After months of preparation and intention, I have returned to India. I am grateful for all of the support and following of Sankalpa: Art Journeys
. The image below shows a sample of some art supplies bought with generous donations
. While working in India, I am using technology to update those interested, hoping to encourage investment in the vision as it unfolds.
One of the 80+ stops in my previous travel survey was Auroville
, an international township dedicated to the realization of human unity. Auroville is located near Pondicherry in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu. A utopian living experiment established in the 1960s, it is a fascinating and stimulating microcosm of our global reality. In everyday life here, I eat locally grown and organic food prepared in a communal solar-powered kitchen. I drive a converted electric moped, which I simply charge overnight in a standard electric socket. Available each week are a variety of activities including yoga, meditation, dance, music, cooking, movies, exhibitions, lectures and workshops. In many ways this enriching atmosphere contributes to my personal evolution, by providing access to people and information from around the world. And am currently living behind a local family home while working in the nearby villages.
In these first weeks, I have connected with a variety of individuals and groups receptive to art therapy. As planned, I am working at Thamarai
community center, located in the nearby Edayanchavadi village. The children attend an after school program including arts and handicrafts (1st to 3rd standard), and I am starting a regular weekend group specifically centered on art therapy. I have also been referred for a Child Protection Services case to assist with a family conflict through art therapy (as part of a team). I will soon be introducing art therapy to adolescent girls receiving life skills and support at the Life Education Center
, as well as the staff of Village Action
, which has outreach to 80 surrounding villages (both women and men). Outside of village work, I am also joining forces with a compassionate living community within Auroville to offer art therapy as part of a nonviolent communication retreat. The variety and scope of experience being offered here is very exciting for an emerging international art therapist!