna Llenas, a Spanish illustrator who I like a lot! Every day we choose a page, I read the description proposed by the author, then for about ten minutes I explore the meaning that the word has for me, how I feel, where it takes me, what landscapes it proposes. When I read again for the second time the description of the emotion I invite the participants to listen with the whole body, not only with ears. Each of us experiences bodily sensations, memories, images: we represent them in a creative way. We let go of all our feelings on paper, I like to use all the cardboards of beer, fruit and everything I usually throw away.

The third phase is observation: we look at the work done without judging it, we accept it for what it is, that is part of us. A part that expresses itself freely, spontaneously. With practice we have moved away from the idea of the ‘beautiful design’, and have moved on to recognize the authentic message we express through creativity.

Authentic means that it is true for us, that expresses what we feel in the present moment.

After the live streaming I receive the participants’ works and I collect them in a post, always on Mestieri-LAB page. Why do I do this?

Because in a moment like this, I think it’s important to get back to the base:

I recognize what is true for me;

I express it and I take responsibility for it;

I see what is true and authentic for the other;

– I don’t judge because it’s different from me;

– If I can, I appreciate the diversity.

I’ve written “if I can” because we can never take it for granted, but in this experience but in this experience I observe day after day how the judgment comes first from us towards us. Until we accept our nuances, until we explore the difference between being solid and being rigid, how can we think of welcoming the other for real?

I’m thinking about how to turn this experience into a course that can be enjoyed by a wide audience: children, managers, senior citizens, young people. Human beings who want to stay human.

We talk a lot about emotional intelligence, but I would like to start from here, from a simple emotional education, same format for everyone. What do think about it?

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