Each quarter, students in the course Meeting the Moment: Inner Resources for Hard Times collaborate on a final project in the form of an embodied or creative practice designed to help us better meet the moment. Below are the tools, resources, and strategies created by students during Fall and Winter quarters of the 2020-2021 academic year.
Writing / Reflection
Practicing Gratitude Through Poetry
DeeSoul Carson '20, Kory Gaines '21, Jerome Nowak, PhD candidate, Evani Radiya-Dixit '24
This practice focuses on expressing gratitude through journaling. When we take time write out what makes us grateful, it can make us slow down and think about the good things in our lives. Through poetry, we can prompt ourselves to bring to mind small details and instances that really color the way we feel about these good things, and make them more tangible for others to feel.
Aiyana Herrera '21, Ashley Song '21, Richzeska Fandino '24, Savannah Payne '22, Adesuwa Agbonile '21
Self-reflection gives your mind perspective. By allowing yourself to imagine and label where you are on an ideal, true, and perceived self diagram, you gain insight into who you want to be, who you are, and how you're perceived by others.
Week of Joy Notes
JJ Kapur '22, Julia Zielke '24, Jerome Nowak, PhD Candidate, and Suyoun Choi '24
We can think about joy as an intentional practice, that is up to us to cultivate. We can identify and anticipate our emotional needs by writing different kinds of notes for ourselves and our friends. We can write notes of gratitude for what we already have, and notes that spark our joy and encourage us to do activities, like calling a friend, or listening to our favorite song. Writing these notes and putting them around our environment can break us out of autopilot and remind us of our joy.
Rachel Lam '20, Adesuwa Agbonile '21, Tai' Carter '24, Sabrina Halper '21, Idalis Molkera Ibrahim '21, Nora Mousa '24
This project focuses on visualization meditation, which combines more passive meditative practices (like paying attention to breathing) with the active imagining of specific images in one’s mind. In visualization meditation, you focus on an image of something or someone – such as imagining sunlight, or picturing loved ones in your life. The act of visualization can help people focus, envision their goals, and improve one’s self-compassion for themselves.
Elaine Lai PhD candidate, Vicky Pulcifer '20, Elena Stalnaker '21, Marise van Zyl, PhD candidate
This practice draws from several threads: mandala making, writing, and mindfulness meditations. In it, we are able to dig deep into our experience, bring forth and attend to what is on our mind, and let it go in the form of tearing the paper we write on.
Juju Broussard ‘23, JJ Kapur ’22, Sarah Sturm, MS student, Tita Kanjanapas '21
As a practice in self-intimacy via awareness, compassion, and connection, this is a new way to cultivate gratitude. Connect to everyday objects around you, using a simple process of reframing, gratitude, and gifting.
Singing / Music
Music, Mindfulness, and Introspection
Jerome Nowak, PhD Candidate, Ashley Phord-Toy '22, Maggie McDowell '23, Elaine Lai, PhD Candidate
Music has a higher ability to evoke emotions than language. By activating regions of the brain, music is able to trigger feelings and images that go beyond our direct memories. We can use music intentionally, as a gateway to different emotional, spiritual, and contemplative experiences.
Feeling the Rhythm
Luciana Frazao MS '21, JJ Kapur '22, Dellarontay Alexander Readus '21
Everyone has some genre of music or some type of movie that they love and would hate to separate with. Some of these genres are so far removed from the cultural basis that individuals grow up with they often provide profound amounts of cultural and emotional awareness and intelligence. In this practice, students can listen to music from cultures different from their own to meet the difficult moments they are going through.
Drawing the Moment
Will Ortiz '23, Melinda Hernandez '21, Kory Gaines '21
We can use drawing as a relaxing activity, leading to stress reduction. The drawing process can be a conscious pathway to difficult emotions and memories. Lastly, we can use drawing for expression, to gain insight into (unconscious) cognitive patterns; leading to better cognitive regulation.
Music and Art as Therapy
Kory Gaines '21, Adesuwa Agbonile '21, Isabelle Anzabi '24, Ramiro Maxeechoga Hampson-Medina '23, and Zachary Smith '24
Art and music are creative healing modalities. We can explore the intersection of art and music to express and experience our emotions. Listen to a song, and draw as a response to what the song evokes in you. Then reflect on the process, and what it might tell you about your emotional experience.
Acacia Lynch '24, Alicia Purpur '23, David Gonzalez, PhD, DeeSoul Carson '21
In a time when our work / life boundaries are more fuzzy than ever, shutdown rituals can help! A shutdown ritual is a set of tasks that you perform to signal it is time to suspend all work thoughts for the rest of the day. This presentation walks you through how to craft one for yourself.
Benjamin Brokaw '24, Jenny Yang '23, Elaine Lai PhD candidate, Veer Shah '21, Vanessa Rodriguez '23
There are three parts to this exercise: inspiration, embodiment, and reflection. First, consider someone you look up to, then embody the qualities that you so admire about them, and finally, reflect on what it was like to embody these qualities out in the world.