When I was learning how to teach English as a second language, I discovered the loveliest of words: Realia. In education, realia [ree-ay-lee-uh] refers to objects or activities from real life which are used to strengthen learning in the classroom. In the minds of philosophers, realia is anything that is real. In my writing and creative endeavours I seek inspiration in realia; by exploring realia I learn about myself and my world.
Many of the creative ideas and prompts you find here are offered from the perspective of my interest in expressive arts. At the very least, Expressive Art is play time for adults. Its loftier purpose is behind Expressive Arts Therapy, wherein powerful arts-based psycho-therapy is used to help people attain healing and/or personal empowerment.
Expressive arts can entail any or all of the literary, visual, dance, theatre and musical arts. Expressive art is for young and old, and for individual, family and community development.
Expressive art is not about artistic talent or producing high art; rather it is personal art in which the process is as important as the product. If you are like most adults, you will have stopped creating art for fun around the time you were ten; around the time you began to judge whether your art was “good.” But expressing yourself creatively is good for you. In doing so you may learn or rediscover surprising things about yourself, or you may just find yourself relaxed and feeling calm.
why you should journal too
I am pretty much relentless in preaching the benefits journaling in every class I teach. Journaling is a fundamental tool for lifelong learners, writers, artists, teachers and people in general.
If you want to see things more clearly, write about the things you see in a journal. If you want to be transformed by the things you learn, reflect on what that learning has to do with you in a journal. If you want to foster the creative process, write freely in a journal. If you want to improve your writing and communication skills, write in a journal regularly. If you want to re-discover your authentic self – well, you know what to do.
Journaling makes you more aware, it causes you to focus on what’s going on within and around you and to think more critically. Journaling teaches you to write and think freely, and therefore enhances creativity and opens your mind to alternative ideas and options. If you journal, you are more likely to be aware of, and act upon, the hundreds of fleeting ideas and inspirations that thread in and out of your consciousness every day.
If you are aware of the things that inspire you, you are more likely to seek them out; you are more likely to gravitate to the things, people and situations that fulfil you.
walk the talk, sister
It is my intention to substantiate these ideas by walking the talk. So this website is also the carrying on of my own public journaling adventure, one begun some years ago. This website is a firsthand exploration of the myriad inspirations and stories found in realia. It’s a great big beautiful world. This is my window on it.Pay attention – there’s a story everywhere you go. Copyright © Jennifer Morrison 2010