Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Peace Room

As I begin to resuscitate my blog from its long dormancy I have found a draft that I feel is worth publishing.  This has nothing (and yet everything?) to do with studio work. Read on....

My dear friend, Karen,  a wonderful therapist living in LA, wrote a self-care tip about the concept of a "Peace Room":

The Peace Room  

I once heard a story on NPR's Morning Edition about how one of Chicago's public high schools is trying to change its culture of violence. It has established a Peace Room. Students are instructed to go to the room when they are feeling angry or frustrated. There is an aide present to help the student with his or her anger. Ideally, students who are fighting would go together and the aide would help mediate a solution and teach fair fighting techniques.
Peace Room
This gave me the idea that we all should have a Peace Room in our home. Even if we can't designate a particular room, we could find a corner to be our Peace Corner. Adults and children could use this space to work out their own anger and conflicts, individually or together.

The area could be decorated with relaxing details and supplies:

  • tabletop fountain
  • tranquil artwork
  • calming music
  • a couple of comfortable chairs
  • affirmations and appropriate quotes written on cards posted on the walls
  • a notebook with reminders of how to fight fairly, instructions on relaxation techniques, and even poems or short essays on anger, forgiveness, and practicing mutual acceptance and respect
  • writing and art materials available for expressing feelings
I see the Peace Room as a time-out, a no yelling or fighting zone, a place of negotiation and respectful disagreements. It would be a haven of self care for all members of the family to seek and practice peace.  

I think of my studio as a Peace Room.  My only rule for the studio space is that if you want to come in and play with me, you have to be nice to me.  While this idea was invented during the era of adolescent children still living at home, it is a theme that I continue to embrace.  For me, and I hope for anyone else who is in my studio, it is a place of joy.  Sometimes it is a place of internal struggle and challenge, but it is a place for great creative effort.
Everyone should have a place like this, even if it is just in your imagination.

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